3 Things to Do In Chichen Itza

3 Things To Do in Chichen Itza

Chichén Itzá from Yucatec Maya: Chiꞌ Chꞌeꞌen Its Jaꞌ ‘Mouth of the well of the water sorcerers’ is one of the main Mayan archaeological sites of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico. Located just 2.5 km from the town of Pisté in the southeast of Yucatan. Chichen Itza is a very well-known archaeological site and even more so after being selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. Chichen Itza receives more than 2,500,000 visitors each year who come in seek of learning more about the astonishing Mayan culture, take amazing pictures of the different pyramids, and even refresh on the ancient cenotes. Since there are so many things to do and so many places to visit, we’ve assembled a great list of things to do in Chichen Itza that we know you will love.

Temple of Kukulkan

The main attraction of Chichen Itza is the Kukulkan pyramid, which also has been given the name “El Castillo” by the locals. The Temple of Kukulkan stands at 75 feet and was for Mayans’ to do their astrological endeavors and pay homage to the great Kukulkan, the feathered serpent god that for the ancient Mayans was a prominent deity also worshipped by a majority of Mesoamerican people and was believed to have a human form. The feathered serpent god was one of the three main gods that the Mayans believed created the world. 

The temple of Kukulkan remains the main building of the city of Chichen Itza since the classical era and attracts so many historians because of its brilliant structure that shows just how much knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, geometry, and acoustics the Mayans had, especially showing how perfectly accurately they created the Mayan calendar: 18 bodies (the number of months, 20 days each) and 365 steps (for each day of the year).

Unfortunately, since 2008, by order of the Federal Government, tourists and visitors it’s prohibited to climb the pyramids or any monuments nearby due to conservation reasons, but if you’d like to visit this historical monument we have an amazing Chichen Itza tour, where you can calmly admire the pyramids from above while listening to their legends and learning from their culture.

The Quetzal Sound

One of the favorite things to do for locals and visitors alike is to arrive at the Kukulkan pyramid and applaud. It will sound strange for those who have not visited this magical place, the thing is that when you clap your hands, there is a sound that some people say sounds like laser beams, when in fact the sound alludes to the Quetzal. According to Mayan legends, the Quetzal was born from the breath of gods and used to be praised by Mesoamerican cultures as a symbol of abundance, fertility, and life.

Not so many scientists have studied this phenomenon, so there are still unsolved questions about it. However, it can be explained in a general way. As we know, sound is a wave generated by a vibrating object propagated through a medium such as air, water, etc. In this case, the wave is generated by the clapping, displacing the air particles that will start pushing each other all the way to the pyramid. 

The Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza


Maya called these water bodies “ts’onot”, a word that was later transformed by the Spaniards to “cenote”. Cenotes were considered sacred places of communication with the deities of water, where rites and offerings were thrown to the bottom like jade, and gold, and people were honored to serve as human sacrifices to the gods.

Another reason why Chichén Itzá is visited, apart from its pyramids and statues is its cenotes, and their most important one is right in the center of Chichen Itza called “The Sacred Cenote”, also known as “Chenkú” or “Cenote of the Sacrifices”, a name given by legends where its told that virgin women were thrown and that according to a prophecy would one day return alive. Chenkú has a 60m diameter and a depth of 13.50 meters. It’s prohibited to swim on the Sacred Cenote, due to its contamination and its depth, but still, to listen to its story and admire it from above is still amazing.

Ik Kil

Ik-Kil, Maya for “The Place of the Winds,” is another fantastic cenote where you can actually swim, it’s found in a park surrounded by diverse vegetation that serves as the ideal home for many wild animals. n hour and a half away from Mérida, it’s a 60-meter-diameter opening that leads into tunnel caverns, that due to all these factors, Ik Kil has already hosted two Red Bull Cliff Diving Series competitions, in 2010 and 2011. The Cenote Ik Kil is located in the middle of the park and is a reflection of Yucatan’s natural beauty and a relic of earlier civilizations. The waters of Ik Kil were considered sacred by the Mayans who performed here human sacrifices to their rain god. Research has shown that human and animal bones from centuries ago have been found here, and even remain there, proving that the cenote was a place of sacrifices.

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