I just love Mayan ruins and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to see one of the most famous…Chichen Itza. I won’t write too much about the ruins, since you can look up the details on any number of websites. I recommend Wikipedia.
Here are my impressions…
Get there early. If you don’t, the place will be completely over-run with people. I recommend hiring a car and driver. We hired AIG and although they set a time to pick us up, we asked if they could pick us up even earlier. Hiring a private guide and driver gives you that kind of flexibility. And, to top it off we convinced them to stop at Starbucks in Cancun. By doing it this way, we were just wrapping up as the large tour buses arrived.
Chichen Itza has a structure with a round ‘room’ at the top (El Caracol). Of all the previous Mayan ruins I visited, this was a first. As if their architectural feats were not large enough already…really?…a round room made by hand without advanced tools. WOW!
Another advantage of hiring a private guide and driver is you might get to see other things. We got to stop by Il Killcenote. We loved it. We also swung through the beautiful town of Valladolid.
That brings me to another suggestion…when traveling in warm climates always be prepared with your swimsuit just in case. I can’t tell you how many times my tours have included a swim somewhere along the way (waterfalls, cenotes, etc). If you forget your swimsuit be creative. I purchased a dress and then just jumped in the cenote in my shorts and sports bra. There was no way I was going to miss it. Besides, you are on vacation…you won’t see these people again…at least not most of them.
What I hated the most was the vendors. For some reason they have opted to let vendors setup inside the ruins at Chichen Itza. This was a first for me (actually Cahal Pech in Belize had one really cute little shop inside the ruins, but that was completely different). They also have at least one gift store inside. For me, it just throws you back to reality. I prefer to get lost in the time of the ruins.
Click here to see the rest of my photos.