Chichén Itzá

Expect pyramids and temples galore as you travel back to Mesoamerican Mexico at this UNESCO-listed Mayan city.

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Chichén Itzá: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

1. Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

Enjoy one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with a variety of architectural styles. Discover how this large pre-Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization from around 600 to 1200 AD, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. Even today, it is still considered sacred by the Mayan people of the Yucatan peninsula. Like many of the cities of ancient Mexico, the site was abandoned, and its ruins were hidden in the jungle. Experience its rich history and stunning ruins.

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour

2. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

3. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear of entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen,

From Cancún: Tour of Chichén Itzá & Valladolid with Lunch

4. From Cancún: Tour of Chichén Itzá & Valladolid with Lunch

Explore the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá and uncover the history of Mayan civilization. Visit important sites, such as the step pyramid of El Castillo, and enjoy a buffet lunch. Get picked up from one of the meeting points in Cancun or Riviera Maya, or at your hotel if you select the VIP or Deluxe tour options. Then, travel to the pre-Colombian city of Chichén Itzá on the Yucatán Peninsula. Located in the Tinúm Municipality, Chichén Itzá is famous for its step pyramid of El Castillo. Benefit from the services of a guide to learn the history of the ancient city and journey back to the days of the Mayan civilization. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, with the option to include a non-alcoholic drink on the VIP and Deluxe tour options. After, visit one of the secret sinkholes, or cenotes, sacred to the Mayan people before returning to your starting point.

From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

5. From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

In this tour, your guide will give you an in-depth tour of Chichen Itza. Listen as they provide background information to help you better understand the history of this place. End the tour with lunch at a local restaurant. Beat the crowds and the heat by arriving early in the morning at the Chichen Itza Archeological Site. Be the first to enter this Wonder of the World and take amazing pictures with the place almost completely to yourself. Learn how this large city played an important role in Mayan civilization from around 600 AD to 1200 AD and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. The site was abandoned and its ruins were eventually hidden by the jungle. In between the tour, enjoy a typical Mexican buffet lunch at a local family-run restaurant. Swimming at the Saamal Cenote (entry included) and a visit to Valladolid are also on the itinerary.

Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

6. Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

Journey to the sacred archeological sites of Cobá and Chichén Itzá on this action-packed trip through the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. Leave bright and early from your ideal starting point in Riviera Maya, and beat the crowds to truly take in the majesty of each landmark. Head to Cobá first, whose ruins date back to 100-300 B.C. Learn about the significance of the 5 nearby lakes, and appreciate the striking architecture of the vast stone structures. Trek to the top of Nohoch Mul to be rewarded with beautiful jungle views. Venture deeper into the jungle to relax at the mystical Cenote Saamal, the perfect place for a swim and some dazzling photos. Savor a delicious buffet lunch during your adventure. Save the best for last by visiting Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Feel lost in time in the lovingly-kept pyramids, and discover the genius of the city’s unique structures. Take time to rest and reminisce on your drive back home.

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kil Day Tour

7. Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik-Kil Day Tour

Explore the ruins at Chichen Itza on a guided tour from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Choose between a private or small-group tour and beat the crowds and the heat with early morning access. Learn about the history of Mexico with insightful commentary on one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Start your adventure with an early pick-up from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Beat the crowds and the heat as you arrive at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide around the once-bustling complex, learning about the rich history, religion, culture, and daily life of the Maya. Wander around the Mexican pyramids, gaze at the spectacular stone carvings, and take photos by the glorious steps of the ruins. Board an air-conditioned vehicle and leave right before the morning gets too warm and the crowds increase. Head to the charming town of Piste for a quick look around before making your way to Cenote Ik Kil. Marvel at its stunning views, take photos of the turquoise waters and lush vegetation, and maybe squeeze in a quick dip before going for lunch. After filling your belly with some local food, board the vehicle once more and make your way back to Cancun and Riviera Maya with nothing but knowledge and memories to remember your adventure by.

From Merida to Cancun: Chichen Itza, Valladolid & Cenote

8. From Merida to Cancun: Chichen Itza, Valladolid & Cenote

You will start the day tour from a convenient pickup from your hotel in Merida to journey to one of the most important Mayan monuments. The first stop will be at Chichén Itzá, where you will see the pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending, here, you will be accompanied by an expert certified bilingual guide, who will explain the historical significance of all the most important temples of this ancient city before leaving you to enjoy Chichen Itza at your own. After your walking tour, we set off at an ancient cenote, one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people; there same, you will enjoy a delicious Yucatecan buffet meal, then take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience; Valladolid is one of the most beautiful colonial cities of Yucatan and is known for the majesty of its temples and the ancestry of its old neighbourhoods; today, it is a peaceful city where you can admire beautiful old houses. Then we will proceed to drop you off at Cancun or Playa del Carmen city so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

9. From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

Start your journey by getting picked up in Tulum. Discover Chichen Itza, a spectacular archaeological site and a must-see for those interested in history and culture.  See renowned structures with your guide such as the Pyramid of Kukulkan and the Great Ball Court. Get a glimpse of the achievements of the Mayan civilization.  After Chichen Itza, head to Valladolid, a city where past and present come together. Be amazed by the colorful architecture and the local food culture.  Have lunch in the courtyard of a restored colonial mansion and wander the square and nearby streets. Take photos and enjoy shopping as you get a taste of the slow-paced Mexican life. To finish the day, go to a local community-run cenote, the perfect spot to get away from the crowds and cool down in the refreshing blue waters.

Cancún: Classic Chichen Itza Day Tour with Lunch

10. Cancún: Classic Chichen Itza Day Tour with Lunch

Take a day trip from Cancún to Chichen Itza, the capital of the ancient Mayan civilization, with hotel transfers and entry included. Tour the ancient ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a guide. Visit the cenote of Ik Kil and swim in its waters. Enjoy a buffet lunch and folk dance show. Spend your day exploring, also declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. founded in the year 514 AD, Begin the day with a drive that stops at an underwater grotto, Cenote Ik Kil. Admire the thread-like green vines cascading into the clear blue waters. Dive into the sacred sinkhole for a swim. Next, stop for a buffet lunch with fresh salads, soups, rice, chicken, fish, vegetables, and regional dishes. Be treated to a festive show where regional people perform traditional dances to folk music. Continue onward to visit the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide to learn the secrets of the Mayans and the nearly 1000-year history of the place. Gain insight into its historical significance before wandering around the ruins on your own.

Planning Your Visit

  • Chichen Itza Weather: How to pack & What to Wear

    Nothing is worse than setting out for a big day of exploration and getting hit with a spell of dehydration. Prepare ahead and bring lots of water, it cannot be overstated how hot this place can get. Bring a sturdy set of shoes and a hat or umbrella for sun. Bug spray is a must, especially in the rainy season when mosquitoes are running amok.

  • Rent A Car or Hire a Defensive Driver

    If you decide to rent a car, make sure to purchase a map and have a friend in the passenger’s seat navigating on the way to Chichen Itza. Be careful—some of the road is rocky or in disrepair. Be sure to keep your gas tank full, because there aren’t many gas stations along the toll highway. For a day trip from Cancun, the drive will take a little more than two hours.

  • Take a Dip in the Cenote for a Quick Cool off

    Stop at Ik Kil to go swimming in this ancient water source, a popular spot open to the public.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily, 8:00AM to 5:00PM, year-round.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets start at 64 MXV (about $4) and continue upwards with tours, packages and other perks available.
  • Will I need a guide?
    With so much history to learn about, a guide is a great idea.
  • How to get there
    You can rent a car (parking is 10 pesos), take public transportation, or take a tour from Cancun or Cozumel.
  • Additional information

    • Try to arrive in the morning or later in the afternoon, as the sun is hottest at midday.

    • A light and sound show is put on each evening, and times vary by season, so plan to stay late if you can!

Other Sightseeing Options in Chichén Itzá

Want to discover all there is to do in Chichén Itzá? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chichén Itzá

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,025 reviews

Marco was the best! We had so much fun on the chitchen itza, cenote and tequila tasting tour. The lunch provided was EXCELLENT, and the tequila was so smooth and like nothing I have tasted in the US. Rodrigo was awesome and so knowledgeable about the Mayan culture. They both really made our trip a blast!!!

Really enjoyed this trip, lots of interesting things about the maya civilization and a nice refreshing swim in a cenote. Our guide Cesar was top

We had so much fun on this tour and found it to be extremely educational! Our guide Alan was extremely friendly and highly knowledgeable.

Excellent tours! Rodrigo at chichen itza was fantastic and very knowledgeable. The timing of everything was great!

Frank and Coronado were fantastic - a long day but we’ll worth it , you see so much ! Would highly recommend.