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Most visited archaeological sites

07 Sep 2022

The archeological zone of Chichen Itzá remains the most visited tourist attraction in Yucatán, according to reports from the Patronato de las Unidades de Servicios Culturales y Turísticos del Estado de Yucatán (Cultur). Reports from the state agency indicate that during July and August Chichen Itza received 469,525 tourists. This got us wondering if, in fact, Chichen Itza was the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, and we found it is! Keep on reading and find out more…

Most visited places in Yucatan 

Cultur reported that during the months of July and August the 17 tourist attractions in the state of Yucatán were visited by 750,000 people, with the most important points being the archaeological sites of Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, and Ek Balam.


Chichen Itza

The report states that, in the month of July, 235, 782 people set foot on the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Then, as the low season began, the number of visitors also lowered a bit. In August, 229,485 people visited, making it an average of 7,754 travelers visiting Chichen Itza in a day (60% nationals and 40% foreign).

Also, the “Kukulkan nights” show, welcomed 4,300 people! Think of all the people from all over the world enjoying a light and sound show under a starry sky. 

Chichen Itza on a cloudy day


Another popular site is Uxmal, in its daily visits added 57,647 tourists, that is, 29,648 in July and 27,999 in August. In addition, 1,367 people enjoyed the night video mapping of the show "Echoes of Uxmal".

Side picture of Uxmal Pyramid

Ek Balam

In third place of most visited archaeological sites in Yucatan, the millenary Mayan city of Ek Balám accommodated 31,545 visitors in July. Later, in August, the numbers dropped significantly to 11,946, adding nearly 50 tourists to this site in the municipality of Valladolid during the two-month period.

Ek Balam archaeological site


Cultur reported that the city of Valladolid recieved close to 18,000 visitors in one month. Still, Valladolid is a very common town to visit when in Yucatan. Its proximity to Chichen Itza, Merida, and other attractions makes it an easy stop for travelers. Some rather stay for a couple of days and move around the towns, others just visit for a day and continue on with their trip.

Valladolid Yucatan town


Another site with high demand this summer was the Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Park, which had 10,730 people on site. Celestun is still a hidden gem for many in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s mostly famous for being home to the regional pink flamingos, and also for its layback vibes.

Celestun town in Yucatan


Another tourist attraction that is increasing its number of visitors is the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún. In the same two-month period, it had 6,600 tourists. Dzibilchaltun was closed for a period of time due to some legal conflict, which clearly affected them. Since reopening in July, the site is seeking to welcome more and more national and international visitors.

Dzibilchaltun ruins in Yucatan

Other touristic attractions in Yucatan

Another site administered by Cultur with a high number of visitors is El Pasaje Picheta, in the Historic Center of Merida with an attendance of close to 60,000 people. In addition to the visitor centers in Halachó and Mocochá, which had close to 7,000 people. And the cruise ship visitor center in Progreso, provided information and services to close to 6,800 travelers.

El pasaje Picheta in Merida Yucatan

Most visited archaeological sites in Mexico

According to a recent study done by Statista in 2021, Chichen Itza is not only the most visited place in Yucatan but the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. Chichen Itza was by far the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, by the number of visitors, with over one hundred thousand visitors in a year. Many give credit to the proximity to other sites and attractions like the city of Merida and Cancun, which are also top tourist sites. (The survey included domestic and international visitors).

Following Chichen Itza was Tulum, and in third place, Teotihuacan. The comparison between Chichen Itza and the other archaeological sites is quite big, as you can see in the following list:

  • Chichen Itza, Yucatan: 1,743.4 thousand
  • Tulum, Quintana Roo: 1.017.9 thousand
  • Teotihuacan, State of Mexico: 919.5 thousand
  • Coba, Quintana Roo: 297.1 thousand
  • Palenque, Chiapas: 286.9 thousand

Soures: Yucatan Ahora; Statista

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