Mexico

Exploring Chichen Itza

Paying a visit to Chichen Itza was always on my schedule when visiting Mexico. Getting there took about three hours by bus from Cancun, and once there I spend 2-3 hours walking around amongst the ruins and Mayan architecture. For me, around 2 hours was enough, I had time to see everything without stressing and it was about all the time I could handle walking around in the scolding heat.

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History

The name Chichen Itza comes from the city built around the Sacred Cenote, a large pit that was believed to be the entrance to the underworld. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and for three centuries it dominated trade routes and imposed military and commercial power.

In 1988 UNESCO declared the archaeological site of Chichen Itza a cultural heritage of humanity, and since 2007 the Temple of Kukulcan is part of the 7 wonders of the modern world.

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Getting there

There are a couple of different ways to see Chichen Itza, alternative 1 is to simply take a tour. Prices vary and you can find tours from pretty much anywhere, most hotels and hostels have information about it or can help you out, and if not there are plenty of companies that can!

Alternative 2 is to go by yourself, this is what I did and it is very easy, just simply take the bus. I’m not much for taking group tours, so going by myself felt like the better option. If you’re in Cancun, just take the bus to ADO and from there you can buy tickets to and from Chichen Itza. The bus ride takes approximately 3 hours and tickets there and back cost about US$32.

Once you’ve made it there entrance fee is around US$15, there is a restaurant on site (although a bit pricey) if you want to have lunch or you can buy snacks or drinks in shops on site. The area closes at 4 pm and during the day it will get really warm, so a tip is to bring a hat (or buy one outside the entrance).

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