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.
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!
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.
The ancient church just outside the square is open to visitors.
The 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.
After your delicious lunch full of Mexican specialities, you’ll head to see the highlight of the tour. Chichen Itza!
Temple of the Warriors and the 1,000 column marketplace
Mayan Ball Game arena ~ this is where the judges sat to observe the game
Players 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.
The amazing view as you float in the cool water and look up through the top of the sink hole are unforgettable!
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!