Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cancun Day 3: Chichen Itza Tour aka "Chicken Pizza"

I booked the Chichen Itza public tour for our third day. We haven't done a "public" tour in a while since the last few were private tours with our family. I forgot how painful and slow big bus tours were. First off, we were picked up very early from our hotel at 7:15 AM, only to be dropped off at a meeting point where we had to wait 45 minutes for other passengers from other hotels. Once the bus came, we boarded. The bus was completely full; thankfully we boarded early so we were able to sit together.

Dan holding the "Mayan" calendar inside our tour bus

Our guide was named Ruben, and he was actually very funny, entertaining, and informative. The journey from Cancun to Chichen Itza took around 2.5 hours. Apparently the ruins were located in a different state from where Cancun was. On our way, we stopped by a cenote which is an underground cave with natural spring pool.

The underground cenote

There are lots of cenotes in the area because the grounds are very phosphorous and do not hold water, so there were no streams of river or lakes in the area. All the water was found underground in these cenotes. The Mayans believe that the cenotes were where you communicate with the underworld. During this stop, we were allowed to swim but Dan and I both chose not to and just dipped our feet. Legend says whoever touches the water makes them 10 years younger!

Dan is now 10 years younger!

After the cenote, we were taken to a small village with a huge souvenir shop for an obligatory stop. We didn't really want to buy anything so it felt long. Then we had buffet lunch at the restaurant in the village.

We then went to Chichen Itza and arrived in the afternoon. We were assigned a local guide named Jose who was excellent. His English was flawless I would have thought he was American. A couple of interesting tidbits about Chichen Itza:

  • Only about 10% of the ruins have been restored. The other 90% are in the area, but they have not been fully discovered or restored.
  • The undiscovered 90% are covered with dirt and trees, from afar looks like hills. But they are not mountains because the land is flat - so underneath the dirt and trees there are ruins to be discovered.
  • The pyramid was used for special occasions where the ruler of Chichen Itza would be on the top speaking to the masses.
  • The engineering of the pyramid was quite impressive because apparently from the top someone can speak in their normal voice, which will then be amplified. The guide showed us by clapping and how the clap echo is amplified.


Overall we were glad we went, but make sure to wear good walking shoes since there's lots of walking involved. Also, if you can, try to either book a small group or private tour. The 40+ bus tour just didn't work for us. There's lots of waiting involved and mandatory stops we didn't care for.

Next Post: Cancun Day 4: Pool Time & the Superbowl

4 comments:

  1. Dan looks like he's 21 again :)

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