Sabtu, 09 Januari 2016

One Day Trip to Chichen Itza, Mexico

Your trip to Cancun is incomplete without visiting the majestic ancient ruined of Chichen Itza. Situated 3 hours away from Cancun, there are plenty travel agent offering one day trip to visit this place. The official price is around $100, but somehow the travel agent in my hotel offered me for $49, and by a little bit bargaining, I booked it for $45, already included the bus, tour guide, visiting Maya Village, Lunch, swimming in Cenote Hubiku, entrance fee for Chichen Itza + guide, and city tour in Valladolid. If you want to go there by yourself, there is ADO Bus from downtown terminal to Chichen Itza cost for $30 return.

Visiting Cenote Hubiko on the way to Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is the largest of the archaeological cities of Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula and second most visited archeological site in Mexico, after Teotihuacan. It was granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO on 1988 then recently selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the world on 2007. Opened daily from 9-5, the iconic structure in Chichen Itza complex is El Castillo or the temple of Kukulkan.

El Castillo or the temple of Kukulkan
El Castillo or the temple of Kukulkan
The pyramid was not only used for religious or ceremonial event, but also it was an astronomical site, which played huge part on Mayan Astronomy. The temple has 91 steps on each sides and 1 on top platform, total of 365 steps to represent 365 days a year, one step for each day. By having this knowledge, the Mayans could determine when would be the dry and wet season accurately so they knew the best time for farming.

Also twice a year, on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow falls on the pyramid in the shape of serpent during sunset, inviting 10,000 – 20,000 tourists around the world witnessing this phenomena.

Another thing is, if you clap your hands at its base it echoes back an almost mechanical chirping sound that is very similar to the nearly extinct Quetzl bird that is sacred for the Mayans, just showcase the engineering advanced of the building. If the correct hand clapping technique used, you could hear the echoes of “Kukulkan”, this is where the temple gets its name.

I would highly suggest you to visit this place early in the morning, out of the hot sun, before the place packed by tourists, if you go by your own without a tour. If you come here on a day tour, don’t forget to bring plenty of water, wear sun block 110 SPF, and use umbrella since the site is super hot and dry, even in late afternoon. At last, best time visited this place are during spring and autumn equinoxes (March 20th and Sept 22nd) when you can see the incredible shadow serpent of El Castillo. Also don't forget to pay a visit to an old town of Valladolid, just few miles away from Chichen Itza. 

Short visit to old town of Valladolid nearby Chichen Itza
Church in Valladolid


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