Five amazing facts you may want to know about Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is an archaeological site located in the state of Yucatan and it’s one of the most visited attractions in Mexico. Rich in history and the center of pilgrimage for the ancient Maya civilization for over 1,000 years, Chichen Itza was one of the largest settlements of the north-central area of the Yucatan peninsula. It was the most powerful city in the region; at its peak, it was home to an estimated 90,000 inhabitants.
Chichen Itza was a significant center of political and economic activity in the Mayan culture by roughly 600 A.D. By then, it was already one of the largest cities in the Mayan world, covering nearly four square miles with densely packed commercial, residential and other structures made of stone and perishable materials. Chichen Itza even had its own “suburbs,” with smaller homes occupying the outskirts of the city.
- Chichen Itza was one of the most thriving cities of the Mayan world, and up to now, it has only been partially excavated. All the structures that have been unearthed and conserved in the last years, represent less that 10% of what is yet to be discovered. In February of last year, archaeologists in Mexico began excavating a recently discovered secret tunnel that presumes to be the entrance to a cenote located under the structure named “El Castillo”. There are so many amazing secrets in Chichen Itza that are patiently waiting to be discovered.
- Any time is a great time to visit this amazing ancient city, although during the Spring (20th of March) and Autumn Equinox (22nd September) you can witness one of the most amazing experiences created by both humans and nature. As the sun goes down, it casts a shadow over the staircase of the Kukulkan Pyramid, emulating a snake descending the steps. Try to arrive early so you can find a great sitting spot.
- In 2018, Chichen Itza was the most visited archaeological site in Mexico with 75.38% of the total of avid explorers, adding up to the impressive count of 2,743,554 visitors. This will give you an idea of why you must visit this impressive ancient Mayan city.
- Chichen Itza was classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the Worldand in 1988 was enlisted as a World Heritage by UNESCO.
- In 1894, the United States Consul to Yucatán, Edward Herbert Thompson, purchased the Hacienda Chichén, which included the archeological site of Chichen Itza and for 30 years, he explored the ancient city. Thompson is most famous for dredging the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote) from 1904 to 1910, where he recovered artifacts of gold, copper and carved jade, as well as the first-ever examples of what were believed to be pre-Columbian Maya cloth and wooden weapons. Due to the lack of technology at the time, many artifacts were destroyed by the use of heavy machinery or were disintegrated after being extracted from the water. Those who survived were shipped to the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.
You can visit Chichen Itza with a daily tour from Cabanas Tulum – let us organize your trip!