Visiting Chichen Itza
The world famous archaeological site of Chichen Itza is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World by UNESCO, and also a world heritage site. This vestige is located directly in the heart of the Mayan region and was once one of the most important cities for the Mayan civilization, due to this and more, Chichen Itza is a visit that must be made if or if you are on vacations in Tulum.
Here’s a recap on the most remarkable points of the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, and they are not few!
The archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá is full of monuments, temples, and new locations. We will mention some of the most remarkable ones, and when you visit them, you will be amazed, without you having ruined the surprise.
This imposing pyramid is located right in the center of the archaeological zone and is the most known symbol of the ancient Mayan culture worldwide. It is also known as “El Castillo,” and it is a monument dedicated to the god Kukulkán, the feathered serpent, and god of the sun. A spectacular temple, especially if your visit is made during the spring or autumn equinox because during these dates you can see a shadow show designed centuries ago by the Mayans themselves, in which a Snake-shaped shadow is projected above the steps of one of the faces of the pyramid and begins to descend through them. An impressive optical illusion that you must observe at least once in life.
The pyramid is a direct reference to the Mayan calendar since each of its four sides is composed of 91 steps, which when added to the central platform gives a result of 365, just like the days of the year. It has 9 terraces divided into two sections each that result in 18, reminiscent of the 18 months of the Mayan calendar. This impressive building is a reminder of the incredible observation skills of the Mayan astronomers.
Arena of the ball game
Within the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, there are at least 8 arenas for the ball game. A formal ceremony that the ancient Mayans practiced honoring the gods, in which the goal was to pass a rubber ball through a ring located in the center of the arena. The players could only pass the ball between team members and through this ring using elbows, shoulders, hips, and ankles. At the end of the game, the winning team members were sacrificed; That’s right! That was the prize! For the ancient Mayan culture serving the gods was a practice of honor.
The main arena is carefully detailed with engraved representations of snakes in the rock of the walls and the ring of the game, murals representing the game itself taking place. Which gives us more information about the game itself which seemed to be quite violent, but here the most important thing is that you see it with your own eyes and witness its magnificence and we hope that this information will be useful for you to know a bit better what this is all about.
The temple of the skulls
Right next to the arena of the ball game is the Tzompantli or temple of the skulls, this is one of the most unique sites or temples in the entire archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá and a bit spooky as well. It is a low platform covered by carved skulls on all sides. Here were exhibited the heads of the sacrificed by ceremonies and also by the ball game, this platform draws much attention for its aforementioned very particular aspect, similar platforms are found In the old Tenochtitlan in the center of Mexico, it is a monument that is worth knowing, but it is not the last one so let’s continue.
The observatory or Snail
This is a circular building on top of a large square platform dating from around 906 BC. It is believed to act as an observatory where ancient Mayan astronomers could observe celestial phenomena. Focused on the trajectory of venus due to its location, an exceptional building because it highlights one of the main functions that developed in this ancient Mayan city and the importance that the ancient Mayans lent to the stars and other celestial bodies, being there you can feel the passion of these astronomers of antiquity. As the last curious fact the name given to “the snail” is due to the spiral-shaped stairs that are inside.
Temple of the Warriors
This temple is a large stepped pyramid, and its name is due to the carved columns that surround it. Each of these representing standing warriors that give the feeling of being guardians in the temple’s watchtower. This building is similar to the one found in Tula. Of the Toltec capital, known as temple B, which gives us hints of a cross between the two cultures. However the temple of the warriors from the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá is more extensive, in the upper part of the staircase and at the top of the temple is a statue that represents a reclining figure leaning on his elbows with a disk on his stomach, which is known as Chac Mool. This temple is impressive like many other monuments that are found in this archaeological zone.
Reading about Chichen Itza may not be as exciting as an actual visit, so if you’re visiting Tulum be sure to get a tour to the impressive site for an unforgettable experience!