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  • Chichen Itza
  • Chichen Itza
  • Chichen Itza
  • Chichen Itza
  • Chichen Itza

Why Go

A complex of temples and pyramids built by the Mayans, this site on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is the most famous of the Yucatan Maya sites, and for good reason. Its Temple of Kukulkan (sometimes called "El Castillo") is the star attraction, especially on the spring and fall equinoxes, when the special design of the stairs means shadows of the rising and setting sun makes it look like a snake is slithering up, or down, the building. Come very early on these days because the place gets crazy-crowded.
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Chichen Itza

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  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 7.7
    Adventure Travellers
  • 6.8
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 6.7
    Family Travellers
  • 6.3
    Backpackers

Member Reviews(121)

Pro 2018
Los Angeles

One of the highlights of all of Mexico. You could really spend several days here (most will visit briefly on a group tour), but soak up every moment. The vendors around the area are also great.

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Erie

If you're visiting multiple Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, I recommend saving Chichen Itza for last. If you go there first, the remaining sites will seem underwhelming. Chichen Itza's castillo, the temple of Kukulcan, is so huge, so well-preserved, so steeped with legend, that it can't fail to impress even the most jaded archaeo-tourist. Then there's the observatory, the sacred cenote, the great ball court...all wonderful. If you can't be there during an equinox to see the serpent dance down the side of Kukulcan, check out the nighttime light and sound show, which does a cool job of recreating the phenomenon.

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Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassical period (c. AD 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature.[4] The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.[5]
The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site's stewardship is maintained by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán.[nb 1]
Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.4 million tourists visit the ruins.

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Portales

An amazing archaeological site with amazing people and history. Such a beautiful place

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Pro 2018
Foster City

One of the most famous Mayan Ruins, biggest Pyramid in the Americas. I was lucky that I got to climb it back in 2005 trip.

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Puerto Vallarta

This was an interesting stop... this place is completely over run with people trying to sell you things throughout the entire ruins, it was very strange and a huge contrast to other sites in Latin America.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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You can't miss out on these majestic ruins - Chichen Itza is epic! There is so much to see here - you must come to see for yourself. Pictures or words can't do justice to the beauty and mystique of this place.

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New York State

Lots of history at this attraction. The architecture is amazing and lots ofor areas to explore. We spent half a day there and still had places we haven't explored on site. Definitely a must visit!

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São Paulo

I absolutely loved Chichen Itza. The complexity of the pyramids and how the Mayans built them to create accoustic between the buildings, to make them sound more powerful is amazing. It's definitely worth taking a guide to the site, because he will be able to demonstrate the accoustic tricks on the buildings and to tell all the secrets of the pyramids - spoiler alert: the Mayans were real nerds!
On the same site there is also a Cenote, but you cannot go in, the largest juego de pelota field that we saw and lots and lots of people selling local crafts for reasonable prices, much cheaper than in Cancun.
Make sure to wear a hat and lots of sunscreen.

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Moscow

Great place to feel the History and suddenly figure out the greatness of ancient Maya. Check out Mayan comics at the milk ball arena!

Recommended for:History Buffs
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121 Reviews
2814 people visited Chichen Itza
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Aliases: Chichen-itza