Top things to do

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Castillo

Upon entering Chichén Itzá, El Castillo (aka the Pyramid of Kukulcán) rises before you in all its grandeur. The first temple here was pre-Toltec, built around AD 800, but the present 25m-high structure, built over t…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Edificio de las Monjas

Thought by archaeologists to have been a palace for Maya royalty, the so-called Edificio de las Monjas (Nunnery), with its myriad rooms, resembled a European convent to the conquistadors, hence their name for the bu…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Grupo de las Mil Columnas

This group east of El Castillo pyramid takes its name – which means ‘Group of the Thousand Columns’ – from the forest of pillars stretching south and east. The star attraction here is the Templo de los Guerreros (Te…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Gran Juego de Pelota

The great ball court, the largest and most impressive in Mexico, is only one of the city’s eight courts, indicative of the importance the games held here. The court, to the left of the visitor center, is flanked by …
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Caracol

Called El Caracol (the Snail) by the Spaniards for its interior spiral staircase, this observatory, to the south of the Ossuary, is one of the most fascinating and important of all Chichén Itzá’s buildings (but, ala…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Osario

The Ossuary, otherwise known as the Bonehouse or the Tumba del Gran Sacerdote (High Priest’s Grave), is a ruined pyramid to the southwest of El Castillo. As with most of the buildings in this southern section, the a…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Cenote Sagrado

From the Platform of Skulls, a 400m rough stone sacbé (path) runs north (a five-minute walk) to the huge sunken well that gave this city its name. The Sacred Cenote is an awesome natural well, some 60m in diameter a…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Plataforma de los Cráneos

The Platform of Skulls (Tzompantli in Náhuatl, a Maya dialect) is between the Templo de los Jaguares y Escudos and El Castillo. You can’t mistake it, because the T-shaped platform is festooned with carved skulls and…
Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Akab-Dzib

East of the Nunnery, the Puuc-style Akab-Dzib is thought by some archaeologists to be the most ancient structure excavated here. The central chambers date from the 2nd century. The name means ‘Obscure Writing’ in Ma…
Ruins in Chichén Itzá

Plaza de las Mil Columnas

Comprising the Templo de los Guerreros (Temple of the Warriors), the Templo de Chac-Mool (Temple of Chac-Mool) and the Baño de Vapor (Sweat House or Steam Bath), this group, behind El Castillo, takes its name (Group…