The heart of Mayan empire
Like a teenager I was dreaming to visit one of the most famous Mayan cities, and from 2007, one of the New 7 Wonders - Chichen Itza.
2011 i made my dream come true.
Because of the great love I have for Latin American civilizations, I knew many details about this incredible city and the Mayan civilization itself.
When I first stood in front of the New World Wonder (Pyramid Kukulkan), I forgot everything. The beauty of this building completely overshadowed me. My gaze was concealed. When I finally came to my senses I could observe a huge field in the center dominated by a spectacular pyramid dedicated to the god Kukulkan.
It is known that in their time the Maya were outstanding astrologers. The proof of this is exactly Pyramid Kukulkan, also called Castle (El Castillo).
The pyramid is 24 meters high and divided into 9 levels. Each side of the pyramid has 91 steps that collect with the platform on top 365, one step for each day of the year.
The position of the pyramid is so precise that twice a year: during autumn (September 22) and spring (March 21), the equinox comes to an incredible shadow game. During the sunset, the shadows descend down the stairs, forming the shape of a snake that connects with the stone head of the god Kukulkan, located at the bottom of the stairs. As time passes, an illusion arises that a huge snake descends down the pyramid beyond the surrounding area.
A few years ago, tour guides discovered something incredible. Namely, if you stood in front of the stairs of the pyramid and started tapping, you could hear the echo of your tapping that terribly resembles the buzz of the bird Ketzal (Quetzal).
The only water sources in this fascinating city were the Cenote. There are Spanish records that the Mayans, were using the largest of the two Cenote- (Cenote Sagrado - Holy Cenote) located north of the main pyramid in Chien Itza, for throwing live young girls, like the sacrifice for the rain god. Archaeologists found bones and jewelry as a confirmation of these stories.
The playground with a ball (Juego de Pelota)
Located in Chichen Itza is the longest in America. It is 168m long and 70m wide. During the ritual game, the players tried to hit the rubber ball, weighing 4.5kg and put it through a stone ring that was placed vertically on the wall of this playground. The game was fierce, and there are data, that those who were the winners were sacrificed to the gods. During the game, they were only able to use knees, hips, and elbows.
Another building that attracted my attention was the Observatory (El Observatorio), also known as El Caracol. This building is another proof of the Mayan incredible knowledge of astronomy. The building was built as a dome that has several windows through which it is possible to observe the stars.
Cenote Ik Kil
Most excursions during the visit of Chichen Itza also lead you to one of the most famous Cenote: Ik Kil, located just 3km from the site. During my lifetime in Mexico, I visited a dozen of them and I think this is the only one I can not find words to describe it.
The cenote is surrounded by beautiful vegetation, which is home to various tropical animals of this area. From the surface of the cenotes, you will admire the depth of this incredible place. To get into the part of the water, you will have to descend down the stone staircase that adorns the balconies from which you will be able to admire the beauty of this place. At the end of the stairs, there is a platform that gives you the opportunity to descend into incredibly clean and quite cold water. This place is ideal for visiting after a long walk in the sun.
Swimming in this water will definitely bring you joy. As you swim, you will admire the walls of this natural phenomenon. I was enjoying to float on my back and admire the lilies that hung from the top of the hole - while cold water refreshes my burning skin in the sun.
If you are already renting a car, I recommend that you to leave Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cancun at about 6 am. You should arrive at Chichen Itza around 9 am, which will give you the advantage and you will avoid crowds. At that time, there are still not many tourists and the site is perfect for taking a pictures. Almost all buses with excursions arrive around 10 am or 11 am and you should visit most of it by then.
Entrance is open from 8 am to 5 pm. You will need two tickets for the entrance. One is for the federal government of the Federal State of Yucatan and amounts is 172 pesos, while the other is for the site itself and its 70 pesos.
If you carry professional cameras with you, you will have to pay a special 45 pesos license. There is a possibility that security within the locality will require a certificate of payment of this right for inspection.
There is also a night spectacle, this is a sound and light spectacle. During the winter, it starts at 5 pm and during the summer at 8 pm. The price is about 500 pesos.
Do not forget to bring the sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. The largest part of the site is without shadows.
In the site you will find local people selling souvenirs. Usually, prices are better then in the stores or in the city. Be aware also, if you buy from this people, you will definitely help them directly.