Over a thousand years old yet remarkably well-preserved, the World Heritage-listed Mayan architecture of Chichen Itza draws huge numbers of tourists every year. Once one of the largest Maya cities, the ruins consist of numerous stone buildings, originally linked by a well-planned network of paved streets. The biggest crowds gather at the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, when the sun's rays produce an illusion of a snake climbing up the stairs of the imposing central pyramid. A nightly light-and-sound show recreates the spectacle for those visiting at other times. Use our Chichen Itza day trip planning tool to arrange your visit to Chichen Itza and other attractions in Chichen Itza.
Tours To Chichen Itza
Viator Exclusive: Early Access to Chichen Itza with a Private Archaeologist BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $42
Duration: 10 hours
Chichen Itza Day Trip from Cancun BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $64
Duration: 12 hours
Chichen Itza Reviews
We visited Chichén Itzá during our trip to Mexico during Thanksgiving break. We drove from Mérida taking the toll (Cuota) road (106 pesos one way) and it took us about 1hr and 45 mins to get there... more »
As an example of one of the ancient wonders/ cradles of civilization, Chichen Itza is a must-see on your trip to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen (even closer). However, it’s not for everyone, as you’ll... more »
The Sacred Cenote refers to a noted cenote at the pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site of Chichen Itza, in the northern Yucatán Peninsula . Mexico Impressive location , fantastic time with friends and relatives . Excellent Discovery .
Chichen Itza The Sacred Cenote. The Yucatan Peninsula is a limestone plain and water permeates to the underground forming rivers, streams and pools known as cenotes. Cenotes can be completely covered, have a sinkhole or be completely exposed as is the case with the Sacred Cenote. It resembles a small lake or pond; 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter with steep cliffs to the sides that drop 27 meters (89 feet) to the green waters below. Water to the Yucatan Mayans was very sacred and Chac the Rain God who was believed to live at the bottom of this cenote, was feared and worshipped because he produced drought and the life-force of water. As an entry to the underworld they believed they could speak to their ancestors and the underworld Gods by offering sacrifices at the cenote. They would ask for good rains and harvests, health and fortune. Priests offered rituals at the temples using the sacred water. The large Sacred Cenote was considered very important to the wellbeing of the Mayan people and as part of their religious culture offered sacrifices to the Rain God as a form of Worship. It should be remembered that the name Chichén Itza translates to “At the mouth of the well of the Itza” referring to this cenote. The Sacred Cenote was a place of pilgrimage for the ancient Maya as most of the objects that were offered were not native to the Yucatan and pilgrims must have travelled great distances to offer their precious objects to Chac. When the cenote was dredged they found numerous precious objects including gold, jade, shell, wood, obsidian and wooden objects which were preserved in the water. There were also skeletons of men and children with wounds consistent with sacrifice. Young women were the most common sacrifice presumably because they had power in their beauty. The Sacred Cenote was used exclusively for religious purposes and potable water was take from other cenotes located throughout the city. Note: This is a perfect place to grab a bottle of water or use the restrooms at the kiosk close by.
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