Chichen Itza is located in southern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, just 2 km from the town of Piste, 40 km from Valladolid, and 120 km from Merida. Its name derives from the Mayan words "Chi", mouth, "Che‘en", well, "Itz", magician, and "a", water, that together, form the most likely definition, "wellhead of the water magicians."

Chichen Itza, YUC

State: Yucatan

20°40'58.2"N 88°34'7.3"W

Altitude: 20 meters above sea level

10 km²

Time Zone: Central Standard Time UTC-6

Population: Municipality of Tinum 11,421 inhabitants (INEGI, 2010)

Area Code:

Chichen Itza is considered among the most important archaeological sites in Mexico, so much so that in 1988 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. In 2007 it was recognized as one of the new seven wonders of the modern world, an initiative launched by the private sector.

This colossal city of pre-Hispanic Mexico was created around the year 525AD and is considered the most important Mayan-Toltec ceremonial center.  Within the archaeological site can be found: The Pyramid of Kukulkan, the Guerreros Temple, the Columnas Temple, the Caracol (astrological observatory), and the Ball Court.

Chichén Itzá is also home to a spectacular Sacred Cenote of freshwater 60 meters in diameter and 26 meters deep, which was used by the Mayan to make offerings to the rain god Chac.

The legacy of the Mayan culture lives in this place having as a reminder of its splendor the Pyramid of Kukulkan which thousands of tourists visit during the spring (March 21) and fall (September 22) equinox since on these dates the descent of the feathered serpent can be seen.

The ascension of Kulkulkan can be seen from December 20 to 22, thanks to the play of light and shadows created by the sun.

As part of its activities Chichen Itza offers visitors a spectacle of light and sound, which is called "The Night of the Mayans" and tells part of the story of this important culture.

How to get there?

Chichen Itza is located in the south of Mexico in the state of Yucatan, 2 km from Piste, 50 km from Valladolid, and 125 kilometers from Merida.

You can get to Chichen Itza by land via Federal Highway 180 Merida - Valladolid, then taking the road towards Chichén Itzá.

Distance between Chichen Itza and other cities in Mexico

  • Mérida, Yucatán: 125 km
  • Cancún, Quintana Roo: 198 km
  • Campeche, Campeche: 399 km
  • Villahermosa, Tabasco: 677 km
  • Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas: 929 km
  • Veracruz, Veracruz: 1150 km
  • Oaxaca, Oaxaca: 1259 km
  • Puebla, Puebla: 1323 km
  • Mexico City, Federal District: 1446 km
  • Morelia, Michoacán: 1734 km
  • Guadalajara, Jalisco: 1982 km
  • Monterrey, Nuevo León: 2141 km.


Chichén Itzá's climate is considered sub-humid with summer rains, with an average annual temperature of 25.7 ° C, and a high presence of winds from the southeast and northwest.

What to pack?

Running shoes, light clothing, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen.

What to see in Chichen Itza?

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m.

Pyramid of Kukulkan, Guerreros Temple, Jaguars Temple, Ball Court, El Caracol (Observatory), Sacred cenote, Tomb of the High Priest, Monjas House, Venado House, Aguilas House, Akab Dzib.

Special dates and Entertainment in Chichen Itza

Solar Equinox: March 21 and September 22
Lunar Equinox:  Nights of the full moon
Solstices: Dawn on the days of June 20, 21, and 22 and December 22
The Night of the Mayans daily during summer and winter

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