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How to get to Chichen itza

02 Feb 2023

Want to know how to get to Chichen Itza? People from all over the globe vacation in nearby destinations, and dream of setting foot on this incredible Mayan legacy. There are many ways to get to Chichen Itza Wonder of the World: by car, bus, or on a tour; from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Merida, or Valladolid. So if you ever come to Mexico, and stay anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, wouldn’t you want to visit Chichen Itza? Here we’ll tell you how.

There’s no better way to get to Chichen Itza, each way suits different needs and styles of travel, so feel free to try any, and keep researching until you find what you’re looking for, hopefully, you will find it all here.

Cancun Merida highway
 © Lucy Nieto 2014

Where is Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza is not only the most famous Mayan Ruins in Mexico, but also a World Heritage, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This adds up to the fact that every year, millions of people drive through the Yucatan Peninsula to get to this iconic site. But first things first, before setting off on the trip, find where Chichen Itza is on the map. 

And even if you take the bus, we encourage you to visually trace a route from your destination and locate nearby cities. 

Airport to Chichen Itza

One of the most common questions is which is the closest airport to Chichén Itzá. By proximity, Merida International Airport is the closest, located 135 km away. To get to Chichen Itza from Mérida you can take public transportation, rent a car, or a private tour.

Another popular option is Chichen Itza from Cancun International Airport. If you are staying in Cancun or want to get to Chichen Itza directly after your flight, it is a 210 km drive, approximately 4 hours. 

Chichen Itza by car

Cancun-Merida Highway toll

Renting a car is, for many, the most comfortable and flexible way to get to Chichen Itza. And if you decide to drive, regardless of which side you arrive from, you will have to go through the 180 Mérida-Cancún highway to get to Chichén Itzá. 

Highway 180 is one of the most touristy roads in Mexico. Even so, there is not much traffic, except in specific stretches and at certain times. It’s a very “friendly” highway, meaning it is easy to drive in, it’s almost a straight continuous line until you reach Pisté.

To give you an idea, here are the distances and approximate travel times by car to get to Chichen Itza from the main tourist spots in the Yucatan Peninsula:

  • Cancun: 223 kilometers (138.5 mi), 4 hours drive
  • Playa del Carmen: 185 kilometers (115 mi), 3 hours drive
  • Tulum: 150 kilometers (93.2 mi), 2 hours drive
  • Cobá: 105 kilometers (65.2 mi), one hour and a half drive
  • Valladolid: 40 kilometers (24.8 mi), 45 minutes drive
  • Izamal: 73 kilometers (45.3 mi), one hour drive
  • Merida: 120 kilometers (745 mi), one hour and a half drive

Parking at Chichen Itza

The parking lot at Chichén Itzá can be found right before entering the archaeological site. Parking at Chichén Itzá has a fixed price of $80.00 MXN. As always, we recommend that you carry Mexican pesos in cash.

Do know that, even early in the morning, long lines can form and, in general, traffic gets quite congested when it is time to enter the parking lot.

Chichen Itza by bus

It can be an interesting option to save money if you are traveling on a budget, but keep in mind that they give very little flexibility in every way. Likewise, if you plan to make the trip to Chichén Itzá by public transportation, especially in high season, it is best to get your bus tickets as soon as possible. As you can see, they are infrequent. We recommend you check dates, routes, and updated prices on the ADO bus website or at any bus terminal. 

You can also take the colectivo, which is cheaper, but it will take a little longer because it stops depending on the number of people getting on and off. If you intend to go by colectivo and be there at Chichén Itzá at a specific time, be sure to take it in advance.

Private Transportation to Chichen Itza

Private Transportation to Chichen Itza

One great way to get to Chichen Itza from Cancun is by booking a private transfer. This is basically a private tour of Chichen Itza, you set up the time and pick-up location, and how much time you spend at the archaeological site. You can even explore a little further and visit a cenote or a town nearby.

Tour to Chichen Itza

A tour is probably the most popular way to get to Chichen Itza if you don't want the deal with all the trouble of driving in a different country or just want to enjoy the perks that come with an organized tour to Chichen Itza. A Chichen Itza Tour gives you a specific schedule and list of activities throughout the day so you won't have to worry about anything.

If you want to know more and see each route on a map, check out Chichen Itza Location on our site.




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