Chichen Itza is a large Mayan city ruins found in Yucatán State, Mexico.
Chichen Itza rose to regional prominence around 600 AD, however, it wasn’t until around 900AD that the site became a major regional capital, centralizing and dominating political, sociocultural, economic, and ideological life in the northern Maya lowlands. The ascension of Chichen Itza roughly correlates with the decline and fragmentation of the major centers of the southern Maya lowlands. As Chichen Itza rose to prominence, the cities of Yaxuna (to the south) and Coba (to the east) were suffering decline. Chichen Itza declined as a regional center by 1100 and elite activities ceased, but when the Spanish arrived they found a thriving local population still living there.
Today, most of what you see, in Mexico’s most popular tourist attraction, are the temples built in the city. While most people have seen pictures of the main temple, El Castillo (Temple of Kukulcán), there is a whole complex to explore. My recommendation is to arrive by 8am and expect to spend 2-4 hours. This still gets you off site before the majority of the tourist buses arrive and it gets too hot. The other thing I recommend is to hire a local guide found at entrance. They will provide you will local lore, direction to see the site, and history. The best part is you can get them for around $10-15 per person if you join a small group.
Not only is Chichen Itza a World Heritage Site, it was also voted one of the New 7 Wonders of The World. Trust me when I say it is that cool!
If you want to see more about Chichen Itza, I am putting together a travel video about our second week in Mexico and it will be featured in it. We are calling this episode Mayans & Cenotes because we traveled the entire Yucatan Peninsula checking out as many Mayan ruins and cenotes as we can. It will have lots of info plus be lots of fun as you watch Lily and I interact around Mexico!!!! The video will post on YouTube so you can Subscribe to my channel and hit the bell icon to be notified as soon as it airs.
In the mean time you can click the link to watch the first week in Mexico called Beaches & Islands, which features from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Make sure you FOLLOW me on your preferred social media platform ( Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) so you do not miss one bit of our travels through Lily’s country of Mexico.