Located on the lush, green Yucatan peninsula, Chichen Itza is one of the most important Maya sites in Mexico and offers a privileged glimpse into the past of the ancient Mesoamerican civilisation. Its incredibly well-preserved stonework means that holidays to Mexico aren’t complete without visiting this impressive complex, as well as nearby Uxmal.
The Maya were famous for their advanced civilisation: where Europe flagged in the Dark Ages, the Maya had already mapped out the heavens, developed the only form of writing native to the Americas and invented the calendars we still use to this day – all this without metal tools, pack animals to carry and haul or even the wheel. This all seems even more implausible upon viewing the vast cities that hide amid the lush jungle.
Both Chichen Itza and Uxmal are easily navigable from around the Mayan Riviera, meaning you can combine a beach break with a trip to Chichen Itza. Merida, capital of the Yucatan, is just a few hours away. This area of Mexico is fortunate to have good roads, so exploring the coast in a hire car is a fun way to see the sights at a pace that suits you. There are plenty of nearby hotels to choose from, and tours with archaeological specialist guides will help you get the most from your visit.
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