Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour
- Pickup available
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 12 hours
Supposedly the great mythical city in Mesoamerican literature, this Mayan city stands today as one of the most popular archeological sites in Mexico. Read on for more on Chichen Itza history and Chichen Itza facts.
Archeologists believe the main monument, El Castillo, was dedicated to Kukulcan, the Mayan snake god, and was built between the 9th and 12th centuries A.D.
Chichen Itza translates to “at the mouth of the well of the Itza.” The Itza were a sea-warding subset of Mayan people.
It is likely that the city was built in this location on the Yucatan Peninsula because of two large natural “cenote” nearby that would have provided water to the population.
The total number of steps on the pyramid El Castillo, including the temple platform at the top, is 364—the total number of days in the Mayan calendar.
The Mayans were great athletes. Archeologists have found 13 ball courts for their Mesoamerican game; the best preserved and largest lies on this site just northwest of El Castillo.
Nothing is worse than setting out for a big day of exploration and getting hit with a spell of dehydration. Prepare ahead and bring lots of water, it cannot be overstated how hot this place can get. Bring a sturdy set of shoes and a hat or umbrella for sun. Bug spray is a must, especially in the rainy season when mosquitoes are running amok.
If you decide to rent a car, make sure to purchase a map and have a friend in the passenger’s seat navigating on the way to Chichen Itza. Be careful—some of the road is rocky or in disrepair. Be sure to keep your gas tank full, because there aren’t many gas stations along the toll highway. For a day trip from Cancun, the drive will take a little more than two hours.
Stop at Ik Kil to go swimming in this ancient water source, a popular spot open to the public.
They were late picking us up. I sent an email but did not receive an answer. We asked the concierge at the hotel to call and they said there were running late due an accident in the road. When I made my reservation I specifically noted that we were vegans. Breakfast time came and they handed a turkey sandwich. The guide said that he did not receive any specific request regarding the vegan food and that I needed to contact the provider so they could buy us food. After chatting in the van with costumer service and proving proof of my request, we pulled over into a gas station and were able to get apples, peanuts and juice. In Coba, they notified us that we could no longer climb the building. We were ok with that but I’m sure this could be frustrating to many others. The sites in Coba, Chichen Itzka and Ik Kil are amazing and worth the long drive. Our guides Francisco and Adrian did everything to make us happy and fix our food issue. Overall it was a good experience.
This tour was outstanding and our tour guide Ricardo was very knowledgeable and out-going. I had been here before 28 yrs ago and I was not disappointed with everything I learned, visiting the Mayan community and even though I am not a swimmer I was able to enjoy the Cenote with my life jacket. Only draw back was that I didn’t get any time to shop for cheap souvenir at Chichen Itza. But other than that I loved the tour and our tour guide. Highly recommend this.
Ana Lilia was a fantastic guide! So much knowledge and true passion! The driver Claudio was great... got us to and from despite a horrible rain storm and traffic jam! Muchos García por todo! Highly recommend this tour! Plenty of water, rest, history, food, and care. Great for kids or adults. And for god sake... please don’t risk the guides licenses by not wearing a mask! We get it... none of us want to, but their livelihood depends on it!
All in all it was an amazing trip, especially Ruth the tour guide was super funny :-). We were a Spanish and a German speaker so we decided to do the Chichen Itza stop with the English group. The Guide (Andreas I think) didn’t speak English really well and we didn’t understand a lot :/ that’s why we just give 4 instead of 5 stars. But overall and according to the money we spent it was a lovely day :)
This experience was great! It was our first time in Cancun and I definitely recommend doing this activity. Our guide Adan was awesome! I’m so happy we were able to see so many things. Instead of eating first at the restaurant, we decided to go swimming in the cenote and spend an hour there before going to eat which is your option. Truly recommend!