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Chichén Itzá

Expect pyramids and temples galore as you travel back to Mesoamerican Mexico at this UNESCO-listed Mayan city.

Chichén Itzá: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

1. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

Dive into Mayan culture with this full-day immersion in the incredible archaeological site of Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world. Stop by the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Wander the cobblestone streets, take photos, and find souvenirs. Once at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. After your Chichén Itzá adventure, enjoy a tequila tasting and an authentic Mexican buffet lunch, with the option to include a non-alcoholic drink on the VIP and Deluxe tour options. At this point, the fun is just getting started as no visit to the area would be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people before returning to your starting point.

Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

2. Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

Enjoy one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with a variety of architectural styles. Discover how this large pre-Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization from around 600 to 1200 AD, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. Even today, it is still considered sacred by the Mayan people of the Yucatan peninsula. Like many of the cities of ancient Mexico, the site was abandoned, and its ruins were hidden in the jungle. Experience its rich history and stunning ruins.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

3. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour

4. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

Chichen Itza: Self-Guided Tour with Audio Narration & Map

5. Chichen Itza: Self-Guided Tour with Audio Narration & Map

Take a self-guided walking tour through the iconic archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Use your tour guide app for navigation and audio narration to uncover the site's buried secrets. Begin your tour at the entrance of the site. As you enter, admire the ancient wall that once surrounded this place. Next, see the iconic Temple of Kukulcán. Find out about its construction and how it was built to honor the equinox. Continue along to reach another amazing sight, the Great Ball Court. Here, Mayans once played an intense, elaborate game somewhere between soccer and basketball—but with a 20-pound ball. Learn not just about the game, but also the peculiar way the court was built. Then, pass the ominously titled Wall of Skulls, where the heads of sacrificial victims ended up. Arrive at the Platform of the Eagle and Jaguar Warriors. Find numerous intricate carvings and sculptures depicting the exploits of these highly trained, lethally effective warriors. After this is the Platform of Venus, which once held offerings to the stars. You’ll learn about the Mayans’ complex belief system as well as how they used this platform. Soon, arrive at The White Road, a white stone road that is one of the largest and most intact of its kind in existence. Find yourself at the Sacred Cenote, where ancient Mayans sacrificed people to appease their rain god. Up next is the awe-inspiring Temple of Warriors, a multi-tiered temple with a dark secret hidden inside. Follow the route to the Hall of a Thousand Columns, where people once shared meals together. Visit the Ossuary, home to the grave of a High Priest. Then it’s on to the Observatory to understand how the Mayans viewed the heavens, and what they believed the stars told them about their future. Finally, arrive at the imposing Nunnery and the Church. These 2 ancient structures are some of the most frequently photographed spots in the entire city, so keep your camera ready.

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

6. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

Experience the mysticism of the historic city of Chichen Itzá with a visit to its archaeological site, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Take a detour during your trip to Yucatán and join an excursion from Mérida to learn about history, swim in a sacred cenote, and taste authentic food. Head directly to Chichén Itzá on a bus ride from Mérida. Make the most of your travel time by hearing about the Mayan civilization and its history from your expert guide. Reach Chichén Itzá while it's still early before the crowds arrive and the heat sets in. Admire the perfection of El Castillo, recognized as the masterpiece of the complex. Visit the old field where the pre-Hispanic ball game was played, the Mayan astronomical observatory known as El Caracol, and the Temple of the Warriors. Take some time to explore at your own pace. Up next, taste a delicious Mexican buffet lunch with vegetarian options and recharge energies before heading to your next stop. Discover a beautiful cenote, a natural freshwater pool, where you can swim in its cool waters, sacred to the Mayans. Hop back on the bus and return safely to Mérida.

From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

7. From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

In this tour, your guide will give you an in-depth tour of Chichen Itza. Listen as they provide background information to help you better understand the history of this place. End the tour with lunch at a local restaurant. Beat the crowds and the heat by arriving early in the morning at the Chichen Itza Archeological Site. Be the first to enter this Wonder of the World and take amazing pictures with the place almost completely to yourself. Learn how this large city played an important role in Mayan civilization from around 600 AD to 1200 AD and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. The site was abandoned and its ruins were eventually hidden by the jungle. In between the tour, enjoy a typical Mexican buffet lunch at a local family-run restaurant. Swimming at the Saamal Cenote (entry included) and a visit to Valladolid are also on the itinerary.

Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

8. Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

Journey to the sacred archeological sites of Cobá and Chichén Itzá on this action-packed trip through the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. Leave bright and early from your ideal starting point in Riviera Maya, and beat the crowds to truly take in the majesty of each landmark. Head to Cobá first, whose ruins date back to 100-300 B.C. Learn about the significance of the 5 nearby lakes, and appreciate the striking architecture of the vast stone structures. Trek to the top of Nohoch Mul to be rewarded with beautiful jungle views. Venture deeper into the jungle to relax at the mystical Cenote Saamal, the perfect place for a swim and some dazzling photos. Savor a delicious buffet lunch during your adventure. Save the best for last by visiting Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Feel lost in time in the lovingly-kept pyramids, and discover the genius of the city’s unique structures. Take time to rest and reminisce on your drive back home.

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kil Day Tour

9. Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kil Day Tour

Explore the ruins at Chichen Itza on a guided tour from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Choose between a private or small-group tour and beat the crowds and the heat with early morning access. Learn about the history of Mexico with insightful commentary on one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Start your adventure with an early pick-up from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Beat the crowds and the heat as you arrive at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide around the once-bustling complex, learning about the rich history, religion, culture, and daily life of the Maya. Wander around the Mexican pyramids, gaze at the spectacular stone carvings, and take photos by the glorious steps of the ruins. Board an air-conditioned vehicle and leave right before the morning gets too warm and the crowds increase. Head to the charming town of Piste for a quick look around before making your way to Cenote Ik Kil. Marvel at its stunning views, take photos of the turquoise waters and lush vegetation, and maybe squeeze in a quick dip before going for lunch. After filling your belly with some local food, board the vehicle once more and make your way back to Cancun and Riviera Maya with nothing but knowledge and memories to remember your adventure by.

From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

10. From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

Start your journey by getting picked up in Tulum. Discover Chichen Itza, a spectacular archaeological site and a must-see for those interested in history and culture.  See renowned structures with your guide such as the Pyramid of Kukulkan and the Great Ball Court. Get a glimpse of the achievements of the Mayan civilization.  After Chichen Itza, head to Valladolid, a city where past and present come together. Be amazed by the colorful architecture and the local food culture.  Have lunch in the courtyard of a restored colonial mansion and wander the square and nearby streets. Take photos and enjoy shopping as you get a taste of the slow-paced Mexican life. To finish the day, go to a local community-run cenote, the perfect spot to get away from the crowds and cool down in the refreshing blue waters.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chichén Itzá

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What people are saying about Chichén Itzá

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,359 reviews

We had an amazing time on our excursion!! David was a 10 out of 10 tour guide: engaging, informative, funny and helpful. Along with Juan they made a great team. We had an early start at 5:45am pick up, time for a quick nap and then a little talk about the day and Mayans. We then stopped for early lunch before heading to Chi Chen Itza, after 2h at Chi Chen Itza we went to nearby cenote for a refreshing dip. If you don't purchase all inclusive ticket the entry to Chi Chen Itza is $31 per person, if you don't bring a mask it's $1 per person, it is also mandatory to hire a life jacket (I can't remember how much it was), so basically what I'm saying is bring extra cash for any unexpected expanses and tips!

We are so glad we continued looking for a guide that would take us on an evening visit to Chichen Itza! Axel was amazing, flexible when the weather wasn't perfect, and knowledgeable about the culture and history of the region. Highly recommend Jaguar Journey and will definitely book another adventure with them when we visit the region again.

Very enjoyable trip as long as you come prepared. Bring snacks because “lunch” is around 3:00.. The cenote was beautiful and refreshing after the 2 plus hour tour at Chichén Itzá. The guides were amazing and very informative with extensive cultural knowledge. We might come back again with our teenagers next time.

Frank and Rodrigo did a very good job. Rodrigo in Chichen Itza told us a lot of facts about the pyramid which were quite fascinating and educative.

Very good tour. Pick up could be more centralize to avoid the bus having to stop many times before getting on the road