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.
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.
My inner geology nerd was geeking out that I was actually swimming in a sinkhole.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m officially back in the US! Mexico was amazing! This church is in some colonial town between Rivera Maya and Chichen Itza. We booked a tour out of our resort and it was phenomenal. If you ever find yourself on Cancun, book a Chichen Itza tour with Cancun Bay Excursions! I cannot say enough good things about the tour!
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.