Discover the secrets of one of the world's most famous archaeological wonders.
The famous ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations. Here, visitors can explore the many fascinating structures that remain from the sophisticated culture and ingenuity of the Mayans, such as the Temple of Kukulcan, the ball court, and the Temple of Warriors. These impressive monuments offer an insightful look into this ancient civilization.
The history of Chichen Itza
With its breathtaking ancient ruins and rich history, this archaeological site lures millions of travelers each year. Visitors come to marvel at the temple structures, such as the iconic El Castillo pyramid, and marvel at the fascinating culture cultivated there by one of Central America’s most sophisticated civilizations.
Believed to have been founded in the 7th century AD, Chichen Itza was once a powerful and wealthy city-state, known for its advanced astronomical knowledge and incredible architecture. The city contained numerous temples and pyramids dedicated to the worship of multiple gods. Throughout its long history, Chichen Itza has remained one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world.
The Castillo, also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, is one of the most iconic structures in Chichen Itza. Built to venerate the feathered serpent god Kukulcan, it stands as a testament to the advanced engineering and architectural skills of the ancient Mayans. On both the spring and fall equinoxes, a remarkable shadow in the shape of a serpent appears on its staircase, creating an unforgettable visual spectacle.
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Things to do near Chichen Itza
A stunning oasis in the Yucatan jungle, Cenote Ik Kil is a must-visit while exploring Chichen Itza. With its turquoise waters and lush tropical surroundings, this cenote offers an ideal escape from the hot Mexican sun and a refreshing respite after a day of sightseeing. So don’t forget to make time for a dip in this natural swimming hole – it’s one experience you won’t want to miss.
Valladolid is a vibrant colonial city known for its beautiful, vividly colored buildings and cobblestone streets. Located just a stone’s throw from the famed Chichen Itza archaeological site, Valladolid offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in typical Mexican culture and customs with friendly locals to guide them.
Coba is a historical city in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, home to one of the tallest pyramids in the region. The Nohoch Mul Pyramid, which stands at over about 42 meters high, is still open to adventurers who wish to climb it and explore its ruins. Coba is situated near Chichen Itza and it’s a great place for cycling enthusiasts as you can leisurely explore the area.
The best time to visit Chichen Itza
If you’re looking for the best time to go sightseeing in Chichen Itza, plan your trip between mid-April and mid-May, or from mid-September to mid-October. The temperatures during these months are pleasant and bearable and the humidity is relatively low, so it’s the ideal time to explore this archaeological marvel.
For the most unique experience, visit Chichen Itza during the equinoxes of spring and fall. During this time, visitors will witness a light show as sun rays create the illusion of a descending serpent on the face of the Temple of Kukulcan. This popular event attracts countless travelers from different parts of the globe hoping to get a glimpse of this stunning natural phenomenon.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that visiting Chichen Itza during the equinoxes can also mean larger crowds and higher hotel prices, so it’s important to plan ahead.