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Ways to Experience Chichen Itza
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Traveller rating
17,684
5,554
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407
215
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Reviewed 10 December 2020

I've been to about a dozen other ruins in Mexico and this site is breathtaking on another level. The Castillo is a stunning example of an architectural style at its peak. It's an absolutely astounding complex.

I'm not sure exactly what forces are all at play here, but the presence of vendors is a problem. On every path between areas of the park, there is a literal gauntlet of tchotchkes you must pass through. I must have demurred "No, gracias" politely about 500 times before it became exhausting and finally I put in my headphones, put on my sunglasses, wrapped a shirt around my head to prevent any chances of making eye contact, and jogged through the gauntlets.
It would be one thing if they were selling actual handicrafts. But they are all selling the same array of magnets, shotglasses, and ugly plaster Mayan calendars- aggressively. No one wants this. They diminish the experience of everyone there, they can't be having a good time, you feel bad ignoring them, but some of them literally harass you. It appears that they are living a short ways back into the jungle. You can see little campsites, mounds of garbage, tarps and whatnot not far off the pathways.
I read that last year (2019) they doubled the entrance fee and somehow that was supposed to facilitate moving the vendors somewhere else. Well the entrance fee has been doubled but the vendors are still there.

Those people deserve better, and people visiting the site deserve better. It's a shame because it seriously impedes your ability to enjoy the place.

What I suggest is that you get there as early as possible. The park opens at 9am. I caught the first available bus from Valladolid at 8:30. (It was about 80 pesos for a round trip, there are buses to catch back every hour or so until 5 pm.) I arrived at about 9:20 and had a blissfully uninterrupted forty minutes or so before the vendors were set up.
If you can drive yourself and arrive at 9am sharp, even better. The stay overnight in Valladolid is entirely worth it.

I don't think I would suggest doing this through a tour company. The benefits of an early day here, before the heat, crowds, and hawkers take over, justify the extra effort.

Date of experience: December 2020
1  Thank FranklyRach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2020

Amazing, I still can't believe I visited one of the wonders of the world. It was great, not a lot of people. Very hot, take sunscreen, water, hat or umbrella it's not alot of shade. Tour guide was great.

Date of experience: December 2020
Thank LynetteC369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2020

It's just incredible, I think if you go to Mexico you have to visit this place. It's amazing and when we were there the tour guide explain to us all the astronomy and math that Mayans did to build this and it makes it even better.

Date of experience: December 2020
Thank Lucia Carolina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2020 via mobile

It is an amazing site that you must visit. The main temple is a huge focal point but there are many other structures to see, and the cenote as well. Parking is easy. The line for tickets moved pretty fast. There is only moderate shade covering, it does get very hot.

Date of experience: December 2020
2  Thank CaptainCookieDaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2020 via mobile

Chichen Itza is a very impressive place. Make sure to be there early, best before park opening at 8am and take your photos without many people. At around 10am it will get very crowded and parking is most likely full.
Remember that Chichen Itza is in a different time zone than Cancun, Playa del Carmen & Tulum!

Date of experience: December 2020
2  Thank oakenmoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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