Visiting Chichén Itzá

It was on my bucket list to see the majestic El Castillo pyramid on the sacred Mayan grounds of Chichén Itzá. So naturally, I was too excited for words when my boyfriend bought us tickets to go explore the ancient ruins! Chichen Itza

We decided to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by embarking on the Chichén Itzá Plus Tour through Apple Vacations. It was an Amstar tour and I couldn’t have been happier with our experience. It cost $103 USD per person. This may be steep for many budgets, which I understand, but we found it to be quite fair as our tour included an English tour guide, beer/sodas/water/juices free of charge on the bus, transportation in an air-conditioned coach bus with a movie on the way back, time spent swimming and exploring the beautiful Ik Kil Cenote, a bus tour of a small Spanish city, a delicious boxed breakfast and an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch with entertainment included.


Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

 El Castillo was simply outstanding. With each side of the pyramid having 91-steps and a temple on the top, when added together, it equals 365-steps to represent the days in each calendar year.

El Castillo

El Castillo

 See the serpents featured on the pyramid, here? During the Spring and Fall equinoxes a triangular shadow is casted upon them to make them look as if they’re crawling down the pyramid.

El Castillo

 Believe it or not, this is a ball court in which the Mayan’s played a game of sacrifice. It’s such a cool experience to be there and something that I found particularly fun is that you can stand and whisper at one end of the ball court, and clearly hear what the other person is saying at the opposite end.

Chichen Itza Ball Court

 Our awesome tour guide, Gilbert, drawing an example of the equinox in the dirt.

Chichen Itza Plus Tour Guide, Gilbert

 Columns in the Temple of a Thousand Warriors.

Chichen Itza

 What you see here is part of the excavation process which was started by archeologists in 2009 to help find out construction processes that existed before El Castillo.

Chichen Itza

After we were done touring the grounds, we received a complimentary all-you-can eat lunch at the Mayaland hotel. My only suggestion? Hydrate before coming in. You only get one free glass of lemonade and all drinks thereafter cost money. They also take drinks at the door, so don’t bother buying one that you won’t finish beforehand. We had a great time and had the chance to try traditional corn tortillas- yum!

Mayaland Hotel

Mayaland Hotel Homemade Tortillas

Mayaland Hotel Tacos

There was also entertainment performed by traditional Mayan’s. This girl (below) was super photogenic and loved showing off her skills. Any one that can dance with a beer and then a TRAY OF BEERS on her head can be a friend of mine.

Mayaland Hotel Dancer

Mayaland Hotel Dancer

Tips for Visiting Chichen Itza

Tips For Visiting Chichén Itzá:

  • Bring sunblock, a hat and even consider an umbrella! I didn’t do the latter and sure wish I had. I was ready to pass out in the hot sun with minimal shade available to me.
  • Drink lots of water! I don’t think the tour guide wants to worry about you keeling over.
  • Tip your guides! Ours were so great and provided awesome customer service. This is a large portion of their income and they’re doing it because they love it, not for the money.
  • Bring a camera. You don’t want to miss out on some of the great photographing opportunities. I got a bit snap-happy among all of the culture and grand architecture!
  • Soak the experience in and listen to what your tour guide has to say. Knowing the history behind the site will make the experience much more rich.
  • Charmian

    Wow, so neat to experience this through you! Thanks!

    • Kayli Schattner

      Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed!!

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  • Stephanie

    So jealous!! I want to go so bad there and explore the mexican culture! :)

    • Kayli Schattner

      It was such an amazing experience- I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you get the chance to visit someday! :) If you ever need more tips or recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask! :)

  • Bianca

    Great tips, especially about bringing an umbrella. We get really crazy and piercing sun back home so its not unusual to see people walking around with an umbrella.

    • Kayli Schattner

      Yes! Bringing an umbrella would have been imperative during this tour.

  • Audrey – That Backpacker

    I’d love to go to Mexico soon! It was a runner-up for a few summer vacations, but I always ended up choosing Cuba instead.

    • Kayli Schattner

      It was such an amazing experience! I’m still not even close to done writing about all of our amazing times. It was a very special vacation- my first out of country! Hopefully the start of many. :) Cuba sounds so interesting!

  • Meg

    my husband and i visited chichen itza during our honeymoon it was an awesome place to visit! definitely hot and humid but worth it then there was a sudden downpour as soon as we got back to our tour bus. perfect timing!

    • Kayli Schattner

      Wow, that is perfect timing! It rained when we were in Mexico- but it was during our last two beach days, boo! And it’s totally hot and humid, but seeing the amazing site is way worth it, at least to me. Did you get to eat the authentic tacos at the hotel next door?

  • Kaylin

    Looks like too much fun.
    The great barrier reef is on my bucket list, perhaps I should start hinting at that to my BF?

    • Kayli Schattner

      Hahaha, yes! Let me know how that works out! If it does- can I come?

  • Denisa

    A little jealous here, such an amazing experience!

    • Kayli Schattner

      Thank you! It was such an amazing experience- I hope you get the chance to visit someday!

  • Debbie K

    Your photos are beautiful. What kind of camera did you use?

    • Kayli Schattner

      Thank you so much, Debbie! This time around I used a Kodak Easy Share Touch.