07
Jan

Chichen Itza from Cancun

Chichen Itza from Cancun is a must do trip that you can’t miss while visiting this city, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. El Castillo stands in the center of the ruins and is also known as the Temple of Kukulcan. It’s is a step pyramid that attracts many tourists due to its historical significance and architectural beauty. 

Whether you’ve been there before or it’s your first time to the El Castillo, here are some things look for before you book a tour of Chichén Itzá.

How To get there

First things first, you’ve got to know how to get to Chichén Itzá. It’s located inland on the Yucatán Peninsula. If you’re getting there yourself, the exit is off of Highway 180. When you’re coming from Cancun, you can rent a car from the Cancun airport. If you plan on booking a tour, they will most likely send round-trip buses to a meeting location with a tour guide. The entrance fee is 25 US dollars, which comes out to 480 Mexican pesos.

El Castillo

Otherwise known as the Temple of Kukulcan, the famous El Castillo (the castle) is the most famous Mayan ruin site. It’s one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico. Your tour guide should go over the history and uses of the temple. This giant pyramid is 79 feet high with an additional 20 feet for the temple, and the square base is 181 feet across. The pyramid has four stairways that face each temple side, with serpent sculptures running down the north side. During the spring and autumn equinoxes, the sun casts triangular shadows that give the illusion of a serpent crawling down the steps.

The pre-Columbian city was extremely important to Mayan civilization from about 600 to 1200 AD and El Castillo was a part of Mayan worship until the Spanish arrived.

Temple of Warriors

The Temple of Warriors will be part of your Chichén Itzá tour. The Temple of the Warriors, also known as the Temple of the Thousand Columns. The temple has four platforms with about 200 round and square columns on the outside. These columns represent the warriors, giving the temple its name. It features a broad stairway and a stepped ramp on either side.

Unfortunately, you can’t climb the stairs anymore. But if you could, you’d see a reclining statue figure holding a bowl or disc to its stomach. This indicates the Mayans held offerings to the Gods on flat plates. Some people speculate that this is where the Mayans would put the hearts of their sacrificial victims for the crowds below to see.

 The Great Ball Court

 There are a total of 17 great ball courts in Chichén Itzá. These are large spaces, or courts, that could hold many people for trials, matches, or large celebrations. The largest ball court is 460 feet wide and 150 feet long, with 25 feet high sidewalls. There are symbols on the walls that people speculate to mean “home team” and “visitors,” but no one is sure what they actually mean. But it does suggest that these spaces were significant.

Many believe that these ball courts were symbolic of socioeconomic power, as they hold three levels which represent the three life worlds: the underworld, terrestrial world, and the heavens. The social elite would’ve sat at the top in the heavens. Sign up for a tour to see the great ball courts, and bring good walking shoes!

 The Osario Pyramid

 As the Osario Pyramid is not the main attraction in Chichén Itzá, there are far fewer crowds. So if you want to explore Mayan ruins without so many tourists, you may enjoy viewing the Osario Pyramid. It looks like a miniature replica of El Castillo or the Temple of Kukulcán with a similar temple at the top.

 Valladolid

 Many Chichén Itzá tours will also take you through Valladolid. Valladolid is a 16th-century Colonial city. You’ll see El Zocalo, or the town square, which has Spanish architecture, including the oldest church in the Yucatan. It’s historical, but there are still shops there where you can purchase handmade Mexican products.

The town revolves around tourism and is very pretty with its historic architecture and colorful streets. Even though tourists go there on the way to Chichén Itzá, it’s not a hotspot yet, which means it’s hardly ever crowded!

 Cenote Swim

 Mexico has many beautiful cenotes that people love exploring. Many tours will include a Cenote swim at the end of the tour. Cenotes are water pools in limestone that formed from when an underground cavern roof collapses, and rain fills the cavern. Water from underground rivers can also keep a cenote full. The Mayans considered the cenotes to be passages to the underworld, but today, tourists enjoy swimming and diving in these natural pools. So if you signed up for one, be sure to bring a bathing suit! There are several cenotes around Chichen Itza including Cenote Hubiku, Cenote Ik-Kil, Cenote Xcajum, and Cenote Hubiko.

Chichen itza from Cancun is about 3 hours. There’s a reason why so many people flock to Chichén Itzá every year. It has beautifully preserved Mayan ruins, gorgeous natural cenotes, and sits near a pretty Colonial city filled with Spanish architecture. Make your reservation at Beach House Cancun and make plans to visit Chichen Itza with your family!