"Quetzalcoatl world" Ruinas Chichén-Itzá by smirnofforiginal

Ruinas Chichén-Itzá Travel Guide: 473 reviews and 1,252 photos

Chichen Itza general site info

Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan is the most famous site in the Yucatan Peninsula and probably the most visited too. Day trippers arrive daily from Merida and Cancun between 11am - 3pm. This is the time of day when the sun is also at its hottest. So, to miss the throngs and to explore the site in a more comfortable temperature, I would recommend staying overnight in Chichen Itza and getting to the ruins for 8am when they open.

If you can coincide a trip to Chichen Itza with either the vernal equinox (March 20 & 21) or the autumnal equinox (September 21 & 22), you will be in for a treat! El Castillo is built so that at these times only, a light and shadow show naturally occurs, giving the illusion that a serpent is ascending/descending the side of the staircase of the pyramid. Apparently the illusion is also good the week either side of the equinox. I arrived on September 30th and did not have any joy :(

The visitor facilities are good at Chichen Itza but it is a large site so you will want to carry your own liquids.

Chichen Itza is open every day from 8am - 5pm. The inrerior passageway in El Castillo is only open from 11am - 1pm and again from 4pm - 5pm.

In 1999 admission cost US$5. An extra US$10 if you wanted to use a videocamera and a further US$5 should you be wanting to take your tripod in too. Admission was free to all children under the age of 12 years and to everybody on Sundays. Parking cost a mere US$0.75 (the main entrance is the western one and that has the largest of the two carparks).

a tip toe through time!

Chichen Itza's first settlement was Mayan and during the Late Classic period. Then in the 9th century the entire city was abandoned and nobody knows why.

The city was resettled again in the late 10th century and then invaded by the Totlecs - enter Quetzalcoatl.. and thus you have the Mayan rain god, Chac and Quetzalcoatl, the plumed werpent, throughout the city. It is this fusion of Toltec and Puuc archetectural styles that makes Chichen Itza so unique.

Come the 14th century Chichen Itza was abandoned. It did remain a site of pilrimage for some years

  • Last visit to Ruinas Chichén-Itzá: Dec 1998
  • Intro Updated Oct 12, 2007
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smirnofforiginal

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