On a trip to Mexico, Chichen Itza Yucatan is one of the main attractions you must visit. It is a large pre-columbian city build by the Maya people. The archaeological site is located in the municipality of Timun, near Cancun and Tulum. And your are in for quite an experience when visiting the place.
Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from around 600 to 1200 AC. The city exhibits different architectural styles, from central Mexico, the Puus, and Chenes styles. The difference styles leads specialist to believe that this has been the biggest Mayan city , and nowadays it is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico, with approx. 1,2 million visiting each year.
Chichen Itza means “At the mouth of the well of the Itza” in the Mayan language. The city is located in the eastern portion of Yucatan, where the underground rivers run all over. There are two large natural sink holes, close to the settlement, that back in the days could have provided plentiful cold, clear water around the year.
The vast site is impressive in a lot of ways, and you properly know the the world famous step pyramid Temple of Kukulkan. This giant building stands about 30 meters high and consists of nine square terraces, and has some fabulous detailing and symmetry. At the stairs is a serpents-head at the end. The one most impressive thing, is that is building, t
wice a year forms a shadow on the western balustrades, the shape of a serpent. On Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the late afternoon, the triangles of the terraces, cast a shadow, which is believed to be the representation of the feathered-serpent god Kukulkan – cool right
Furtermore you will find bunches of different interesting buildings like the Great Ball Court, the North Temple, Temple of the Warriors, Grouns of a Thousand Columns, Cenote Sagrado etc. When walking around, there is some stone-plates on the terrain with info about the different things you see. But it is a good idea to read a little about the site of Chichen Itza before you go here. Just the huge amount of temples and buildings alone, will take quite a while. So if you knows your way around to begin with, you will get the most out of your time.
But how to go here? There are several tours talking hundreds of tourist to the site every day. Stuffed into big busses, these people arrive almost simultaneous to the site, ending up in a large cue the entire time. Our advice is to rent your own taxi, ask the driver to pick you up early, and arrive at Chichen Itza around 09 am. Then you will have the place more or less for your selves, and when “the masses” are coming you can spend your time looking into the outer corners of the site, before heading towards other attractions like Valladolid or Coba.