Chichen Itza is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, and with good reason. Although it's located just three short hours from Cancun, Chichen Itza is an entire world away. Nothing can describe the sheer majesty of this incredible ancient city.
Spend the day with an experienced tour guide who will walk you through the fascinating history of one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries in the world.
You will feel like you're traveling through history as you marvel at the breathtaking Kukulkan Pyramid, test the magical acoustics of the largest ball court in the Americas and walk down the same paths as Mayan priests did ages ago.
Before you embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, remember to buy
travel medical insurance or
that will lower your expenses if an unexpected emergency was to happen.
Top Tourist Destinations in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is known for its fascinating and diverse architecture highlighting many aspects of Mayan culture. Getting to know this site is a walk through the history of one of the most brilliant civilizations that has ever existed.
Here are a few must-see attractions at Chichen Itza:
Temple of Kukulkan
The temple of Kukulkan, also known as "El Castillo" (the castle in Spanish), lies at the center of Chichen Itza. Kukulkan was the name of the serpent god.
The temple is the manifest of the vast knowledge that Mayans had about math, geometry, acoustics and most of all, astronomy.
An astronomical phenomenon occurs at sunset in the equinoxes of spring and autumn, in which you can see a shadow coming down the stairs to the head of the feathered serpent.
Try to plan your visit to coincide with the equinoxes in March or September.
The Great Ball Court
Chichen Itza is home to the biggest ball court in the Americas. The Mayans played a game called Pok-a-Tok, a ballgame where players had to pass the ball through the large rings placed on either side of the field. However, the ball could not be touched with their hands and feet, so the players used other parts of their bodies such as their shoulders, hips, knees and elbows.
Some believe that the defeated team was sacrificed. Fun fact: a whisper from one end of the court can be heard all the way at the other end.
The Temple of the Warriors/Plaza of the Thousand Columns
The Temple of the Warriors is another highlight of this archaeological site. This ruin is surrounded by the Plaza of the Thousand Columns depicting warriors.
A large staircase leads to the top where there are more columns and a statue of Chac Mool, God of Rain. Historians claim that this was where the beating hearts of sacrificial victims were displayed for crowds.
Platform of the Skulls
A common practice in the Mayan region was to exhibit heads on a tzompantli, or skull rack. The Platform of the Skulls at Chichen Itza was used to display the heads of sacrificial victims or enemies that had died in battles. It is one of the most well-preserved examples of the practice.
Mayans did not have any instruments to help them observe the celestial sky. El Caracol, or the observatory, is a place where the Mayans used to make astronomical observations. The name El Caracol, which means snail in Spanish, refers to a spiral staircase located inside the tower.
The Sacred Cenote
At the peak of Chichen Itza, the Sacred Cenote was the core of religious activities in the city. This was the door to the underworld where Mayans offered live sacrifices and valuable objects to receive favor from the natural forces they worshipped.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is one of the most sought-after destinations in Mexico and receives more than a million tourists each year. Due to its enormous architecture and great historical importance, it is one of the most incredible archaeological sites in the world. Here are a few handy tips to help you enjoy your trip to Chichen Itza.
Get There Early
Chichen Itza occupies four square miles, so it's a lot of ground to cover. Make sure you budget at least two or three hours to see all the sights. Getting there early will ensure you have time to see more sites and take memorable photos before buses of tourists arrive.
The site opens as early as 8 AM, so you can either arrive a day prior or go early in the morning. You can book your tickets in advance. You can also opt to arrive late in the afternoon as the tour groups leave. However, don't get there too late. You'll want to have enough time to see all of these breathtaking ruins.
Chichen Itza involves a lot of walking in the hot sun. The best time to visit is between November and March.
Wear comfortable shoes, apply sunscreen and carry an umbrella or hat to beat the heat. Save yourself from dehydration and carry plenty of water.
Bring food if you like, although there are restaurants present. As with all sites that receive a lot of visitors , you need to be alert, keep your belongings safe and follow the rules.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Chichen Itza – FAQs
A trip to Chichen Itza will surely involve a lot of walking and climbing. A slip or fall could very well land you in the hospital, as could too much exposure to the heat and sun. While Mexico has excellent private medical facilities, they can be costly. Therefore, it's important to purchase travel medical insurance to protect your finances from large out-of-pocket expenses.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Chichen Itza?
Chichen Itza is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. However, accidents can happen, and you need to make sure you're prepared for them. If you need medical treatment during your Chichen Itza trip, travel medical insurance can cover treatment costs. This way you can relax and enjoy your vacation with less worry about unexpected expenses.
What should I look for in my Chichen Itza travel medical insurance?
Based on your needs, compare coverage levels to find the right travel medical insurance for you. Buy travel medical insurance to minimize your financial risk when visiting Chichen Itza.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Chichen Itza – FAQs
When you've planned your getaway for months in advance, you've likely invested a lot of money in prepaid, nonrefundable expenses for things like hotels and airline tickets. But what happens if you're suddenly unable to travel? Perhaps an illness strikes, or a tropical storm makes travel impossible. With trip cancellation insurance, you can be covered for those expenses if your trip has to be canceled for a covered reason.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Chichen Itza trip?
You can control a lot of aspects of your vacation: the places you stay, the airline you use, etc. However, certain things like unexpected health issues, family emergencies and changes in the weather are beyond your control. Trip cancellation insurance is for when things don't go as planned. If an unforeseen event requires you to cancel your trip, you'll be glad you aren't stuck paying for nonrefundable bookings with no recourse.
What can be covered with trip cancellation insurance for Chichen Itza?
Your Chichen Itza travel insurance coverage goes beyond just trip cancellation. Travel insurance plans can offer benefits including:
Unexpected delays and cancellations can cause a big headache when you travel. Don't let their financial implications impact your wallet. Purchase travel insurance so you're prepared.
Before You Go to Chichen Itza - Do This
- Book your tickets to Chichen Itza in advance to avoid the long lines.
- Carry enough cash, as credit card machines may not work or be available.
- Explore safely, and remember to buy
travel medical insurance or