Chichen Itza is an ancient Mayan city located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and attracts millions of visitors each year. If you're planning a trip to Chichen Itza, there are some important facts you should know before you go. In this article, we'll explore some of the most important Chichen Itza facts you need to know before traveling.
Chichen Itza was founded in the 6th century and was one of the most important Mayan cities. The city was abandoned in the 15th century and was rediscovered in the 19th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Chichen Itza is home to many impressive buildings, but the most famous are El Castillo, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Great Ball Court. El Castillo is the most recognizable building and is also known as the Temple of Kukulkan. It was built in the 10th century and was used as a temple to worship the god Kukulkan.
El Castillo is a masterpiece of Mayan architecture. It was built with four staircases, each with 91 steps, and one additional step leading to the temple at the top, making a total of 365 steps. The number 365 is significant because it represents the number of days in a year. During the spring and autumn equinoxes, the sunlight creates a shadow that resembles a serpent crawling down the staircase, which is a testament to the incredible engineering and astronomical knowledge of the Mayans.
The Great Ball Court is the largest ball court in Mesoamerica and is another impressive structure at Chichen Itza. It measures 168 meters long and 70 meters wide and has walls that stand 12 meters high. The ball court was used to play a game called pok-a-tok, which was played by two teams trying to get a rubber ball through a hoop without using their hands.
Cenote Sagrado is a natural sinkhole that was considered sacred by the Mayans. It is located near the Temple of the Warriors and was used for religious ceremonies and sacrifices. Today, visitors can swim in the cenote and explore its crystal clear waters.
The best time to visit Chichen Itza is during the spring or autumn equinoxes. During these times, the sunlight creates the shadow of a serpent on El Castillo's staircase, which is a sight to behold. However, it is also the busiest time of the year, so be prepared for crowds. If you want to avoid crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Chichen Itza is located about 120 kilometers from Cancun and is easily accessible by car, bus, or tour. If you're driving, take the Cancun-Merida highway and look for signs for Chichen Itza. If you're taking a bus or a tour, make sure to book in advance to avoid any issues.
Check out: How to choose a tour to Chichen Itza
In conclusion, Chichen Itza is a fascinating place to visit, and these Chichen Itza facts will help you prepare for your trip. Make sure to take your time and explore everything this incredible city has to offer. You won't regret it!