Chichen Itza is the most popular pre-columbian ruin in Mexico, so expect lots of fellow tourists. At about 10 am the parking lot fills with buses from Cancun and the Mayan Riviera and thousands of visitors throng the park. We suggest you get there early. The gates open at 8am. This gives you two big advantages: first, you'll beat the heat; and second, you'll beat the crowds. If you're not the early riser type, go later in the afternoon for the same reasons.
We've never been there for the Sound and Light show, so if you go sometime, drop us a line so we can inform our readers here. We've also never been for the equinoxes, though the rumor around here is that it is quite a circus. We heard one report of there being over 50,000 people there for the Spring equinox. Maybe that's what the main plaza held at the height of the Itza's reign!
Chichen Itza is an easy 45 minute drive from Macan ché. Here's step-by-step how to get there:
- Go east on Calle 22 1/2 block
- Turn right onto Calle 35 and go 1 block
- Turn left onto Calle 24 which will put you on Mexico Highway 53
- Pass through the towns of Cuatehmoc, Sudzal and Xanaba and you'll meet up with the Autopista (main toll road from Mérida to Cancun.
- Take a right hand turn and cross the highway, you'll see a sign for "Cancun Cuota" and an option for "Cancun Libre." If you want to take the scenic route (longer than taking the toll road) follow the "libre." We recommend the "Cuota." You'll have looped around and are now heading East on the toll road.
- Stay on the toll road until you come to the toll booth at Piste. The exit for Piste/Chichen Itza is well marked.
- Pay the toll of $63 pesos and follow the road into Piste.
- The way to Chichen is well marked, in case you don't see the signs when you come to a "T" in the road, go to the left.
- The exit to Chichen is on the right.
- Follow the road to the parking lot. There is a fee for parking.