Chichen Itza Video Vlog!

Chichen Itza is one of the “new” seven Wonders of the World, which were designated in 2007 by votes from more than 100 million people.  Along with the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, the Roman Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and finally, Petra in Jordan ~  Chichen Itza is considered one of the new Wonders for its demonstration of the genius of ancient Mayan civilization.  No picture does it justice: this is a place you really must discover for yourself.  But in this “Chichen Itza Video Vlog” post, we’ll take you inside our journey there & give you an idea what to expect as a traveler… 

Chichen Itza Video Vlog Post, Girl Who Travels the World

The most famous structure at Chichen Itza ~ the great pyramid of El Castillo.

Chichen Itza Information
  • Opening Hours: 8AM-4:30PM Daily
  • Entrance Fee: $242 MXN (approx. $12 US)
  • Weather: Warm to hot; average temperature 93 Degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius)
  • Nightly Light Show: At sunset nightly, 30-min light show (in Spanish)
  • Nearby Hotels: Hotel Dolores Alba ($35-45 US), Hacienda Chichen ($120-225), Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows ($120+), & the upscale Lodge at Chichen Itza ($150+).
  • What to Bring: Bottled water, hat, sunscreen (there is very little shade at the ruins), good walking shoes (ground at the site is very uneven ~ we wore high heels…BIG mistake!), & a cute bathing suit in case you need to cool off in one of the area’s many refreshing cenotes!
Chichen ITza Video Vlog Post

 Directions to Chichen Itza 

Directions to Chichen Itza
  • Distance to Chichen Itza from Cancun: 196 km (121 miles) west; 2-hour+ drive
  • Directions to Chichen Itza from Cancun: Take 180D East from Cancun (toll road ~ bring cash) for approx. 196 kilometers.  Take Exit toward Chichen Itza/Piste/YUC 79.  Follow signs towards Chichen Itza.  
  • Nearby Attractions: Cenote Dzitnup (two cenotes, one site ~ approx. 20 mins from Chichen Itza); Ek Balaam (Mayan ruins north of Valladolid); the Pink Sea near Rio Lagartos (about 3 hours north of Chichen Itza); the city of Merida (beautiful, authentic Mexican architecture); the famous beach resorts of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, & Cancun (2-3 hour drive from Chichen Itza).  
  • Plan Your Trip: Grab the Lonely Planet Guide to the Yucatan & map out your adventures. 

 Map of Chichen Itza! 

Cancun, Mexico

Chichen Itza

A Little History on Chichen Itza…

Once a powerful city, Chichen Itza flourished from approximately 800 to 1200 AD.  It was an important trading center for slaves, cloth, honey, & salt ~ in addition to being the center of both economic & political life for the Mayan civilization.  

The most recognizable structure at Chichen Itza is the famous El Castillo (pictured below).  Its step pyramid has exactly 365 steps, one for each day of the year.  Each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, making the top platform the pyramid’s 365th step.  Not only did the ancient Mayans provide us with our current 365-day calendar, but El Castillo demonstrates their superior knowledge of astronomy: twice a year, on the spring & autumn equinoxes, a shadow falls over the pyramid, creating the shape of a serpent.  How did they know how to do this so many years ago??!  As the sun sets, this shadow of a snake winds down the steps, until it comes to rest at the bottom of the pyramid beside a stone serpent’s head, which was placed at the base of the pyramid, for protection.

Chichen Itza Video Vlog Post, Girl Who Travels the World

My friend Eileen, standing in the shadow of El Castillo.

Chichen Itza Structures

Other notable structures to visit while at Chichen Itza: Temple of the Warriors, the Sacred Cenote (where Mayan girls are said to have been sacrificed), Xtoloc Cenote, Venus Platform, the Observatory (where the Mayans made their incredibly accurate astronomical calculations from), the Great Ball Court (which was the largest in ancient Mesoamerica), the Temple of the Jaguar, the Nunnery, & the House of Hidden Writing.  

Chichen Itza Video Vlog!

Click PLAY below to travel back in time to Chichen Itza with us…

Follow me on YouTube HERE! 

Where to Stay by Chichen Itza?

We got into Chichen Itza just as the sun set on a Tuesday night, with no reservations.  Luckily, we happened to wander our way onto the lush grounds of the Mayaland Resort & Bungalows, entirely by chance. Mayaland happens to be the only resort that is actually on the grounds of Chichen Itza.  This is easily one of the best things we did all trip.  Though their rack rate was $199 ~ we found better pricing via, at $119/night.  I highly recommend booking in advance, to take advantage of better rates.

What are the benefits of staying at Mayaland?  Aside from their sprawling, tropical grounds that instantly put you into “vacation mode,” their peek-a-boo views of Chichen Itza that you’ll find all over the resort (even from our bathtub ~ see photo below), to their excellent restaurants (the BEST Caesar salad I’ve ever had!!!) ~ the main reason to stay at Mayaland is its proximity to Chichen Itza.  We had a panoramic view of the ruins from our balcony.  The resort also has a separate, faster entrance to the ruins ~ particularly helpful if you wish to visit at sunrise, like we did.  

Click here to check prices for your stay. 

Chichen Itza Video Vlog Post

A view of the famous Mayan Observatory from none other than our…bathtub. Gotta love it.


Plan Your Trip!

There’s SO much to do in Mexico’s Yucatan region!  It’s almost unfair how naturally beautiful this region is: with its incredible turquoise waters, hidden Mayan ruins, hundreds, if not thousands, of mysterious, underground cenotes, amazing, fresh seafood, beautiful beachfront resorts, & some of the best snorkeling & dive spots in the world.  

Without a guide book, it’s easy to miss a lot of these treasures ~ because the best things in the Yucatan are hidden.  My pick for making the most of this region: Lonely Planet’s Guide to the Yucatan.  

So Long…Chichen Itza!

Thanks for reading this “Chichen Itza Video Vlog” post!  Have you been to Chichen Itza?  How about the Yucatan or my favorite spot ~ the Pink Sea?  Did you find the Yucatan to be super touristy, or did you get off-the-beaten-path & have some incredible experiences?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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