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Temple of the Jaguars
Temple of Jaguars
Located next to the Ball Court, the temple owes its name to a procession of jaguars carved on the front of the upper structure
Temple of the Warriors in Chichen Itza
Temple of Warriors
One of the most impressive structures at Chichen Itza, may be the only known late classic Maya building sufficiently big enough for really large gatherings
The Caracol in Chichen Itza
The Caracol
Also known as the Observatory, is one of a few round towers found in the Maya region
 

Chichen Itza, a Mayan City that shows the magnificence of a culture filled with art, mysticism and harmony with Mother Nature, lies in the eastern region of the state of Yucatan. It is located 120 km (74 mi) from Merida via federal Highway 180, in direction of Cancun. The climate of this region is hot and dry, with an average temperature of 34°C (93°F).

The city of Chichen Itza was built around the years 435 and 455 A.D. This famous temple city served as the political and economic center of Mayan civilization between the years 600 and 1250. The name of Chichen Itza means At the mouth of the well of the Itza, this derives from the Mayan language: Chi – mouth, Chen – well and Itza – the tribe that inhabited the area.

Serpent's head Chichen Itza is the most visited archaeological site in the Yucatan peninsula, due to its extraordinary beauty and its geographical location. This place, declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, will take you back in time to the pre-Hispanic era as you discover the secrets awaiting you in the most important buildings that can still be seen today. These buildings stand as a demonstration of an extraordinary commitment to architectural space and composition. The magnificence of inheritance left by the Itzaes goes far beyond the Main Esplanade, the Observatory, the Sacred Cenote, the Ball Game, the cenotes and caves.


Chichen Itza map
Chichen Itza Map

Hotels in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza Hotels

Chichen Itza Airport tranfers
Airport Shuttles
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Theres is plenty to do in Chichen Itza
Yucatan dancers performing in Chichen Itza
Serpents sculptures are everywhere in Chichen Itza
The Chaac Mool sculpture in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza: A World Wonder without a doubt
The site covers an area of 15.5 km2 (6 sq mi). It is primarily a combination of Toltec and Mayan breathtaking architecture. The buildings contained in this site were formerly used as temples, palaces, stages, markets, baths and ball courts. The Caracol or the snail is one of the buildings you can find in Chichen Itza, it is called this way because of its round shape and the stone spiral staircase inside and it’s also known as the Observatory due to some astral associations in its architecture. Another important construction at this site is the Juego de Pelota, the largest ball court in Mesoamerica. It measures 168 meters (554 feet) in length and 70 meters (231 feet) in width. The Ball Game was a sport with ritual associations, each team had six field players who would pass the ball using any body part to their captain – the captain that made the first successful shot using a racket was then decapitated as a sacrifice to the gods. This was seen as an honor and guaranteed entrance into heaven.

Chichen Itza’s main feature is the majestic Pyramid of Kukulkan, was recently declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World at the Official Declaration Ceremony on 07.07.2007 in Lisbon, after more than 100 million votes were cast worldwide. The Pyramid of Kukucan, also known as the Castle of the Feathered Serpent was the last, and perhaps the greatest of all Mayan temples. The feathered serpent (Kukulcan) is a popular deity in various Mesoamerican cultures. This stunning building is a four sided pyramid – each side is 60 meters (197 feet) wide. Around 24 meters (79 feet) from the ground, the uppermost part is crowned by a temple. The pyramid combines both theology and astronomy to produce a unique spectacle twice a year, the Spring Equinox and the Autumn Solstice, days when the shadows projected over the architectonic elements of the building resemble a serpent (Kukulkan) descending to the ground.


An impressive phenomenon occurs at the arrival of the equinox in Chichen Itza
The Sacred cenote at Chichen Itza
Light and sound show at Chichen Itza
Breathtaking Chichen Itza holds both magic and mystery
In Chichen Itza’s surrounding areas you will find accessible caves with large caverns, narrow canals and many hidden mysteries. The Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Sinkhole) is a worthy example of the magic surrounding this ancient city. It was the heart of religious activities not only for the city of Chichen Itza but for the entire Mayan region. As part of the cult dedicted to the rain god Chaak, the Maya sacrificed mainly precious objects into the cenote.

At night Chichen Itza offers a wonderful light and sound show that is a truly unique experience to remember, the experience of a lifetime. Sitting in front of the site’s temples you can learn more about Mayan culture while you enjoy the magic of the night. The Night of the Maya narrates the founding and splendor of the ancient city and chronicles the wars that were carried out against other Mayan people. Besides the solar equinox, which occurs during the day, at night another phenomenon can be observed at the Pyramid of Kukulcan during the full moon. This phenomenon is called the lunar equinox in which the visual play of light and shadow shows once again the descent of Kukulcan.

For those looking for an incomparable experience, Chichen Itza is the ideal site not only for those who enjoy archaeology, but also for those who like history and the charm of ancient civilizations. Chichen Itza is one of the most impressive testimonials of the Mayan civilization of Yucatan where magic coexists with its prodigious culture making it an intriguing, glorious and unforgettable destination.



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