What Is So Unique and Special About Chichen Itza (The Complete Guide to the Area and the Pyramids)?

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is almost synonymous with Mexico and its beauty. The pyramid of El Castillo, the ancient city’s central pyramid attracts many to its limestone exterior and ancient mysteries.
What Is So Unique and Special About Chichen Itza
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While the rest of the world revels on the Pyramids of Giza, and Macchu Pichu of Peru, Chichen Itza is Mexico’s answer. With the development of technology, many more discoveries have been found. Who knows what else we’ll uncover in the future?

Why Is Chichen Itza So Famous?

Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World for the right reasons. Chichen Itza is an archeological marvel in the Yucatan Peninsula. An ancient city that predates the Columbian. Chichen Itza is rich in history and is a pilgrimage center for the ancient Mayans for over 1,000 years.

Chichen Itza, one of Mexico’s most famous jewels of ancient wonder, attracts curious tourists all over the world because of its curiosities. Chichen Itza’s exquisite display of a multitude of architectural styles in its structures is easily one of its claims to fame.

Is the Chichen Itza One of the Seven Wonders of the World?

In 1988, Chichen Itza was classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and at the same time hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The appeal of Chichen Itza is its testimony to the wonder of the ancient Mayan world, and it bears witness as well to the progress of civilization.

Why Is Chichen Itza One of the New Seven Wonders of the World?

Chichen Itza’s rich history, size, and exquisite architectural influences are easily many of its reasons to be included in the famous list. But its claim for a spot in the coveted list is its rich concentration of ancient Mayan culture, and its manmade wonders.

Chichen Itza isn’t only a place where tourists can revel in its many curiosities and wonders. The ancient Mayan city is also a place of knowledge, providing a lens to scholars of how the Mayans lived in the times before colonization.

Is Chichen Itza Aztec or Mayan?

Chichen Itza, nestled in the great Yucatan Peninsula is a Mayan city. Chichen Itza is probably one of the Yucatan’s most important Mayan wonders because of its large concentration of culturally-significant Mayan wonders.

What Does Chichen Itza Mean?

Chichen Itza is Mayan term for “at the mouth of the well of the Itza”. It is derived from “chi” meaning “mouth” or “edge”, and “ch’en” meaning “well”. Itza is the name of the ethnic-lineage group that gained dominance of the northern peninsula, native to present-day Central America.

Has Chichen Itza Been Rebuilt?

The pyramids in Chichen Itza has been constantly rebuilt over millennia. One account is due to the gradual shift of the world’s crust realigning El Castillo, Chichen Itza’s principal pyramid, and other important structures in the city, several times over.

This in turn has forced the ancient Mayans to build another layer over the original El Castillo, as many times as the direction shift. You may ask why is that? Chichen Itza follows the cardinal orientation, meaning they are aligned to the true North. Because the site of Chichen Itza is a huge astronomical observatory.

If you take a look at many o the world’s observatories, they are also cardinally oriented, the same way most of the Chichen Itza’s founding structures were. After very realignment and catastrophic events that took place, the site was resorted and enlarged with new pyramids with new orientations to a new direction.

How Many Pyramids Are in Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza has 9 pyramids that served different purposes, all interestingly topped with a square platform. The most notable pyramid, El Castillo or The Castle is located at the main square of the city.

What Is in the Center of Chichen Itza?

Situated at the city’s main square, El Castillo or The Castle is Chichen Itza’s center. It stands 79 feet, made of stone, and is the center of rituals and many other important events in the Mayan calendar. Also knows as the Pyramid of Kukulkan, the serpent god of the Mayans.

What Is the Name of the Pyramid in Chichen Itza?

There are several pyramids in Chichen Itza but the most famous one is the central pyramid of El Castillo, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkan. El Castillo has four sides, each with 91 steps leading to the top that stands 79 feet or 24 meters.

What Is Inside Castillo Chichen Itza?

Upon years of excavation and exploration in Chichen Itza, the central pyramid of El Castillo has not one, but two earlier temple-pyramids inside it. The first pyramid inside El Castillo is a 65-foot-tall pyramid and another smaller 33-foot-tall pyramid.

The newly discovered pyramid was discovered through 3D Electrical Tomography. At the base of the pyramid’s north side, you can find the entrance that leads up to a passage up to the throne.

Can You Go Inside Chichen Itza?

Currently, visitors can’t go inside El Castillo, as researchers found that the pyramid sits atop a 20-meter-deep cenote, which might cause the structure to collapse.

Is Chichen Itza Also a Tomb?

Chichen Itza’s vast expanse consists of various structures serving a different purpose, one of them is a tomb. The Ossuary, or the High Priest’s Tomb, measuring 10 meters high, made of stone.

The entrance of the Ossuary is found on the upper part of the pyramid, lined with stone, which leads down to the pyramid’s base. Where you’ll find a 12-meter-deep cave where there were 7 tombs discovered along with several various artifacts.

The Ossuary is also one of the main structures of the Chichen Itza, alongside El Castillo. It’s one of the biggest structures in the city.

What Is Underneath Chichen Itza?

The many mysteries of Chichen Itza are still being discovered, while many careful studies have been going on. One of these is the cenote that sits beneath El Castillo.

Discovered through non-invasive imaging techniques like the 3D Electronic Tomography, a sinkhole, believed to be a cenote. This cenote connects through the underground river and caves under Chichen Itza.

To make things more interesting, a cave system has been discovered here as well. The cave system of Balamku or “Jaguar God”. First discovered by farmers in 1966, but it was eventually closed and was recently reopened in 2018.

Upon exploring the cave system, perfectly preserved artifacts, believed to be offering were discovered. The subterranean system may just give explorers clues about the supposed entrance to Xibalba. The Mayan “underworld”.

Is There a Cenote Under Chichen Itza?

Through the use of non-invasive imaging techniques, a sinkhole, believed to be a cenote was discovered underneath El Castillo. The cenote found under the central pyramid connects through many other cave systems and underground rivers that dot underneath the entirety of Chichen Itza.

How Deep Is the Cenote at Chichen Itza?

The main cenote of Chichen Itza’s is the Sacred Cenote, also known as “the Well of Sacrifice”, which is 35 meters deep or 114 feet. This cenote in Chichen Itza sits north of the city, connected via a 300-meter sacbe, a stone pathway.

Other than that, the notable cenote found under El Castillo is 20 meters deep or 65 feet.

Can You Swim in the Cenote at Chichen Itza?

The swimmable cenote at Chichen Itza is the famous Ik Kil. Il Kil is an open-type cenote, meaning it has an opening to the sky over its swimming area than being enclosed in a cave. Ik Kil has clear water that makes it appealing for swimming, and hanging vines cascading into the water.

What Is at the Top of Chichen Itza?

The various structures in Chichen Itza serve different purposes so the top platforms vary. The most notable, however, was El Castillo’s temple platform atop its steps. The top is a temple dedicated to receiving the Kukulcan or the Feathered-Serpent God of the Mayans.

Other pyramids have different situations like the Ossuary or Osario has an entrance that leads down inside the temple, down to the tombs below. At the summit of the Temple of the Warriors is a Chac Mool, depicting battle scenes and many certain events.

How Many Steps Are on Chichen Itza?

the El Castillo Pyramid, Chichen Itza’s central pyramid, is has a total of 365 steps, in total. Each of the four sides has 91 steps, indicating 365 days of the year. A testimony to the genius of Mayan science.

Can You Walk Up or Climb the Pyramid at Chichen Itza?

You can’t climb any pyramids in Chichen Itza. Many of its monuments and structures have barriers and are not allowed to be touched.

Why Can You No Longer Climb Chichen Itza?

Pyramids, monuments, and other different structures in Chichen Itza can’t be climbed for the sake of preservation. Many of Chichen Itza is still for research, especially the curiosities inside El Castillo, and under the entire city.

Another reason is that the steps of the pyramids are steep and slippery, one woman has slipped and has fallen to her death back in 2006. Since then, the pyramids have been barricaded with ropes.

When Did Climbing Chichen Itza Stop?

Chichen Itza closed its pyramid climb in 2006 when a woman slipped and tumbled down to her death. Additionally, people have been increasingly climbing to the top damaging the temple’s delicate state. There were accounts of people leaving their marks after their triumphant climb by painting graffitis and other markings.

What Time Does Chichen Itza Open?

Chichen Itza opens every day throughout the year, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The last entry is at 4:00 PM. The site’s openings depend, however, on certain circumstances like major storms and hurricanes, and other special seasonal events.

How Much Is the Entrance Fee to Chichen Itza?

The entrance fee to Chichen Itza is 486 Mexican pesos, or 23 US dollars for adults, and kids under 13 are free. But for Mexicans that are not from Yucatan are charged 207 pesos on Monday to Saturday while 127 pesos on Sundays. Yucatan residents are charged 80 pesos and free on Sundays.

Can You Buy Tickets at Chichen Itza?

You can buy tickets at the Chichen Itza entrance, however, lines are longer and you will need cash on hand, as cards may not be accepted or car machines may have trouble.

How Much Time Do You Need at Chichen Itza?

You’ll only need 3 to 4 hours. Exploring Chichen Itza may take to 1 to 2 hours depending on how your guided tours go, assuming you’ll go on one. Plus, an hour of free time.

It’s best to go on a guided tour as a guide will give you a better understanding of the history and other facts of the site.

How Many Tourists Visit Chichen Itza Each Year?

Chichen Itza was visited by over 2 million people over the last 6 years. The most number of visits was in 2018, as the site saw a whopping 2.74 million visitors. 2010, however, saw a 14% decline, seeing 2.36 million visitors.

What Is the Best Day of the Week to Visit Chichen Itza?

The best days are on Mondays, and make sure you get there early. A small queue starts before it opens at 8 AM. And, things get busier around 10 AM onwards.

Is It Safe to Visit Chichen Itza?

Chichen is generally safe if you follow the rules, and follow your guide. Many of Chichen Itza’s structures are barricaded with ropes, meaning they can be dangerous to walk upon or climb. Guards and watches around the site also ensure the security of visitors.

What Do You Wear to Chichen Itza?

Make sure to wear cool loose clothes as most of the site is open to the sun and you’ll be walking a lot, so comfort and mobility are important. Also, wear comfortable walking shoes as certain terrains might be rocky, apart from the grass.

What Should I Bring to Chichen Itza?

Bring bottled water, and food, or even light snacks. Food and water sold inside are on tourist price, they’re more expensive. Sun protection is also essential to bring an umbrella, visors or a comfortable hat.

If you plan to swim in the cenote, make sure you use biodegradable sunscreen. The chemicals in regular sunscreen harm the environment and marine life.

Is There Luggage Storage at Chichen Itza?

There is luggage storage on the site. It costs 40 pesos for the entire day, and if your luggage or bag doesn’t fit the lockers, there is a larger room that is secured and attended. It costs about 100 Mexican pesos.

Are Drones Allowed in Chichen Itza?

As per the rules, drones are officially banned at the Chichen Itza. But, disrespectful tourists still fly them there anyway. It is heavily discouraged in Mexico to fly drones over historical sites like Chichen Itza.

Are There Monkeys at Chichen Itza?

Monkeys can be encountered at Chichen Itza, however, chances are slim. The staggering numbers of people that visit the site each year prevent monkeys from roaming around the site.

Is It Worth Going to Chichen Itza?

Old, historical temples might be a bore to some, but if you respect Mexico’s rich culture enough, Chichen Itza isn’t only worth it, it’s a Yucatan rite of passage. With its cultural-significant, man-made wonders representing millennia of civilization, Chichen Itza is worth it.

Why Should I Visit Chichen Itza?

Being one of the Seven Wonders of the New World is one good reason to visit Chichen Itza. Apart from that, Chichen Itza is still being carefully studied to this day as there are still many mysteries to the site that still boggles scholars and archeologists.

The continued mysteries and the man-made wonders of Chichen Itza is also another reason to revel and wonder about the past of this mighty city.

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