Where Chichen Itza Is Located (and How Do I Get There)?

Deep in the lush greens of Yucatan, Chichen Itza is situated between the charming cities of Valladolid and Merida. Once a Mayan powerhouse in the Yucatan lowlands, Chichen Itza held power from the north extending to the east and west coasts of the peninsula.
Where Chichen Itza Is Located
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Because of its fame, getting to Chichen Itza can be anywhere from any of the Yucatan Peninsula’s key cities, like Cancun, and Playa del Carmen. Its charms, however, have reached way beyond the shores of Mexico.

Can I Visit Chichen Itza on My Own?

Most tours get to the site late in the day, usually when the site is already packed with other tour groups. So it’s also ideal to go by yourself, this way you can go earlier, or whatever time you want to, and you can set your pace in exploring the entire city.

If you’re worried about information you might miss on the site, you can download self-guided tours and go your own pace, and explore different areas in random order. Chichen Itza may be vast, but it’s safe for tourists in general.

Do You Need a Tour Guide for Chichen Itza?

It’s better to have a tour guide if you want to have a deeper understanding of the thing in Chichen Itza. Most tour guides have studied the history and the spirit of Chichen Itza, it’s always important to see things from their perspective.

However, you can always go on a self-guided tour using downloadable materials online. It may not cover everything a tour guide can provide but it’s educational and entertaining nonetheless.

A self-guided tour is ideal for those looking to tone down spending. Tour guide fees aren’t included in the entrance fee you paid upon entry or in advance. So, that’s an added expense.

What Is the Closest City to Chichen Itza?

Technically the closest city to Chichen Itza is the city of Valladolid in the state of Yucatan. With a short driving distance of 44.6 km or 27.7 miles, starting off from Valladolid is ideal.

This small charming city in the Yucatan state is cheaper for tourists, with friendly locals and an authentic Mexican city feel. Other than Valladolid, Merida, further west of the Yucatan state is another jewel in the peninsula.

Just 118.8 km or 73.8 miles away from Chichen Itza, Merida offers more options for accommodations and the best place for culture buff. Merida was named American Capital of Culture twice, highlighting the city’s beauty and charm.

What Airport Is Close to Chichen Itza?

There are two major airports to start off to get to Chichen Itza. One is the Merida International Airport (MID), and the bigger airport of Cancun, Cancun International Airport (CUN). Most visitors go through Cancun from the Cancun Airport as the city is the primary tourist hub in the region.

How Do I Get From Cancun Airport to Chichen Itza?

With Cancun’s tourist-friendly culture you can get to Chichen Itza in several ways. You can get there via a rental car, a group or private tour, or a bus.

You can look up organized tours that are available in Cancun. Tours often include trips to cenotes around Chichen Itza as well. The cheapest is by taking an ADO bus from the ADO station downtown.

Another option is to take a rental car if you’re staying in Cancun. Rental car prices depend on the company and the car unit. A rental car allows you to travel at your own pace and take a scenic route across the northern Yucatan Peninsula.

Can You Drive Yourself to Chichen Itza?

You can drive yourself to Chichen Itza. Car rental companies line Cancun, as rental cars are one of the primary modes of transportation to explore not only Cancun but the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well.

If you’re from Merida, Playa del Carmen, or Valladolid, there are many car rental companies to choose from as well. Merida and Valladolid are the closest cities to Chichen Itza so driving from either city is easier.

How Much Is the Toll Road to Chichen Itza?

There are toll highways that connect cities and Chichen Itza, toll highways from Cancun to Valladolid, Merida to Valladolid, and even Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza stretch across the northern Yucatan Peninsula

These toll roads cut travel time and get you to Chichen Itza safer and quicker. However, you’ll lose sight of the rural towns and the authenticity rural highways offer.

Vehicles are charged a toll of about 165 pesos if you take the Cancun-Valladolid route, 285 pesos if you’re taking the Vallalodid-Cancun route. If you come from Playa del Carmen, it costs about 218 pesos.

How Much Is Parking at Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza provides parking spaces that are shaded for visitors bringing vehicles, which cost only 30 pesos or 2 US dollars.

While you’re allowed to park on the roadside right before the entrance, but it’s not safe to leave cars there. Your cars might be at risk of dents and other damages as the road is narrow.

How Far Is Chichen Itza From Cancun?

Chichen Itza is 196.6 km or 122 miles away from Cancun, via the Federal Highway 180D. This takes about 2 hours and a half of driving. You can get to Chichen Itza via bus or a rental car.

How Far Is Chichen Itza From Cancun Hotel Zone?

Chichen Itza is approximately 219.8 km or 136.5 miles from Cancun Hotel Zone, which is the primary area where many of the Yucatan Peninsula’s visitors stay. Taking on the long road will take about 2 hours and a half.

How Do You Get to Chichen Itza From Cancun?

You take an ADO bus in Cancun to get to Chichen Itza or a rental car if you opt not to take the many organized tours available in the city. A guided tour, however, private or group, is the safest way to ghetto Chichen Itza, everything is arranged for you as well.

Rental cars will let you see the interior of Yucatan at your own pace, however, you’ll have to worry about safety, gas prices, and toll fees as you’ll most likely go through toll highways across northern Yucatan.

How Long Is the Bus Ride From Cancun to Chichen Itza?

If you opt to take the ADO bus from Cancun, the journey usually takes around 3 hours. ADO buses can be found in the ADO station downtown. Trips to Chichen Itza starts at 8:45 AM, and the return bus to Cancun departs at 4:30 PM.

How Long Does It Take to Drive From Cancun to Chichen Itza?

Driving to Chichen Itza from Cancun typically takes 2 hours and a half, given you won’t make stops along the way. Taking the Federal Highway 180D, the distance between Cancun and Chichen Itza is 196.6 km or 122 miles.

Is It Safe to Drive From Cancun to Chichen Itza?

Driving on highways between Cancun and Chichen Itza is generally safe, however, road hazards and sketchy activities may be present on rural highways. Taking the toll highway is safer, as it is lightly traveled, the roads are maintained and it cuts travel time by 30 minutes.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Chichen Itza From Cancun?

Aside from the varying entrance fees, the cost depends on the mode of transport you’re taking, and if you’re going with an organized guided tour. Tours cost 46 to 360 US dollars depending on the package.

ADO buses, the buses that will take you to Chichen Itza from Cancun, charge around 285 pesos or 14 US dollars. Car rental fees depending on the rental company and the type of vehicle.

How Much Is a Tour to Chichen Itza From Cancun?

Guided tours usually cost around 46 to 360 US dollars. Prices vary depending on the inclusion of the package. A tour to Chichen Itza, nearby cenotes and other cities may cost from 300 US dollars and above. While some all-inclusive tours cost about 46 to 84 US dollars.

How Much Is a Taxi From Cancun to Chichen Itza?

While it may be possible to take a taxi from Cancun to Chichen Itza, but it would be very expensive, and it’s not a common way to get to the site. Visitors who have been to Chichen Itza normally wouldn’t recommend taking a taxi and have never taken a taxi.

How Far Is Chichen Itza From Playa Del Carmen?

Chichen Itza is 155 km or 96.3 miles from Playa del Carmen, directly. Taking the long road across the Yucatan is about 184.4 km or 114.5 miles. Travel time will depend on your mode of transportation, but on average, it will take almost 4 hours.

How Do I Get From Playa Del Carmen to Chichen Itza?

The most common ways to get to Chichen Itza are buses, taxis, and rental cars. Taking the long road across northern Yucatan, rental cars and tours will take you there the fastest. The only thing that varies is their prices. And, ADO Buses take you to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen downtown.

Is Chichen Itza Closer to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen?

With some 181 km or 112 miles worth of driving distance, Playa del Carmen is closer to Cancun, with an approximate 197 km or 122 miles distance to Chichen Itza. Getting to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen is relatively faster and cheaper as opposed to Cancun.

Is Chichen Itza in Tulum?

Tulum is directly 126 km or 78 miles southeast of Chichen Itza. However, Tulum is nearer Chichen Itza than either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Tulum sits at the south of the state of Quintana Roo, while Chichen Itza is in the state of Yucatan, north of the peninsula.

What Is the Difference Between Tulum and Chichen Itza?

Both the historic Mayan cities of Chichen Itza and Tulum have ruins that depict the fallen civilization. Tulum’s ruins, however, aren’t as famous as Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza sits deep within land, and Tulum is a beachside city, historically important for the Mayan people.

Presently, Chichen Itza is a site, only for tours and research and is inhabitable. Tulum is a thriving modern city with a laid-back bohemian vibe that is appealing to many visitors, famous for its beaches.

Which Is Better – Tulum or Chichen Itza?

Tulum’s ruins aren’t as famous as Chichen Itza, as it is used to be a port of great importance for the Mayan people in the Yucatan. However, Tulum’s other charm is its famous beaches and thriving city. Chichen Itza’s only appeal is its ruins and many other curiosities.

How Far Is Tulum From Chichen Itza?

Tulum is 126 km or 78 miles from Chichen Itza, directly. Taking the long road across inland Yucatan, the driving distance is about 154.8 km or 96 miles.

How Do I Get From Tulum to Chichen Itza?

There are 3 common ways to get Chichen Itza from Tulum, mainly: bus, rental cars, and organized tours. Buses that will take you to Chichen Itza from Tulum can be taken in the downtown area, especially ADO buses.

Organized guided tours are abundant in major touristy cities in the Yucatan Peninsula, and Tulum is one of them. Car rental companies line Tulum for those looking to do a Yucatan adventure at their own pace.

Is It Safe to Drive to Chichen Itza From Tulum?

It is generally safe to take the long road in between Chichen Itza and Tulum. Roads are easy to drive with very few hazards, plus there are many attractions along the way, like cenotes.

Can You Visit Chichen Itza From Cozumel?

You can visit Chichen Itza from Cozumel, through Playa del Carmen. The ferry wharf in Playa del Carmen is the common port for ferries servicing visitors to Cozumel, so normally the best way is through the Playa.

Playa del Carmen also has guided tours for Chichen Itza, you can take the tour from there. Another way is to take the ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and take a rental car or take an ADO bus downtown going to Chichen Itza.

How Far Is Chichen Itza From Cozumel?

The distance between Chichen Itza and Cozumel Island is approximately 169 km or 105 miles, directly. Taking the ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Camren then the long road to Chichen Itza is about 227 km or 141 miles.

How Do I Get From Valladolid to Chichen Itza?

You can get to Chichen Itza via bus, taxi, or rental car. Buses are probably the cheapest, as fare prices are around 7 to 10 US dollars. Taxis can be around 45 to 55 US dollars, which will take you to the site fastest. Driving via rental car depends on the rental company fees and the type of vehicle.

How Far Is Merida From Chichen Itza?

Merida is 114 km or 70 miles from Chichen Itza, directly. The driving distance is about 124.6 km or 77.4 miles.

How Do I Get From Merida to Chichen Itza?

Just like Valladolid, getting to Chichen Itza from Merida can be via taxi, bus, or rental car. Bus fare prices are around 4 to 7 US dollars, while taxis can be around 130 to 170 US dollars. And rental car prices depend on the rental company rates and the type of vehicle.

How Far Is Uxmal From Chichen Itza?

Uxmal is 130 km or 80 miles from Chichen Itza, directly. The driving distance is approximately 201.2 km or 125 miles.