Home Feature Planning a visit to Chichen Itza, check this out first…

Planning a visit to Chichen Itza, check this out first…

by Yucatan Times
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Chichen Itza is most well known as the home of El Castillo – the main temple at the site, which rises 24 meters (79 feet) above the Main Plaza and is in a pyramid shape with four sides, each with 91 stairs, combining for a total of 365 steps (the number of days in a year). It’s said El Castillo acted as a calendar of sorts for the Mayan people. It’s a true show of the Mayan peoples’ knowledge of the earth and planets. 

It’s El Castillo you’ll recognize from photos of Chichen Itza! However, Chichen Itza is also home to The Great Ball Court, which is the largest in Mesoamerica and is 168 by 70 meters (551 by 230 feet.) The game played here was called Pitz.

Getting to Chichen Itza is best done eitherwith a rental caror on an organized tour. If you can drive yourself, it’s around a 2.5-hour drive each way from Cancun, 2 hours and 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen, and 2 hours from Tulum, so be prepared for a long day no matter your starting point! The entrance to Chichen Itza is 571 MXN ($29 USD) for adults, and the site is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. Right now, it’s best to book your tickets in advanceas they have a cap on visitors of 3,000 per day.

El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico
El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico

Consider booking an organized tour for those without a rental car or who don’t want the hassle of driving so far. This specific tour from Cancun is what I did, and I booked it because of all the fantastic reviews. The full-day tour departs very early in the morning before dawn; this way, you can make the most of the day while in Chichen Itza.

Visiting the Chichen Itza pyramids is the highlight. However, you also visit two of the cenotes in the Yucatan – Cenote Saamal and Selva Maya. Booking the deluxe tour costs $105 USD but includes breakfast, a buffet lunch, lots of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and your entrance fees ($29 USD).

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