Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Julien Talks about Chichen Itza
Let me introduce myself. My name is Julian Briceńo Carrillo, I have been working as a tourist guide for 21 years. The languages I speak are Spanish, English, French, Italian and Maya. I taught them myself by studying books and listening to audiotapes. Since I was a kid I had a big interest in the history of my own culture, which is why I studied Mayan history at school and continue to attend courses twice a year to keep myself up-to-date so I can inform my clients accordingly.
To visit the site I recommend you wear tennis shoes or small boots, a big hat (sombrero) or cap. Take sufficient water with you, you will walk some 2.5 or 3 kilometers and it is necessary to keep yourself hydrated the whole time due to the heat. In the rainy season from May to September it is best to carry an umbrella or raincoat. The best season to visit Chichen-Itzaˇ is in the winter, in the early morning hours. The temperature is still agreeable, some 25 degrees Celsius on average, and you also avoid the big groups.
Information about Chichen-Itza.
Chichen Itza is an archaeological site that blossomed between 400 and 1200 A.C., a period in which first the Mayas, and later the Mayas together with the Toltecs developed an impressive knowledge on astronomy, mathematics and architecture, and because of their efforts, Maya culture nowadays is one of the most recognized cultures in the world.
The site encompasses an area of 25 km2. During its heydays some 20.000 people belonged to the city and approximately 500 buildings have been found.
The most important buildings:
Kukulkan Pyramid: It is 30 metres high and 55 m on each side at its base. The 365 days of the solar calendar are represented in the four staircases. Twice a year a beautiful phenomenon can be seen on the ramp of the north side of the pyramid which resembles the body of a snake, symbolizing the important God Kukulkan descending to earth to fertilize the soil. It is a very impressive event!
Ball Court: The biggest fields of all, some 1200 ball courts have been found throughout Mesoamerica, none of which comes close to the size of this court. Every time the game was played, human sacrifice was practiced, that is a ballplayer, -the winner or the loser-, was sacrificed to honor the gods. Two types of sacrifices were carried out: beheading and extraction of the heart.
Temple of the Warriors: This is a good example of the Toltec influence in the Maya region. It is also called Complex of the Thousand Columns because of the huge quantity they found of these columns. They were used to support a roof, which collapsed in time.
Holy well or Cenote: These wells provided for the drinking water and one of them was considered sacred. Inside all kinds of objects were thrown, animals and in the end also small children to calm or thank the God of water or rain called Chaac.
Observatory: The only round observatory in all Mesoamerica is the one found in Chichen-Itzaˇ. In it all the important dates for the prediction of calendars, seasons and so on were calculated. Known also as Caracol, on the inside of the building a spiral stairway has been built to symbolically enter the infinity.
Since 1988 Chichen-Itza has been considered Heritage of Humankind by the United Nations and actually is one of seven wonders of the modern world.
My telephone number at home is: (00 52) 01 985 85 10144
My mobile phone: (00 52) 044 985 102 0593