Chichen Itza in Mexico is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. In 2015 I got the chance to visit this amazing sight. Chichen Itza was one of the most important cities of the Maya’s civilization. The sight is beautiful, with the famous ‘el Castillo’ dominating in the centre. In this blog I will take you along how I experienced the whole day trip.
How did we get there?
Easiest way is to go with a guided tour. It is doable to reach there by car aswell, but I can recommend going on a tour. The tour will include the visiting of a Cenote and the city of Valladolid. There are busses leaving from popular bath places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Just go to any of the tourist stands in the city you are visiting. We went from Playa del Carmen and just negotiated a bit at differend stands (we got a price of USD $ 85,- per person). The bus ride can be a hell though. It is a 4 hour trip and there will be a guy trying to sell you Maya calenders on the bus. Do not buy them! Wait till you arrive at Chichen Itza itself.
First stop, Cenote
Our first stop was at the famous Cenote Ik kil. Cenotes are underground water holes or pits. The Yucatan region has over 3.000 cenotes. The Cenote Ik kil is 3 kilometers away from Chichen Itza, so a popular spot to visit. If you go by car, be sure to be there before 13:00 o ‘clock to beat the tourist busses. Sadly, we were not with a car so we had to do the tourist thing.
The Cenote Ik kil is really cool. The inside makes you feel like you are landed in an episode of the Jungle Book, thanks to the vines coming 26 meters down into the hole. The Cenote Ik kil does not have a rooftop. The carved out stairway brings you all the way down to the water. Here you can dive from a bit higher platform, really recommend you to experience this! The water is heavier than you are used to, and because of the pressure it takes some more effort to swim up. In the water you will be surrounded by some black catfishes who swim there. Oh and, the water is really cold! Rest assured, there are free showers at the sight.
After visiting the Cenote we had an all-you-can-eat buffet of 45 minutes feasting. During the diner there was a dance show of two ladies playing around with ribbons, holding bottles on their head and a guy wearing a cow mask. It was really bad.. :).
Second stop: Chichen Itza
After food we finally arrived to the main purpose of this trip: Chichen Itza. You can wait for your group to be divided in English and Spanish speaking groups assigned to a guide, or just get your ticket and beat the storm of tourists who want to take pictures to take some good ones yourself. We of course did the last one :). Straight go to El Castillo, the showpiece of the sight. El Castillo stands tall in the middle of all the ruins and is beautiful to take pictures of!
But Chichen Itza has a lot more to offer. There are different ruins throughout the sight. There are also a lot of stands with locals trying to sell you Maya calenders (told you not to buy them on the bus!) and other memoribilia for really cheap prices! And, always negotiate!
After 2,5 hours walking around the ruins we got back to the bus.
Last stop: Valladolid
Valladolid is build on a former Maya city. In the 19th century Valladolid was the in the centre of a civil war, but the beautiful square with a big cathedral in the background survived the violence. All the buildings surrounding the square are in different colors, making it a picture perfect spot.
Have you ever swum in a cenote, screamed for an echo in Chichen Itza or visited the city of Valladolid? Please let me know how you liked it! 🙂