Monday, January 17, 2005.
Guided Tour of RUINAS CHICHEN-ITZA
Our day started off with a wake-up call at 6:00 a.m. as we were being picked up at 7:00 a.m. The bus picked up other guests at different hotels and took us to " Fiesta Plaza" where we exchanged our vouchers ($44.00 U.S. for the tour) for boarding passes and got on the bus at 8:00 a.m.
We stopped around 10:00 a.m. for a rest-stop at "El Maguey" an expensive gift & artisan shop. (1/2 hour). Arrived at Chichen-Itza at 11:30 (so about a 3 hour bus ride)
Juanito, our guide got our tickets and wrist bands ( and a $3.00 licence for our movie camera) for our group and we followed him into the ruins area.
For the first hour Juanito showed us around and explained about Chichen-Itza and finally left us on our own. We were to meet back at the bus at 3:00 p.m. so that gave us about 2 hours.
Hans managed to climb up the "Pyramid" not once but twice. The second time he brought his camera up with him. I chickened out. Too steep for me!
After getting back on the bus we finally went for lunch at 3:00 p.m. Thank goodness I brought some snacks & water with us as we were getting pretty hungry.
At the restaurant we had a lovely lunch (included) and entertainment. Drinks were extra --2 bottles of Sprite -- $5.00 U.S.
The bus driver stopped at a "cenote" for 1/2 hour. A few people went for a swim in the cenote but most of us just stayed on the bus and rested.
We arrived back at our hotel a little after 7:00 p.m. A looooong 12 hour day but soooo worth it.
For more information, see my CHICHEN-ITZA pages.
Rent a car don't take the bus. On our last day in Cancun we rented a car from the hotel and made the trip Chichen Itza. The drive is easy and not far at all. Once there, don't skip the guided tour, it's very informative. On the way back there are many local towns in which one may buy anything from masks to jewelry. And since you'll be driving you can stop anywhere and load the trunk. We timed all this so that once back in Cancun that evening we dropped off the car at the airport and flew out. This way we didn't pay for a cab.
Going to Chichen Itza was the best idea Raj and I had while we were in Cancun. Even though the bus left early in the morning, it was well worth it. Our guide was very knowledgable, speaking at length about the ancient ball court, the platform of skulls and how shadows form snakes on the pyramid of Kulkulkan at certain times of the year.
Our tour also included a fun little dinner on the outskirts of Chichen Itza with dancing and the works. You can buy a tour anywhere on the strip in Cancun and I imagine all the hotels can get onto one.
As is my suggestion with any tour you take, try to get a feel for/meet your guide before you go on the trip. This will be essential. A good way to test them is to ask them how to correctly prounounce Chichen Itza. If it sounds something like they're getting checked at the man-doctor, then you're golden (no pun intended- if there is one).
Pictured is one of the ball courts at Chichen Itza where according to our guide, Mayans "played the most amazing sport in the world, but didn't write down the rules."
Chichen Itza was just incredible! We hired our own private guide (for four of us) and I highly recommend it. Our guide was a Mayan descendant, and very proud of his culture. He gave us a lot of information we would not have gotten otherwise. The pyramids were so much bigger than I expected! They take your breath away.
Long drive by bus, about 4 hours, but periodic stops and rides through villages help. On the way from Cancun, we stopped to swim in a natural "sink hole," stopped in a small village for some food, and stopped at a touristy shop. Once to Chichen Itza, I was amazed. The ancient civilization that was once present blew my mind, Huge pyramids and educational tours.
Stoped in a small town on the outskirts of Merida and stayed in a Hacienda. Very different from the usual hotels etc but very interesting and cozy. Took the local transportation. Cost 10 pesos and very efficient for narrow streets.
Lots of fun and worth a try. Unforgettable adventure...
Chichen Itza, a world reknown Mayan ruins in the Yucatan lowlands is an amazing site worthy of a visit for sure. The main tourist attraction is the main plaza with the Castillo (huge pyramid/Mayan calendar), the ballcourt, and the temple of the 1000 columns. Chichens true beauty, however, lies in the site as a whole, with the Southern area of the complex and the northern cenote (sacred water whole). Oh, as of summer 2001, Chichen viejo was closed indefinitely for renovations (plan on not having access to that area if you're headed there... when will they finish? no one is sure!). Check out my Chichen-Itza page.
What did the Mayans do to stay fit and in shape before 'Tae Bo' and 'The Stairmaster???'
Climb the stairs of CHICHEN ITZA of course!!!
When visiting Cancun, you must take a day trip to visit these fascinating Mayan ruins and discover the wonders of the amazing Mayan culture. The Mayans mapped the heavens and were truly masters of mathematics.
The pyramids at Chichen Itza are living proof of the levels of architectural perfection and variety that the Mayans were able to perform. Chichen Itza is about 2 hours outside of the main city of Cancun, but it is definitely worth making the trip!
Chichén Itzá in the State of Yucatan. More info will come in three months, after I have seen the changes on VT. The most important info I will give already. More pictures (and info) you find on my Chichén Itzá travelogue. You find that in the upper right corner, under my VT passport ;-)
Chichen Itza is a classic example of Mayan architecture.
We took a guided tour to Chichen Itza and I must say that when we finally got there after being shepherded to a local shopping mall with 100's of other tourists and the three hour coach jouney-it was worth it!
Take a tour of Chichen Itza. All hotels can hook you up with tours. Unless you have a car it's the best way to go. Aside from the tour of the ruins, lunch is included at a hotel villa just outside the national park bounderies.
The ruins of Chichén-Itzá are an two hour bus ride away and worth the trip to see.
Bring good shoes with you and some water.
if you are in the Cancun or Mayan Coast area....this is the only MUST SEE. There is plenty of sights worth seeing, but this is THE one:)