Mexico Chichén Itzá El Castillo
Mexico Chichen Itza Plumed Serpent Venus Platform
Cenote ik kil

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this Maya city was at its height in the 10th century, when it commanded a vast area of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula.

Chichén Itzá’s ceremonial, cultural and administrative centre sprawls out over 2.5 square miles, its edifices aligned with celestial bodies. Within this same area, there were sacred sinkholes (cenotes), where sacrifices to the rain god Chaac were made to ensure that life-giving water was always abundant.

A city built in stages from around 600 CE, it was finally abandoned around 1250 CE, but so mighty was its power, and so sacred the sinkholes, that Chichén Itzá continued to be a site of pilgrimage for the Maya for hundreds of years beyond.

Today, a different type of pilgrimage occurs, with almost 1.5 million visitors flocking to the site each year. The excavated structures and the pristine nature of this archaeological site have been part of the allure, as well as its proximity to tourist hubs like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The stories that the city holds, and the displays of Maya astrological and architectural prowess make it a noteworthy stop.

Yes, it is busy, but it is worth braving the crowds to explore this ancient Maya city and learn more about the history, beliefs and enduring cosmology of the people who lived there.

Maya Mexico

An essential guide to visiting Mexico's Maya archeological sites

The Maya world was vast, spanning from southern Mexico all the way to El Salvador and northern Honduras. There are around 70 different Maya archaeological sites open to the public in Mexico alone and likely hundreds if not thousands more un-excavated or still hidden. The earliest Maya settlement, found in Belize, dates back to 2500 BCE, indicating that the Maya civilisation evolved over at least three and half thousand years, developing 30 different languages and various architectural periods and styles...read more

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Chichén Itzá Tours

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Explore Mexico's eastern coast

8 daysFrom $1,605
Destinations North America, Central America
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Archaeology, History

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15 daysFrom $3,870
Destinations North America, Central America
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Archaeology, History

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Explore Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula

7 daysFrom $3,990
Destinations Tulum, Chichén Itzá, Mérida, Uxmal, Cobá
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Activity Luxury, Beach, Adventure, Caving, Active, Walking, Snorkelling, Swimming, Nature & Wildlife, Photography, National Parks, Culture, Archaeology, Cities, Museums & Galleries, Indigenous Tourism, History, Culinary, Food

Chichén Itzá Travel Companies

Intrepid Travel

Small group adventure tours
Destinations North America, Central America, South America
Tour Type Small group tour
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