Is Chichen Itza worth a visit?

So you’re planning a trip to Mexico and wondering if Chichen Itza is really worth a visit.

My answer? Absolutely!

Listed as one of the new 7 wonders of the world, Chichen Itza is a landmark not to be missed. Chosen in 2000 along with such famous sites as the Great Wall in China, Machu Picchu, Peru and the Taj Mahal in India, Chichen Itza is an ancient architectural and mathmaticial marvel.

Built by the Mayan’s it represents the pinnacle of Mayan ingenuity and craftsmanship. The Chichen Itza complex covers about 4 square miles and has numerous ruins to explore.

chichen itza el castillo, mayan ruins, mexico ruins

Chichen Itza Tips

Bring water and wear a hat! I toured Chichen Itza during the month of December and temps were only in the mid 70’s. I was shocked at how warm it felt while touring!

There is very little shade, and due to high humidity and the intensity of the sun it felt much warmer! During the summer months temps can reach 120! I am told ambulances wait outside the entrance to treat overheated tourists. Be smart!

Book a tour! In this case, I highly recommend booking a tour vs. exploring the sights on your own! The knowledge of the tour guide is invaluable and brings everything you are seeing to life.

Extra charge for videocameras! Bring an extra $5 if you plan on bringing a videocamera. You should also be aware that tripods of any kind are not allowed!

No Tour? Arrive early! The only real advantage of not booking a tour is being able to choose when you arrive. So if you choose not to do a tour, beat the crowds by arriving early! Doors open at 8am and you can have the complex to yourself!

Chichen Itza Tour Details

Unless you have a car rental (and are planning to do the 2+ hour drive from your resort), you’ll want to book a tour!

There are many stand alone tours of Chichen Itza available but I chose to do a combination tour that was the highlight of my Mexico trip! It was well worth the money spent!

My tour included round trip transporation from the Cancun hotel zone (they also have a stop at the Ultramar ferry if you are staying in Isla Mujeres!)

Your first stop will be a quick visit to the charming, colonial city of Valladolid.

valladolid, valladolid tourThe ancient church just outside the square is open to visitors.

valladolid fountainThe beautiful fountain that anchors the square in Valladolid

Your next stop is Chac-Mool for some shopping, food tasting (including the delicious handmade tortillas pictured below) and a full buffet lunch.

Chac Mool

Chac-Mool artist community

After your delicious lunch full of Mexican specialities, you’ll head to see the highlight of the tour. Chichen Itza!

chichen itza, el castillo, chichen itza mexicoEl Castillo

Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza templeTemple of the Warriors and the 1,000 column marketplace

Mayan ball game chichen itza, chichen itza ball game, mayan ruinsMayan Ball Game arena ~ this is where the judges sat to observe the game

mayan ball game chichen itzaPlayers were to get a 20 inch rubber ball through this hoop without using their hands

After you’ve worked up a sweat touring the massive Chichen Itza complex, you’ll be thrilled to know the last stop is at the magical Cenote Ik Kil. It is a massive sinkhole made of limestone over 150 feet deep!

Not a strong swimmer? No problem! Life jackets are available to rent, as well as lockers to store your clothes while you take a refreshing dip in the cool water. Both pesos and USD accepted.

Cenote Ik Il, mexican cenote, cenote tour

The amazing view as you float in the cool water and look up through the top of the sink hole are unforgettable!

cenote ik il, cenote ik il tour, mexico cenotes

After your busy day touring some of the most spectacular sights Mexico has to offer, you’ll be ready to head back to your resort for some rest and relaxation!

Any other questions about Chichen Itza or the other sites mentioned here, leave a comment below or send me an email! I love to hear from my readers!














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  1. Logan @ Money Done Right | 6th Feb 18

    Wow! Beautiful! We are figuring out where do go next. I am ashamed to say that I have never heard of Chichen Itza before now. But it’s definitely on our short list now!

    • Lisa | 6th Feb 18

      No shame Logan! It’s definitely one of the lesser known 7 wonders of the world but totally worth a visit! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Kristin | 6th Feb 18

    I would love to go here! The picture of the hoop at the arena reminded me of the movie The Road to El Dorado…I can see the creators got some inspiration from here!

    • Lisa | 6th Feb 18

      Ha! That’s great about the movie reference! I’ve never seen that one. Chichen Itza is amazing and I highly recommend it next time you’re in Mexico! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Taryn | 6th Feb 18

    Beautiful places! Love Mexico and the Riviera Maya. Definitely worth a visit or two..

    • Lisa | 6th Feb 18

      Yes. Riviera Maya is beautiful and so many great things to see and do! Thanks for stopping by Taryn!

  4. Bryce | 6th Feb 18

    Interesting. Mexico is somewhere I often wonder about . Why ? because it’s constantly in the media.

    • Lisa | 6th Feb 18

      Yes, unfortunately it’s often in the media for a lot of negative reasons but it is a wonderful country with lots to offer! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. J. Endress | 6th Feb 18

    Wow! Loved the information in the post- do they charge extra for cell phones too or just actual video cameras? Valladolid looks beautiful! I’ve watched videos of the ball game before- I would love to see one in real life.

    This has been on our list for a while, your post made me even more excited to finally get there.

    • Lisa | 6th Feb 18

      No charge for cell phones or cameras! Valladolid was a fun stop and very charming. You’ll have a great experience at Chichen Itza! 🙂

  6. Colleen | 9th Feb 18

    Great video and info ! What is the name of the tour company you used ?

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