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Chichén Itzá Travel Information

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is considered one of Mexico´s most impressive archaeological sites related to the ancient Mayan culture, recently labeled as one of the World´s New Wonders and previously declared one of UNESCO´s World Heritage Sites. Located 120 kilometers from Mérida, the ancient city of Chichén Itzá bloomed between the years 800 and 1200 A.D. and represented the Mayan and Toltec civilizations religious and military center in the Yucatan peninsula.

The buildings at the site are magnificent examples of these cultures´ architectonic grandeur and offer a profound insight into their knowledge of astronomy.

The visit to this archaeological area offers the opportunity to observe some of its great constructions such as Kukulcán´s Castle or Pyramid, the Ball Court and the Snake, though there are many others that can´t be visited due to their advanced degree of decay.

Chichén Itzá Tours coming soon!

One of Mexico´s most impressive archeological sites related to the ancient Mayan culture


Kukulcán´s Castle

The great pyramid, declared a Wonder of the Modern World, was built in honor of the god Kukulcán and served as an agricultural calendar and ceremonial center for human sacrifices. Every year during the spring equinox, the marvelous shadow play repeats itself creating the image of the feathered serpent over the pyramid´s rocky steps.

The Ball Court

For the Mayans, the ball game was considered a sacred ceremony related to fertility. Two teams would compete along a gigantic course featuring two rings raised three meters above the ground and the ball could only be touched with knees and elbows. The winning team received all the honors and was then sacrificed, while the losing team members would become slaves. This course, 170 meters long and 70 meters wide with walls adorned by impressive bas-reliefs, is by far the largest in Mesoamerica.

The Observatory or Snake

This amazing astronomy observatory reflects the high level of scientific knowledge of the Mayan and Toltec civilizations. It was basically used to observe and document the equinoxes, sunrise and sunset. Its shape is largely similar to that of any modern observatory, built on top of a tower which holds a vault in its interior. The inner steps form a gigantic spiral that earns it the name "The Snake".

The Warrior´s Temple

This temple shows a remarkably Toltec style and was erected over an older temple called Chac Mool. This majestic edification was the place to summon all warriors. It features two rooms and one of them holds the altar and the rock of sacrifices.

The Thousand-Pillar Cluster

This incredible row of decorated pillars runs along the side of the Warrior´s Temple, believed to have supported a roof over long corridors. Its Toltec style is represented by the succession of pillars covered by an organic outer layer which was the symbol of the god Quetzalcoatl.

The Sacred Cenote

The cenotes constitute great water mirrors, generally circular and interconnected. The Great Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá is 20 meters in diameter and was used for sacrifices and offerings to Chac, the god of rain. On one side, there are the ruins of a building where bodies were purified in steam baths before the ceremonies. The sacrifices were normally virgin girls, items of jewelry, animals and flowers to honor the god of rain.

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