Chichen Itza, Cenotes, and Colonial Mexico

chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, or Chicken Pizza as a guy on the tour called it, is the ruins of an ancient Mayan city. I personally think it is a must see location for anyone that travels to Cancun and the Yucatan Penninsula.

The day started way too early for a vacation. The bus left the resort at 7:00 am and we didn’t want to be late. But we were running through the resort anyway because we were late. Thankfully the trolley’s were just starting to run and we were able to catch a ride. Then, the bus was a bit late.

Finally on our way, driving farther from the coast and heading deeper into the jungle, I wanted to stop at all villages on the way to our first stop. The first stop turned out to be a total tourist trap. The stand sold necklaces with your name spelled in Mayan. It was pretty cool, but I already have a necklace that I wear every day.

The stairs leading down to the water
The stairs leading down to the water

Behind that area was another stand that sold other trinkets and tourist stuff. After they thought we had enough time to look at and purchase souvenirs we were invited to change into our swimwear, pick up a life jacket, get our photo taken, and head down into the cenote.

The water in the cenote was so blue!
The water in the cenote was so blue!

My inner geology nerd was geeking out that I was actually swimming in a sinkhole.

Floating in the cenote
Floating in the cenote

When we got back on the bus, the tour guide pulled out a bottle of green alcohol and offered everyone a shot. Of course, we took it. Then, they passed around bottles with our picture taped on it for sale. It was way over priced and super delicious so we bought some.

We were warned to ignore the vendors set up along the path. We followed our guide up to the main structure. He told us about the history. One of the most interesting things he told us is the reason the stone on the back side of the monument are missing. Before archeologists dug the area out and removed the jungle growth, a local resident found the pile of rocks and used them to build his home. Naturally, he refused to return the stones.

There were two male peacocks at the cenote stop, they both puffed up and went after eachother
There were two male peacocks at the cenote stop, they both puffed up and went after eachother

Have you ever seen the movie, El Dorado? It’s a kids cartoon movie with Spanish explorers looking for the city of gold. One of the games they played was to hip-check the ball through the hoop at the top of a really tall wall. The site of Chichen Itza has one of these hip check ball game courts. The craziest part of the game was that the winner would be killed. of course, they didn’t tell you that in the kid’s movie.

chichen itza

The next interesting area of Chichen Itza was the sacrificial cenote. The cenote was at the end of the path on the left side of the main monument. It had a very large opening in the top, but we couldn’t get close enough to look down it, but it was interesting to see. And maybe a little creepy.

The whole area was so interesting, I could have spent a whole day there exploring every crack and crevice of the site. Unfortunately, the tour guide was on a schedule and we were called back to the bus way too soon.

the back side of the monument with the missing stones
the back side of the monument with the missing stones

On the way back to the resort, we stopped briefly a the center of a colonial town. We had enough time to use the bathroom and get Mexican crepes with Nutella and bananas. Again, I wish I could have had the whole day to explore the town. I also wish I could have gone in the church. It was so beautiful.

At the end of the long 12 hour day, the tour was worth every penny. I would highly recommend going on a Chichen Itza tour the next time you find yourself in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Classic tourist photo of Chichen Itza
Classic tourist photo of Chichen Itza

Have you ever been to Chichen Itza?

2 Comments

  1. Beautiful photos! I believe I’ve been to Chichen Itza when I was a lot younger, so sadly I don’t remember most of it. This post definitely made me want to visit!

    -Hannah (hannahtravels13.blogspot.com)

    • Thank you! Hopefully, your parents have pictures of you there when you were younger 🙂 Chichen Itza is definitely one of the must-do places. I think it’s amazing to walk around the ruins of a civilization from so many years ago. I hope you get the chance to go again!

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