• High Priest’s Grave – a smaller version of the “Castillo” served as a tomb for one of the city’s rulers.
  • The Nunnery Complex – Chichen Itza’s royal palace back before the arrival of the Toltecs
  • The Red House
  • House of Deer
  • Temple of the Wall Panels
  • Akab’ Dzib – palace with hieroglyphic inscriptions
  • Xtoloc Cenote
  • Nearby are the Caves of Balankanche, where a large selection of ancient pottery and idols may be seen still in the positions where they were left in Pre-Columbian times.
  • Light & Sound Show – If you visited the ruins during the day, you can return re-enter with the same ticket for the night show, which takes places in the center of the ruins. There’s a light show and a narrative in Spanish (headsets for other languages are available for a small fee ($25 MN pesos in August 2008)). The show lasts around an hour and while it may not be the most exciting, on a nice night it is a pleasant way to relax, watch the stars and see the ruins lit up. They tell a great tale, which is very well done. If you do stay for the show, keep in mind it will be dark, very dark, when you leave the grounds. Have a flashlight and be familiar with how to get back to the main road, signs are almost non-existant. If you can plan to be there at a “full moon”, it will be worth the effort, add to the experience and photographic results. An alternate plan is to arrive in the area in the afternoon, see the Light & Sound Show that evening, the ruins in the morning, and depart the following afternoon – your admission on the first evening grants a discount on the next day, making it about the same price

How to get there

By road – Chichen Itza is on the main highway between the capital city of Mérida and the resort city of Cancun. If you have time and are looking for a more adventurist route, the “libre’ road that runs parallel to the toll highway goes through and by many villages and gives a better feel for the area. If you take the “libre” route, you will need to be more alert for pedestrians and animals on the road, as well as the numerous “speed bumps” you will encounter. If after dark, stick to the toll road. Come by automobile or take the very regular bus service.

ADO bus services from Cancun costs between 117 -180 pesos one way trip and the trip takes three to four hours. You’ll have about 4 hours to spend on the area.


Getting Around

At the site you get around on foot. Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes; consider that you may want to try climbing rough stone stairs in them. Sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat may be good ideas too. There is very little usable shade in the middle hours of the day. Bring a pair of binoculars, star-gazing and birding is incredible in this region. Also, if you want to know more about the Mayan local communities, their cooking, religious rites, calendar system and ancient arts, visit the small towns around Chichen.


Accomodations – There are a handful of hotels by the ruins, along the highway nearby, and in the nearby town of Piste, in a variety of price ranges. The town of Valladolid, 40 km away, is a less-touristed alternate base.

 

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The Kingdom of the Maya  •  Locations & Activities


Cancun

Chichen Itza

Palenque

Uxmal

Tulum Ruins

Tikal

History