Practical and cultural tips to enjoy the experience to the fullest
Chichén Itzá is an ancient Maya city recognized for hosting one of the New Wonders of the Modern World: Kukulkán Castle. This famous archaeological zone is in the state of Yucatán and keeps incredible stories everybody needs to know. There are 10 things you must know to better prepare your visit to Chichén Itzá.
Traveling fills the heart and leads us to new places where we can learn about their culture, their people, and their customs. Traveling to Chichén Itzá is to discover an old-world within a new world, and sharing that experience is a great satisfaction.
Being prepared to tour it will make your experience complete and more pleasant. That is why I bring you some great tips that answer the questions that you probably already have in mind before visiting this ancient Maya city.
Best time of year to visit Chichén Itzá
Any time of year is good to visit Chichén Itzá. The Maya history is in its archaeological remains and every day has new sunsets… however, the Equinoxes are something worth experiencing.
During March and September 21st, a spectacular astronomical effect occurs in the main Castle. Thanks to the meticulous architects who built it, during the equinoxes, sunlight illuminates the corners of the Castle and you can watch the descent of the Kukulkán serpent. It’s a phenomenon that brings together thousands of travelers to experience it and fill themselves with energy.
Best time to visit Chichén Itzá.
You can enjoy this incredible archaeological zone in two schedules. The first is during the day to enjoy the Yucatán Peninsula warm weather, and the other is for those who prefer to walk under the starry sky while enjoying the light show at night.
If you prefer to visit it during the day, Chichén Itzá opens at 8:00 a.m. so I recommend you arrive at that time or a little earlier to be able to enjoy the archaeological zone for at least two hours more than the tourists who visit on tours. If you chose to go at night, the schedule is Tuesday to Sunday at 8:00 p.m., and you can enjoy Kukulkán Nights with lights and sounds that turn the tour into a spectacular sensory experience.
There are four ways to arrive at this archaeological zone in Yucatán.
You can arrive in your car or rent one. Consider being prepared with enough money for gas and booths.
Another way to get there is in ADO busses. I recommend you see the dates and times of departure and considering that if you are a local, you should not forget your official identification to have access to the discounts.
You can also arrive through a tour, identify all the options that you have at your fingertips, and try to choose the one that provides you the best service.
Finally, and the one that I recommend least is by taxi. It can be useful but the cost, most of the time is very high, considering that you will only get to that place and you will not be able to know the surroundings freely.
Document yourself about Maya Culture.
Chichén Itzá is a historical place where you can appreciate the greatness of the Maya culture in every corner.
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Chichén Itzá is the Kulkukán Castle because it’s one of the New Wonders of the Modern World, but this beautiful ancient city has a lot to tell in each vestige.
Touring the place becomes an interactive expedition in which you will learn a lot. But to get the most out of your visit, I recommend that before you arrive, you prepare yourself by watching documentaries and movies to learn more about the Maya culture and read blogs about the ancient civilization that inhabited it. You will understand everything that your eyes will see during the tour.
If you prefer that an expert on the subject accompanies you during this adventure, then choosing the guided tour is the best option.
Discover the most famous Maya archaeological site with the Chichén Itzá tours.
In all the tours by Xcaret Expeditions, you will travel comfortably on a panoramic bus, along with a certified guide. Each one offers unforgettable experiences; you can have a stop at a beautiful cenote or visit one of the best parks in Cancun and Riviera Maya.
Currently, the tour that is operating is Xichén Clásico, in which a certified guide will accompany you through the most relevant sites in addition to providing you with details about each of them.
There will be time for you to explore on your own, and you can even get closer to the Sacred Cenote.
Discover Chichén Itzá surroundings.
There are fantastic places near Chichén Itzá. The Ik’Kil cenote is close, only 3 km away. Also, less than half an hour away is Valladolid, a town in the state of Yucatán known for being colorful and highlighting Yucatecan gastronomy.
Visiting the Chichén Itzá surroundings will make your experience more complete.
Know the regulations and the safety measures that you must follow within the area is necessary. Here are some answers to the questions you have asked yourself.
- May I climb the pyramids? You cannot climb the pyramids.
- May I consume inside the enclosure? Yes, inside, you will find restaurants, food stalls, and cafeterias where you can consume food. I invite you to be responsible and leave your garbage in its place.
- Is there a place where I can keep my belongings? At the entrance of the archaeological zone, there are lockers where you can store your belongings for free.
- May I bring professional cameras? Non-professional cameras and cell phones can have access for free, but you need to pay a tax for video cameras. Drones are not allowed.
- Are there medical services available? Yes, there is an ambulance and paramedics to assist you in case of any emergency.
Without a doubt, this beautiful Maya city has beautiful places to capture the best photos. You have seen many pictures in front of the Kukulkán Castle maybe because it is the most well-known thanks to its location and how impressive it looks. You have to take yours too!
The trees that surround El Caracol and the extensive green area make it one of the favorites.
Finally, the view of the sacred cenote is another one that I recommend to capture as it is one of the best areas in Chichén Itzá.
Wear a proper outfit.
Consider that Chichén Itzá’s extension is 17 hectares. For this reason, it’s necessary to wear comfortable clothes and shoes because walking through means walking for hours, in addition to being under the high temperatures of the Yucatán sun.
Many times, we choose our outfits according to the photos we want to capture, but believe me when I tell you that wearing comfortable shoes is necessary. Try to wear your favorite sports shoes that match the clothes of your choice.
Do not forget to add a cap or hat and sunglasses. These will be super necessary in order for your outfit to be complete.
As I mentioned earlier, Yucatán weather is very warm and there are a few areas where you can protect yourself from the sun rays, so I recommend you bring your best sunscreen. Remember that, around this ancient city, there are cenotes in which you will surely want to swim. By being responsible in the products we use, we are contributing to their care and conservation. You can also bring an umbrella, and most importantly, enough water.
After these recommendations, I assure you that you will be ready to visit the most important ancient Maya city of Yucatán. Try to follow the options that best suit your way of traveling. Now you can start preparing for your visit!