We are avid World Wonder searchers, we’ve got a few under our belt – but still a fair few to go. So visiting Mexico, it was impossible to not visit the Chichen Itza. After reading so much about the Mayan civilisation, it was a dream come true to visit.
The Chichen Itza is a 2 hour drive from Tulum, and I highly recommend driving as opposed to getting on a tour with others. If you aim to get there for 9am, you’ll have the ruins to yourself for nearly and hour!
If you can go by yourself, DO NOT buy tickets online. They are inflated in price and it’s straightforward enough to do it yourself.
You have to pay 2 charges; one goes to the local government, the other is the actual admission fee. It comes up to roughly only £20!
Whilst it’s a good to save some money – I do recommend hiring a guide. There are many at the gate of the park and they wear an ID card so you can guarantee they’re official. If/when I do go back I will take the walk around alone and go at my own pace.
Remember to take a water bottle, hat and a waterproof jacket – it’s a lot of walking and there is no shade.
The most popular part of the Chichen Itza is no doubt El Castillo (pictured below)
However the Chichen Itza is much more than El Castillo. There is a cenote (you can’t swim in it), legend and science have it that it was used for disposing of human sacrifices.
Over the years human bones have been found inside. Another fun fact is that visitors were allowed to climb up the steps of the pyramid until a few years ago. It became forbidden after a woman fell to her death (!)
If you are not tired after a long day of exploring the park, I would recommend a stop in Valladolid. It’s a 45 minute drive from the ruins. It’s a quaint and colourful town; there are local jewelleries available to buy and an opportunity to try local food.
Every type of souvenir you could think of is also sold inside the park. Keychains, sculptures, bottle openers etc. As with everything – haggle, haggle, haggle.