Plataforma de Venus

Chichén Itzá

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 either side of the staircases leading up to the platform on all four sides. It is thought that from the top of the platform the planet Venus would be tracked, an important aspect of the Maya calendar, though the wider significance of the platform remains unclear.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chichén Itzá attractions

2. Templo de los Jaguares y Escudos

0.06 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. Plataforma de los Cráneos

0.07 MILES

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,…

4. El Castillo

0.08 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. Grupo de las Mil Columnas

0.09 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…

6. Gran Juego de Pelota

0.11 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…

7. Templo del Barbado

0.13 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…

8. 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…