Plataforma de los Cráneos

Chichén Itzá

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 eagles tearing open the chests of men to eat their hearts. In ancient days this platform was used to display the heads of sacrificial victims.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chichén Itzá attractions

1. Templo de los Jaguares y Escudos

0.02 MILES

The Temple of the Jaguars and Shields, built atop the southeast corner of the ball court’s wall, has some columns with carved rattlesnakes and tablets…

3. Gran Juego de Pelota

0.05 MILES

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…

4. Templo del Barbado

0.06 MILES

The structure at the ball court's north end, called the Temple of the Bearded Man after a carving inside it, has finely sculpted pillars and reliefs of…

5. Plataforma de Venus

0.07 MILES

This ceremonial site directly in front of the El Castillo is most notable for its huge, ornate and superbly preserved plumed serpent heads extending on…

6. El Castillo

0.11 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…

7. Grupo de las Mil Columnas

0.15 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…

8. Chichén Itzá

0.21 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…