One of the tours we did in Mexico was a trip to Chichen Itza. We knew we wanted to visit Mayan Ruins and one of the most famous ones near Cancun was Chichen Itza. It is the 2nd most visited archaeological site in Mexico and is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World!
We booked a tour which included pickup from our hotel, lunch, swim in a cenote, and a guided tour of Chichen Itza. The drive to Chichen Itza was long. Over 2 hours one way!
Our first stop was at a cenote. A cenote is a sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestones that exposes groundwater. It was a really warm day and the swim in the cenote was very refreshing and much needed after the long bus ride. See photos below:
After the cenote we went to local restaurant for lunch and had a chance to visit the gift shops. I bought an Obsidian knife as a souvenir. Obsidian is a form of volcanic glass that was used by Mayans. From here we made our way to Chichen Itza.
It was a very hot day, and many places had no shade. I would recommend taking an umbrella. Chichen Itza itself is a large area and can take many days to fully see. However, the major parts of it can be seen within a day.
Some interesting structures within Chichen Itza:
El Castillo (The Kukulkan Pyramid) – This is the structure that shows up in most photos of Chichen Itza. It is a pyramid. There are 91 steps on each side of the pyramid and there is an additional temple platform at the top, if you add it all together it equals 365 (the number of days in our calendar). If you stand in a specific location at the bottom of the pyramid and clap you will hear an echo. I found the Mayan’s knowledge of astrology and sound fascinating.
There is a ball court – The winner or loser lost his head – according to our guide.
A structure called thousands column:
A cenote where it is believed to have had many human sacrifices. No one swims here.
All over Chichen Itza there are many souvenir stalls. These are good places to bargain for your souvenirs. Just do your checks to ensure the quality you are getting is worth it for the price you are paying. Take lots of water with you, and stay dehydrated during the tour.
Overall I found this tour to be worthwhile and enjoyed despite the heat. It is fascinating what the Mayans have achieved with what they had !
For information on Mexico and other tours see post on Mexico : http://www.financegirltoronto.com/2016/05/mexico/
Another Mayan site we visited was Tulum: http://www.financegirltoronto.com/2016/05/tulum/