Chichen Itza in Yucatan Peninsula

Kukulcan Temple at Chichen Itza
Kukulcan, the Main Temple at Chichen Itza
Photo by: kyle simourd, Creative Commons

Chichen Itza was founded by the Maya in 400 A.D. and is located in the north central Yucatan Peninsula, now called Mexico. Chichen is located 75 miles from Merida and has a history of 1500 years. It was the primary location for different ceremonies and is believed to have been governed by priests. Chichen Itza means “At the mouth of the well of Itza”. The word Chi stands for ‘mouth’, Chen for ‘well’ and Itza for ‘the Itza tribe’. The people who lived there are believed to have sacrificed objects and humans to their god. Those who survived the ordeal were thought to be seers.

The site contains many buildings and temples of stone in various stages of preservation. The site is built in different architectural styles that show a cultural mix of Mayan and non-Mayan civilization. The Chichen Itza site has three divisions in total: the north, central, and south groups. One group is in the Toltec style, and the others give an idea about the Chichen Itzan culture. Since the site is one of the most famous Mayan Pyramids, it has been thoroughly researched by private agencies.

Chichen Itza is now a federal property maintained by Mexico’s national Institute of Anthropology and History. The best time for site seeing is either early morning or late in the afternoon.

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15 Responses to “Chichen Itza in Yucatan Peninsula”

  1. Graham says:

    This is a crazy nice site. Your not able to walk up the temple anymore but its still well worth seeing.

  2. orange says:

    i believe that u have very up to date knowledge of the content..it will not be justified if ur effort is not appreciated.

  3. goodddy it’s my assembly topic

  4. chila vauni says:

    I would like to go there some time.

  5. Emma says:

    It looks incredible – definitely one of my seven wonders of the world. It’s a shame that they’ve closed the pyramid of kukulkan as that looked immense, and it means you probably won’t be able to see the dragon head in the spring equinox.

    Beautiful place though.

  6. Melanie Edwards says:

    Chichen Itza is indeed incredible. It must have been a very spiritual place – now covered with people wanting to sell you souveniers. Watch who you buy from. Pity there are so many there.

  7. Gtrchomp says:

    I visited Chichen Itza as a high school student in 1966 when it was a totally open playground for any adventurous young man. National Geographic was still doing studies at the bottom of the sacrificial well and we could go anywhere. I went up and into Kukulcan past a partially open iron gate and was descending downwards until I became frozen with claustrophobic anxiety and turned around. I am sure that it is safer and will preserve the area for many generations to come. It all cost a paltry 160 pesos (around 20 dollars) for the taxi ride from Merida. Sadly my Father’s pictures have probably deteriorated as he lost interest in photography somewhere in the 80’s as his flying hobby grew. Yeah, Melanie there was absolutely nobody around when we toured. No fences, vendors, park rangers, drug dealers a young boys paradise for climbing and exploring.

  8. Paul McIver says:

    I went to Chitzen Itza for the harmoic covergance in 1988 or 87 to photograph the event for an American magazine. I photographed in B&W, colour transperancy and B&W infrared. Only 4 images could be printed from the infra red film. They took 45 mins to expose in the enlarger as opposed to 15 secs normally. I returned a couple of weeks ago to try to replcate the shot. I could only find where i shot from back then by looking at the new material for a couple of days back at home. Back in the day you could explore any where. I understand that to preserve this amazing site these restrictions are necessary.

  9. Zvonhooks says:

    Chichen Itza is a must see. There is a powerful magnetic energy there and the harmonics due to architectural placements is one of a kind in the world. Hire a guide for the walk through if you want the real Mayan facts.
    Incredible spot. Charged till this day with power.

  10. Zvonhooks says:

    Chichen Itza is a must see. There is a powerful magnetic energy there and the harmonics due to architectural placements is one of a kind in the world. Hire a guide for the walk through if you want the real Mayan facts.
    Incredible spot.

  11. s.m says:

    God has a capital G, other wise a great site

  12. nice site i like chichen itza it is very doowak and awesomely pomppitty

  13. sid says:

    Just got back this week. Chichen Itza is an amazing place. However, any spirituality or reverence is lost due to the hundreds of vendors lining the pathways with their wares, especially blowing their jaguar whistles. It really got ridiculous and spoiled the whole excursion. Too bad. Had a great guide who was of Mayan ancestery and he had very interesting information which made me want to learn more.

  14. Estrel says:

    Just got back this week, too. My nephew got married in Cancun, and we had the chance to visit Chichén Itza. it did not disappoint. It is an awesome place. To think that this place has been been for there for thousands of years is mind-blowing. Yes, the thousands of vendors lining the pathways are disturbing the tranquility and the respect that this place deserves. And yes, those jaguar whistles are irksome. Alejandro, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and very proud of the ancient Mayan culture … I am glad that tourists are no longer allowed to go up the stairs and walk around the building. But more should be done to preserve Chichen Itza. Tulum is better arranged as per the vendors — grouped together outside at the entrance and not clustered around the structures.

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