Chichén Itzá

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 Maya and refers to the south-side annex door, whose lintel depicts a priest with a vase etched with hieroglyphics that have yet to be successfully translated.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chichén Itzá attractions

1. El Caracol


Called El Caracol (the Snail) by the Spaniards for its interior spiral staircase, this observatory, to the south of the El Osario, is one of the most…

2. Edificio de las Monjas

0.11 MILES

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…

3. El Osario

0.24 MILES

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…

4. El Castillo

0.34 MILES

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…

5. Visitors Center Museum

0.34 MILES

The visitors center has a small museum with exhibits providing explanations in Spanish, English and French.

6. Chichén Itzá

0.34 MILES

Chichén Itzá, meaning 'mouth of the well of the Itzáes' in Mayan, is a stunning ruin well worth visiting for its spectacular, iconic structures and…

7. Grupo de las Mil Columnas

0.36 MILES

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…