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The ruins at Chichén Itzá have most recently become one of the seven new wonders of the world.

The ancient Mayan capital is the most famous of the archaeological zones in the Yucatan. It lies 120 kilometres east of Merida in the direction of Cancun. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Chichén Itzá will take you back in time to the pre-Hispanic era to discover what life was like during those days.

Pyramid of Kukulcan

El Castillo, Chichen Itza ruinsEach year during the spring equinox a natural phenomenon occurs at El Castillo (also known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan): the sunlight creates a shadow image of a plumed serpent descending down the pyramid's stairs. This unique experience draws hundreds of tourists from all over the world.

Although it is one of the most visited ruins in Mexico it remains a spectacular unique site - an ideal destination, not only for those who enjoy archaeology, but also for those who like history and the charming allure of ancient civilizations.

Due to the visitor numbers Audley recommends visiting the ruins as early in the day as is possible to avoid the crowds of day-trippers that arrive from Cancun.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Laura

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Chichén Itzá by contacting one of our Mexico specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Chichén Itzá

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Chichén Itzá, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Chichén Itzá

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Chichén Itzá

    Our expert guides to exploring Chichén Itzá

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Chichén Itzá, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Chichén Itzá at its best.

    • Chichen Itza

      A first-timer's guide to Chichén Itzá

      An ancient Mayan capital and the most famous of all the archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is not to be missed on a trip to Mexico.

    Accommodation choices for Chichén Itzá

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Chichén Itzá. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Mayaland, Chichen Itza

      Mayaland

      Medium

      Mayaland is a hotel with an excellent location right next to the Chichén Itzá ruins with its own access to them.

    • Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza

      Hacienda Chichén

      Medium

      As one of the oldest hotels in Chichén Itzá, Hacienda Chichen has been a focus of activity in the Yucatan since the Spaniards founded it in 1523.

    Ideas for experiencing Chichén Itzá

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Chichén Itzá, and which use the best local guides.

    • El Castillo, Chichen Itza ruins

      Chichén Itzá Excursion

      Chichén Itzá

      The famous Mayan pyramids of Chichén Itzá are over 1500 years old. The name Chichén Itzá is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth) CHEN (well) and ITZA (of the witch water). Some say this is because people were often thrown into the nearby cenote as sacrifices, and those who survived were believed to be seers.