From : 89.00 USD
Pack 1,000 years of history into a one-day excursion with one of the best tickets to Chichen Itza, whose magnificent ruins make it part of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Travel from Cancun or Riviera Maya to discover some of the planet’s most fascinating cultural riches at an archaeological complex full of temples and ancient structures, with a bilingual guide showing you the way. This excursion includes lunch at a local restaurant featuring the flavors of the Yucatan Peninsula, plus a refreshing swim at a nearby cenote (freshwater sinkhole) for a complete immersion into the Mayan world.
Get the best Chichen Itza tickets to tour the most iconic Mayan ruins
Your adventure begins early in the morning with transportation from your Cancun or Riviera Maya resort to Yucatan state, home to the hallowed grounds of Chichen Itza. This site was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World because of they way it preserves the invaluable cultural heritage of the Mayan Empire after many centuries. Your bilingual guide will be on hand to give you all the information about one of the most impressive structures in Mesoamerica, a pre-Columbian cultural region extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica.
After checking in with your Chichen Itza ticket, your tour starts upon entering the archaeological complex, and you’ll be at the foot of the awe-inspiring Temple of Kukulcan almost from the onset. Also known as El Castillo, this step pyramid dominates the scene at 98 feet (30 meters) tall. There are lots of myths and legends to find out about, and the sheer amount of mathematical precision you’ll witness at this temple will astound you. Learn the fact that there are 91 steps on each of the pyramid’s four sides, which added together with the top platform totals 365 steps, the same number of days in a year. Even more, if you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the spring and autumn equinox, watch for the shadow of Kukulcan, the Serpent God who slithers down the side of the main temple’s staircase in an otherworldly display of architectural exactness.
Encounter more structures, such as the Observatory and the Ball Court
But no matter what season you get your tickets to Chichen Itza, you will receive lots more information as your guide gauges your level of interest throughout the tour. You’ll also have the opportunity to try out experiences that are more hands-on. For example, you must attempt to clap your hands in front of the Temple of Kukulcan to hear the echo bounce back as the chirping of a sacred bird. You'll also get a chance to view other fascinating structures, such as the magnificent Observatory temple. Also called El Caracol because of its snail-shaped stairway inside, the Mayan astronomers climbed the temple to view the stars and the skies to make accurate astronomical calculations. Most notably, the Observatory was used to track the planet Venus and other celestial movements year after year.
Nearby on this sector of the complex, you can find the Nunnery and the Monastery, intricately decorated temples that housed Chichen Itza’s respected clergy. These holy men and women were instrumental in preserving the religious worldview that differentiated their people. You will also explore the Ball Court, a field where the Mayans used to play the ancient 'pitz' ball game as a rite of passage. Additionally, you’ll explore the Temple of the Warriors and several other structures that are similarly columned. And throughout your walk, you’ll view smaller pyramids whose stairways have the same two-snake motif, just like the Temple of Kukulcan.
Reenergize with a lunch buffet highlighting Yucatec flavors
Once your time at Chichen Itza ends, return to your vehicle and arrive to the nearby town of Piste after a very short drive. Because you’ll need to refuel after all the archaeological exploration, you’ll get to enjoy a lunch buffet at the Pueblo Maya restaurant. Savor the best of the cuisine that makes Yucatan state one of Mexico’s most esteemed culinary heartlands. This restaurant allows you to eat in a more private space, as the restaurant’s tables seat no more than 4 people and couples are sure to have one table only for themselves.
The lunch buffet will lay out several regional delicacies in a buffet row. Feel free to sample as much of each of the dishes, some which were created when the Mayan empire was in full bloom. Try staples such as cochinita pibil, pulled pork cooked in a non-spicy sauce inside an underground oven; sopa de lima, a special chicken soup whose flavor delights with lime slices and other local seasonings; Yucatec tamales; chicken fajitas; breaded fish and even mini burgers. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian visitor, you can rest assured you’ll have options available to you.
Immerse yourself into the crystal-clear waters of an area cenote
To follow up on your exquisite lunch buffet, you’ll feel total refreshment when you visit one of the area’s naturally beautiful cenotes, a freshwater sinkhole located not too far from Chichen Itza. The ancient Mayans revered this water source, calling it a gateway to their gods and their connection to the sea and oceans, as the underground river system that produces the sinkholes extends throughout the entire Yucatan Peninsula from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean Sea. Descend several steps and get into these sacred waters, feeling a complete refreshment all throughout your body the moment you immerse yourself. You can also be more adventurous by jumping from a small cliff.
Whichever way you choose to get in the water, your swim is sure to bring revive and rejuvenate you, as some locals describe the feeling as a serenity akin to returning to their mother’s womb. But if you would much rather remain dry and not get in the water, you can just sit back and feel inspired by the tranquility from being surrounded by nature. When your time in the cenote wraps up, return to your air-conditioned transportation for the ride back to your Cancun or Riviera Maya resort, as the sights of the archaeological and natural wonders you explored become ingrained into your memory for many years to come.
Location(s): Cancun / Riviera Maya
Season: All year long
Start Time: 10:30 a.m.
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)
Includes Transport: Yes
Good physical condition required: No
Suitable for children: Yes
Suitable for the elderly: Yes
Pregnant women allowed: Yes
- Entrance fee to the archaeological site
- Bilingual tour guide
- Round-trip transportation to/from hotel or meeting point
- Pick-up times run from 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and vary according to your resort, so see your Amstar representative for more information
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
- Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, a camera, a swimsuit, a towel and a change of clothes
- Drinks are not included at the restaurant
- Bring extra money for shopping, tips, beverages and souvenirs (tipping is optional)
- Times, duration and order of excursion activities can vary depending on weather conditions, unexpected events and operations of the day
- Wheelchair users must be able to move independently or be moved by a family member or companion
- Wheelchairs with wider wheels are suggested for easier movement in the archaeological zone
- Infants from 0 to 4 years of age must ride on their parent’s laps or pay a recovery rate to ensure a seat
"This is a great tour. Very much worth it. Just be aware it's extremely hot, so be prepared. Was a little disappointed we could not go up into the ruins themselves, but can't be helped since they were closed by the government. We did the deluxe and went to the Cenote. That is also awesome. "
Jeff leuschner - Rowlett - 29 May 2016