The Mayan Wonder of Chichen Itza


Days like today are the ones that make you wonder ifthe difference between "New World" and "Old World" It was as it tells us the story. While it is true that Classical Greek settled science and art in a part of the planet, while a Civilization like the Maya was able to develop techniques of urban planning, architecture and even mathematics and astronomy. Today we have reached one of those magical places where the verb "travel" makes sense. We enter "at the mouth of the Itzáes well" ... We enterChichen Itza.

The Prehistoric City of Chichen Itza

It is very early when we set our goal for the day, about 200 km from Cancun. Before, we will stop atValladolid, 50 km from our final destination, which is a tourist colonial city with many attractions.

One of these is the most famous Church located in the main square Francisco Cantón, theSan Gervasio Catholic Church, from the 16th century.

Although the stop was not too long, since we were all looking forward to entering thearchaeological complex of Chichen Itza, which we approached 40 minutes later.

Chichen Itza is one of the most important Mayan cities of the postclassic period that we commented onDAY 1 travel, before the beginning of the Mayan decline. It is a fusion of the Mayan and Toltec cultures, as shown by the multiple representations of the feathered serpent god or Quetzalcoatl and the statues of Chac Mool. We are already inside ...

The first impression we get is that of a magnificent archaeological complex perfectly preserved and maintained. It is noted that UNESCO funds have been raised here, since Chichen Itza isUNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

It is not difficult to imagine, closing your eyes for a moment, the magnitude that you could have as a city many centuries before. The complex can be summed up in something like that ...

The first thing we find as soon as we enter is one of theBall Games at the bottom. And the Mayans were great athletes and the game of the ball was one of their sports. The field was bounded by two large terraces and in the center, a large temple without a vault.

The splendor of Chichen Itza

We walked the path and ... !!!! OHHHHH !!! We would literally have to pinch and rub our eyes to wake up from the dream we don't get when we reach the main symbol of the city, the impressiveKukulkan Castle or Pyramid, with a square base and perfect sides of 55.50 meters.


In 2013 we returned to the Yucatan, this time to Riviera Maya, and we made a very complete and updated diary with all the necessary information to choose your vacations, hotels and / or excursions (among them Chichen Itza). Expand your information in the side menu or directly in

It is one of the most imposing buildings we have ever seen. No wonder there are so many legends behind her.

At the top, after climbing any of its four radial stairs, is the temple itself. There are nine floors built in stages and 91 steps, which separate us from it. Curiously, 91 steps on 4 sides are 364 that together with the upper platform add up to 365 that form a year.

But it is not only fascinating to make that check, the most shocking thing is that it has been proven that in the days of equinox, in March and September, the sun's rays project an undulating snake body that descends towards the base. The Maya were precise mathematicians and astrologers, which was a discovery for the world.

Legend of Sac Nicté (or legend of the fall of Chichen Itza) tells us that the prince of Chichen Itza led a parallel life with the princess of Mayapán. The princess was committed to marriage with the prince of Uxmal, but before the wedding was celebrated, the prince of Chichen Itza who had fallen in love with the princess, abducted her and emigrated with all her people, so that when the people of Uxmal came to claim him, they found the city empty. At least on this occasion it was not religion, but love, which led to the abandonment of a city that had to live glorious times.

Going through the enclosure, we arrive fromMarket (The Market) and severalBall Games, as well as several species of churches and other cameras.

We can also see remains of small temples, the pyramids of the nuns and a multitude of Toelcas and Mayan symbols, as one of the virtues that Chichen Itza has was the combination of pillars and columns of the Toltecs with impressive vaults of Mayan stone. Continuing along the path we see theVenus platform, thePlatform of the Eagles and the Jaguars andTzompantli.

To the North we reach a large natural well of more than 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep, which is nothing other than theCenote of the Sacrifices, being one of the two major water suppliers of Chichen Itza (there are more than 3000 in the entire Yucatan). Also, offerings were made to the god Chaac, lord of the rains. Inside you have found many objects, jade pieces, gems, treasures, skeletons, tissues, ...

One of the highlights of the city is theTemple of the Warriors, a square complex of 40 m side with four overlapping massifs covered with multiple decorations, human and animal, snake-shaped pillars and even the god Chac-Mool. Next door is theThousand Columns Square

It is said that this temple was built on an old building. Now, its temple at the top is divided into two large rooms, which were surely protected by a large vault. The truth is that this Temple of the Warriors is one of the most beautiful temples in the entire complex.

Finally, we could not say goodbye without visiting the impressiveObservatory o Caracol, a unique monument formed by a cylindrical tower with access stairs, which seems a perfect replica of the current astronomical observatory domes. Inside you can see seven very small rectangular holes, with astronomical utility seems to be.

The day is over and the visit has not left us indifferent. The legacy left by the Mayan Civilization to the world is worth visiting once in a lifetime, at least. No wonder they named him Chichén Itzá as one of the7 Wonders of Humanity.

I am still a mystery that could cause the decline and precipitous disappearance of the Maya after so many years of splendor and incredible legacies. Leo and I understand that in this case it was not the Spaniards who would end the bonanza of a culture as it could happen to Aztecs or Incas, since when they arrived the Mayan decline was already at its worst. I read even theories that explain that the Maya could disappear from the world in spacecraft. Maybe the visit in the next few days ofTulum we clarify something else (DAY 14 of the trip) and hopefully one day we can visit other wonders likeTikal (Guatemala), Palenque, Uxmal or Yaxchilan (Mexico) or Copán (Honduras).

Meanwhile, Chichen Itza has opened my mind to understand that there were incredible civilizations and that not only the great Egyptian or European civilizations (Greeks, Romans ...) were able to develop techniques so far unknown. From the Observatory of a privileged place in the world, until tomorrow ...

Isaac & Family, from Cancun (Mexico)