Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour
- Pickup available
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 12 hours
Supposedly the great mythical city in Mesoamerican literature, this Mayan city stands today as one of the most popular archeological sites in Mexico. Read on for more on Chichen Itza history and Chichen Itza facts.
Archeologists believe the main monument, El Castillo, was dedicated to Kukulcan, the Mayan snake god, and was built between the 9th and 12th centuries A.D.
Chichen Itza translates to “at the mouth of the well of the Itza.” The Itza were a sea-warding subset of Mayan people.
It is likely that the city was built in this location on the Yucatan Peninsula because of two large natural “cenote” nearby that would have provided water to the population.
The total number of steps on the pyramid El Castillo, including the temple platform at the top, is 364—the total number of days in the Mayan calendar.
The Mayans were great athletes. Archeologists have found 13 ball courts for their Mesoamerican game; the best preserved and largest lies on this site just northwest of El Castillo.
Nothing is worse than setting out for a big day of exploration and getting hit with a spell of dehydration. Prepare ahead and bring lots of water, it cannot be overstated how hot this place can get. Bring a sturdy set of shoes and a hat or umbrella for sun. Bug spray is a must, especially in the rainy season when mosquitoes are running amok.
If you decide to rent a car, make sure to purchase a map and have a friend in the passenger’s seat navigating on the way to Chichen Itza. Be careful—some of the road is rocky or in disrepair. Be sure to keep your gas tank full, because there aren’t many gas stations along the toll highway. For a day trip from Cancun, the drive will take a little more than two hours.
Stop at Ik Kil to go swimming in this ancient water source, a popular spot open to the public.
The Cenote was great. It was beautiful to observe and listen to the waterfall. If you want to swim in it, life jackets are a required rental for $2 and you can optionally get a locker for $2. There were other things to see that we did not get to so I cannot say anything about them. Our tour included lunch. The lime soup was very good. Other dishes were ok at best. The salad does not have dressing. Lunch was described as all you can eat buffet but due to covid they were serving at the tables. They only had 2 waiters so the service was slow and disorganized. We had several wrong items brought to the table. I had to ask for more pico de gallo 4 times before receiving. Order everything up front if you will want more than one plate. All drinks are additional. The tour guide had to give us an extra 30 mins at lunch to ensure everyone was served. My table mates got the margaritas and said they were strong & good & frozen were very good. A few souvenir & 1 tequila shop at the location.
We got to see a lot of places in one day. Felt a bit rushed but everything was on time and got picked up in our hotel located in Hotelera zona in Cancun. Cenote was beautiful and food was delicious. Chichen Itza and ballcourt looked amazing and tour provided information about Mayans. Valladolid was a quick 30 min stop on our way back. My only complaint is that there were a lot on people on bus tour with few empty seats with this ongoing pandemic. I thought maybe they would reduce amount of ppl. Overall good experience.
Really enjoyed this tour! Mike was a great tour guide, the bus was very comfortable (seats reclined a lot) and we could rest during the long travel. Knowledgeable tour guides. Easy to book. I would recommend using Get Your Guide and Sat Mexico for this specific tour.
Bus was comfortable, clear instructions and very punctual. Activities were engaging. Alfredo drove very well and Alan was educational and entertaining. Lunch stop doesn't have the best options for vegetarians and vegans. Get on this tour for a day well spent!
Alvarado was an excellent guide. It was a ling day but totally worth every cent. Rather than suffer through a tour bus and crowds of people, we rode comfortably in a nice Mercedes from site to site. Excellent experience.