Day 10 (March 13, 2014) Chichen Itza


   We should start this journey early by leaving our hotel for a 40 minutes’ drive to Tulum. After visiting these ruins, we will add two more hours on road to Chichen Itza, where we could combine the visit to the archaeological site with some cenote.

   We could come back to Chichen Itza by night to enjoy the light & sound show and, after it, going to Hotel Meson del Marques in Valladolid.

Area of Mayan Riviera

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Xtudio Comfort Hotel
 1- Xcaret
 2- Xel Ha
 3- Tulum
 4- Coba
 5- Chichen Itza
 6- Valladolid


   We take our breakfast between the foods remaining in the fridge because we’re leaving the room. Then we check out and carry the baggage to the parking lot. We take the car and drive for almost one hour to Tulum archaeological site. We arrive at 9:30 AM.

Driving to Tulum by Federal Road

  We must pay 75$ to access to the parking lot, which is huge. We park the car in front of a hut with some staff in order of adding some extra security to our baggage.

Tulum parking entranceOur car

   Then we walk through the shops and 700 meters of road to the entrance, where we purchase our tickets by 59$ each.

   We follow the path inside, but soon we’re looking for alternatives in order to avoid the big group of tourists. This is the most crowded visit of this travel so far.

Ruins in TulumRuins in Tulum

   It’s cloudy today and it makes the extraordinary beaches here are less bright than usual. The first one is a small bay below The Castle and it’s closed because the turtles are spawning. We cannot see a single one here, but there are a lot of iguanas around in the complex.

Closed beach for turtle protection in TulumIguana family in Tulum

   At the other side of the building known as El Castillo (The Castle) is another beach, a larger one, with wooden stairs driving down to it. It is full of people taking a bath on these warm waters. Although the sun has not come today, the hot is permanent here.

The Castle in TulumThe Castle in Tulum

Ruins in TulumTulum exit

   In a bit more than one hour we’ve completed this visit to Tulum ruins and take the exit at the opposite side to walk the road back to the shops and parking lot. We use the toilet there and exchange 100€ by 16$ by euro. Then we get the car and take the road to the interior to Valladolid.

   We pass by Grand Cenote and Coba a lot before reaching Valladolid. The road is an endless straight through the dense vegetation, with speed bumps in every town and village.

Endless straight roads in Yucatan
Village in our way to Valladolid
Arriving to Valladolid

   As the way to Chichen Itza goes through Valladolid we stop by the hotel Meson del Marques, at Cathedral Square, to check in and leaving the baggage.

   Then we go on with our trip to Chichen Itza. Just a few meters before reaching it we can see Cenote Ik Kil and our thought is make a short visit when coming back. We’ve taken one hour and a half from Tulum to the hotel in Valladolid and one more hour from it to Chichen Itza, so when we’re in the archaeological site it’s 2 PM and we’re after lunching before going around.

Entrance to Chichen ItzaRates for Chichen Itza

   As outside we only have seen shops with vendors pushing everyone going to the site for buying something from them, we’ve paid the 188$ for the two kind of tickets each one must have for getting in: a 59$ one and a 129$ one. Once inside we can see a big restaurant and some small business around. In one of them we get a small pizza, a burrito, coke and tamarind juice by around 300$.

   The first thing you can see inside is the Kukulcan Pyramid, the most popular building in Mexico. It is in a large flat terrace with a lot of people around. A group with guide is clapping at the feet of the pyramid to check how the temple of the top is answering to that sound with a whistle.

Chichen Itza archaeological siteChichen Itza archaeological site

   We walk around the pyramid and can see it has two of their four sides restored as new and the other two quite damaged.

Restored sides of Kukulcan PyramidDamaged sides of Kukulcan Pyramid

   We go to watch the temple with the long colonnade to explore the area with the Temple of the Warriors, the temples of big and small tables, The Market and the Square of the Columns.

Temple of the warriors in Chichen ItzaColonnade in Chichen Itza

The Market in Chichen Itza

   The next area to explore is the one with the Ball game court and, from there, we take the path to Cenote Sagrado.

Ball game court in Chichen ItzaBall game court in Chichen Itza

Temple of Jaguar in Chichen ItzaTzompantli en Chichen Itzá

   We’ve been called by vendors all the time here, but this path is between two long lines of souvenir stands where the sellers are fighting each other to take your attention. This path is long and tedious because of the vendor pressure so, when we reach the cenote at the end of it, we think it is not worthy of such torment.

A lot of souvenir stands in Chichen ItzaSacred Cenote in Chichen Itza

   When we walk across the terrace with the pyramid to explore the Observatory area we’ve got a clear idea of the amount of vendors here, which recalls 8us to El Cairo. Again, all the path to The Observatory and Las Monjas (The Nuns) is between the endless lines of stands, one after the other, and all of them selling the same items.

Osuario in Chichen ItzaObservatory or Caracol

   We finish the visit we started at 2:45 PM, around 5 PM. When leaving we ask about the sound & light show, but we’re explained it is still suspended.

Cenote Ik Kil    We’ve left just the time for doing that short visit to Cenote Ik Kil before it closes. We pay 70$ per person and check inside we’ve got a wrong idea about this place: we thought it was for watching a nature wonder, but it really is a water attraction. There is a constant run of people through the stairs to the water. The place is beautiful, but as business, it is more similar to a public swimming pool than to anything else.

   We’re done of visits for today. We’ve decided spending tomorrow morning to explore the center of Valladolid, which is recalling a lot to Antigua, and no going anywhere further than this. We prefer being at airport as soon as possible to assuring our flight back to home.

   Tonight we’re taking a good dinner at hotel’s restaurant. I’ve been able of getting some swims in the pool before sunset. As this is our last night in this part of the globe, we’re resting it well.