“At the mouth of the well of Itza.” Ancient Mayan Ruins
Chichen Itza is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and for good reason. Chosen in 2007, the archeological site boasts over 26 different significant ruins, from the largest pyramid, El Castillo, to the Temple of Warriors and the Mayan Ball Game.
Chichen Itza stood as a hallowed place of ceremony in Mayan culture. Within the ruins lies the Sacred Cenote, where sacrifices were made for centuries.
Know before you go!
Tickets to the park start at $79 USD for self guided exploration. Guided tours are also available at different rates to best fit your budget. The entrance plaza is equipped with ramps, and though the paths within are not paved, the ground is flat, making the site accessible for those with mobility concerns. Tickets are also available up to three days in advance to guarantee your entrance into the park.
While pictures and video are allowed with mobile devices and small cameras, the park does not allow professional-grade cameras or recording equipment without an additional media license arrangement and fee. Park security is extremely serious about this.
Time to explore the park!
The entrance opened to a path covered by an arch of tree branches. Makeshift tables and booths shaded by blankets and towels lined both sides of the path. Vendors called and hollered for tourists’ attention to see their wares and arts. From obsidian and sculpture art to color-changing t-shirts, there is a myriad of different souvenirs to buy and take home for friends and family for cheaper than you will find in the hotel zones.
While vendors do have prices on their wares, many are willing to bargain. These vendors are everywhere, except for in the area of the largest pyramid that sits in a vast field.
Chichen Itza is not only one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, but also one of Mexico’s largest tourists sites, boasting up to 2.1 million visitors each year.
I expected it to be large, but I was blown away at just how massive Chichen Itza stood. Crowds of people gathered in the field below, listening to their guide or trying to get that perfect group picture or selfie to show that they stood at the base of one of the 7 Wonders.
There is a reason these ruins are one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Rich in tradition and history, the giant pyramid stands as a moment of culture’s past.
Despite their age, the ruins still hold onto much of their original designs and details. Tourists from all corners of the world gathered in the field before the main pyramid. Some exploring on their own, some with guides, others just taking the wonders of it all.
I know it looks tempting….
Though you may want to climb the ancient Mayan pyramid the actual structure is roped off and closed to public exploration since a tourist fell to their death in 2006. Any attempt to climb the structure violates federal preservation laws.
Did you know?
The grounds and ruins of Chichen Itza are maintained by the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
While the main pyramid is the park’s focal point, more ruins stretch the property, and winding branched paths take travelers through woods past what is left of a marketplace, smaller pyramids, carvings, and more tent vendors. I could have spent an entire day, if not more, watching the people around me and exploring on my own. Chichen Itza is a bucket list-worthy attraction for any traveler. With so many accessible tours, there is no reason to miss it if you are in the area.
What to take with you?
- Water. (At least one)
Tickets Start @ $79 USD
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.