Visit Chichen-Itza, Mexico (UNESCO site)
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Chichen Itza, located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, was a sacred site and one of the great centers of the Mayan Empire. The stone monuments and art work left behind by the Maya and Toltec inhabitants of this Yucatan civilization that lasted for over 1,000 years act as a window to their view of the world. Among the masterpieces of construction and Mesoamerican architecture are the Great Ball Court, the Temple of Kulkulkan (a Mayan Pyramid also known as El Castillo) and the Temple of Warriors located at Chichen Itza. The town of Chichen Itza was located close to nearby Cenotes that provided a source of fresh water tapped by the inhabitants. The pre-Hispanic civilizations are believed to have begun to develop in this region as early as the 5th century with evidence of their successors continuing to occupy the ancient town as late as the 16th century when the local inhabitants were overwhelmed by the Spanish Conquest of Yucatan.
The significant collection of ruins, artifacts and infrastructure attracts visitors from all over the world hoping to gain some insight into the lives of the ancient cultures that inhabited this region. Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s most visited archaeological sites and draws many visitors from the nearby tourist destination city of Cancun. Chichen Itza is included in the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The ancient city is located midway between the capital city of Yucatan, Merida and Cancun. There are a number of operators that organize bus tours of the ruins and the nearby countryside. Accommodations are available nearby in the village of Piste as well as in the adjacent town of Valladolid, 40 kilometers away. Cancun with its significant collection of beach oriented resorts is about 160 kilometers from Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza is a 2.5 hour drive from Cancun. There are many tours from Cancun and other cities along the Yucatan. Plan on being at the site for 2-4 hours. Bring confortable walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Chichen Itza is open from 9:00a – 5:00p all year long.
Your dream to visit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the resorts of Cancun can easily accommodate a trip to Chichen Itza to view the historic ruins of the Maya and Toltec cultures. Add this excursion to your list and you will gain a greater understanding of the culture and history of this important part of the world. No doubt, you will return home with memories that will satisfy you for the rest of your life.
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