About Chichen Itza
It doesn't take long to realize why this place is one of Mexico's most popular destinations. It was granted World Heritage Status in 1998 by UNESCO and in 2017 was declared one of the 7 wonders of the New World.
Physicists, Astronomers, Architects, and Engineers all marvel at the precision of the construction; how the features and monuments align perfectly with celestial bodies at key dates throughout the year; how the massive building were manufactured without the aid of modern machinery - just human labor and ingenuity.
It is an absolute necessity for any visitor to the Yucatán Peninsula, regardless of why you're there.
Chichen itza was the largest and most important city in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Parts of it date back to 800AD and show that the maya people occupied the city for several hundred years. Despite being long abandoned still stands in remarkable condition. The place boasts pyramids, temples, cenotes, ball courts and observatory and an extensive collection of ancient buildings.
For years researchers have worked to uncover information and history that alludes to the lost culture of the Mayans. Hieroglyphs are slowly and tediously being deciphered, made hard by destruction of this language by the early arriving Spanish. This research has allowed us to glimpse at the dark, fierce and haunting past of Chichen Itza.
Like many ancient cultures, the Mayans who inhabited Chichen Itza, exhibited very different cultural actions and beliefs to the ones we have today. To us, their way of life and rituals seem dark and barbaric, yet this was how they paid respect, interacted with and pleased their Gods.
The most recognizable structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. This glorious step pyramid demonstrates the accuracy and importance of Maya astronomy—and the heavy influence of the Toltecs, who invaded around 1000 and precipitated a merger of the two cultural traditions. The temple has 365 steps—one for each day of the year. Each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, and the top platform makes the 365th.
During the 1400s people abandoned Chichén Itzá to the jungle. Though they left behind amazing works of architecture and art, the city’s inhabitants left no known record of why they abandoned their homes. Scientists speculate that droughts, exhausted soils, and royal quests for conquest and treasure may have contributed to Chichén Itzá's downfall.
Don’t miss your chance to explore these mysterious Mayan ruins, which are some of the best-preserved surviving ruins around.