A Walk through the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, identified as one of the new seven wonders of the world, will continue to receive attention as the Mayan Calendar closes in on a new Baktun. Translated by many scholars to a December 21, 2012 date, the day represents a new era of time or as some believe the end of time. Whichever you believe as the day continues to inch closer many visitors plan to flock to the Mayan Ruin sites to celebrate.

Of course there are many archaeological sites exist in the Mayan World (Mundo Maya) in Mexico like Coba and in Central America like Tikal, but Chichen Itza in Yucatan remains the most popular. And on a recent tour I captured these images of the site.

Pyramid of Kukulcan

A tour visiting the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza

The iconic Pyramid of Kukulcan is the most impressive and striking structure at the famous Mayan Ruins site. Particularly popular on the spring and fall Equinox when a serpent made of sunlight “descends” down the pyramid, the pyramid is the most popular on the site.

the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza in Mexico

not always easy to capture with no other people looking on…

Tzompantli, the Skull Platform

Legend and lore definitely exist around the skull platform. In the later periods of the civilization, the platform seemed to actually carry the “heads” of enemies of the city.

a tour guide explains the details of the skull platform

a tour guide explains what we now believe happened here at the site 

Mayan Carvings at Chichen Itza, Mexico

this also tells the story… 

Temple of Warriors and 1,000 Columns

walking over to the temple of the warriors at Chichen itza

On my walk over to see the Temple of Warriors I posed for a photo. In the distance you can just barely see Chac Mool. Both the sacrificial site of Chac Mool and the Pyramid of Kukulcan remain off limits to visitors to climb / touch.

part of the 1,000 columns of the temple of the warrior at chichen itza in mexico

part of the 1,000 columns

Mayan Ball Court

The Chichen Itza Mayan Ball Court Serpent

The Chichen Itza Mayan Ball Court is guarded by a serpent

The Mayan Ball court of Chichen Itza, one of the biggest from the Mayan world, wasn’t just fun and games. It was a serious game of life and death too. After walking through the grounds I headed to the Grand Cenote or Sacred Pool.

trinkets for sale at Chichen Itza

the walk through the vendors en route to Sacred Pool 

An umbrella is one of the three travel tips to touring the Mayan Ruins in the Riviera Maya.

the Mayan Observatory and More

the pyramid used by the high priests at chichen itza

other impressive pyramids can be found on site

The grounds are enormous. You can spend an entire day at Chichen Itza. And after the “main” attractions, you must walk around the grounds and visit other pyramids and the observatory. The knowledge of the constellations and astronomical events continues to impress scholars today.

the observatory at Chichen Itza

the observatory

stay adventurous, Craig

I’d like to thank the Riviera Maya Tourism and also Xichen for providing passage to Chichen Itza. Also, I wish everyone a Happy Mayan New Year. 


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