We help you with tips to visit Chichen Itza. The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is the tourist jewel of the Yucatan Peninsula. Chichen is one of the places that you don't want to lose in your path.

Chichen Itza is monumental, it has some of the most impressive buildings in the Mayan world. The undisputed star of the enclosure is its colossal Castle or Temple of Kukulcán. I think it is fair to say that the great tourist development of the Riviera Maya undoubtedly prompted the nomination of this place as one of the 7 wonders of the Modern World. Without detracting from the place, which is undoubtedly spectacular, this proximity clearly enhances it.

Chichen Itza has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. In my opinion, this is more valuable than the "Oscars" of the Wonders of the World. This fame means that thousands of tourists visit Chichen Itza every day, most of them from the Riviera Maya. All travel agencies have their tour to Chichen Itza.

Explore the 5 pyramids of Mexico most prominent in Mayan territory

Tips for visiting Chichen Itza
Kukulcán Temple, 7 Wonder of the Modern World


We will try to convey the best tips to visit Chichen Itza, with its Temple of Kukulcán considered 7 Wonder of the Modern World. We give you all the information, with options for sleeping, transportation, what is cheaper, and the most exclusive too. So you can enjoy this wonder in your own way.

We live in this land since the 2007, we are tourist guides, we are updated

Tips for visiting Chichen Itza
Tips for visiting Chichen Itza
Tips for visiting Chichen Itza

Un full tour of the main buildings of Chichen Itza:

Within the tips to visit Chichen Itza we will also tour the main buildings of the enclosure so that you do not leave anything important.

Buildings on the main esplanade

The main entrance to the archaeological zone directs you to the main esplanade. Here we see some of the most notorious buildings of the place: the most impressive are the Temple of Kukulcán and Ball game.

KUKULCÁN TEMPLE: the Temple encompasses much of the mathematical and astronomical knowledge applied to architecture. Honestly, it is worth explaining well the knowledge that they applied in the Temple of Kukulcán to appreciate the place. 

BALL GAME: in his magnificent Ball game, the largest found to this day in Mesoamerica, you will enjoy scandalously accurate resonances. Pure mathematics is what we can come to appreciate in Chichén Itzá, a luxury.

Other buildings on this esplanade are the Tzompantli (the one with the skulls), the Temple of the Warriors, el Courtyard of the Thousand Columns, Venus platform. Only this part already takes you a good time of your time.

You can find all this in the great main esplanade, wonderful. Some tours and tours only look at this part, they are quick visits that I think detract from visitor time.

Kukulcán Temple and Temple of the Warriors in the background
Tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own or on 1 tour
Ball Game Building
The great Ball Game of Chichen Itza
Relief of a warrior on the wall of the Ball Game
Tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own or on 2 tour
Courtyard of the Thousand Columns
Tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own or on 3 tour
Temple of the Warriors

Visit the sacred cenote Chichen Itza

From the main esplanade, the visit takes you along the ceremonial path to the Sacred Cenote, the most striking of which we can see in Chichén. In this cenote ceremonies were carried out, as confirmed by the objects and skeleton that were found when exploring it. 

The latest discoveries tell us that there is a cenote under the castle of Kukulkan, and 4 cenotes in each of the directions of the enclosure. The Mayan and the cenotes are linked in their cosmogony and their way of understanding the world. It is one of the most interesting aspects of the cenotes in Mayan lands.

cenote chichen itza kukulcan
Sacred Cenote in Chichen Itza

Tour of the Observatory and Temple of the Nuns in Chichen Itza

Leaving behind the Sacred cenote and the great esplanade, you have the other part open to the public, because there is a part that we know as Chichén Viejo that remains closed.

On this road there are beautiful buildings like the Observatory, Ossuary, Cenote Xtolok, Temple of the Nuns. The road leads you from one to another, on a walk through this beautiful city full of stories. 

In the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá you will see a range of the best of Mesoamerican wisdom. You are in one of the biggest ancient cities, it is easy to notice.

The Chichén Itzá Observatory
Tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own or on 4 tour
Temple of the Nuns


We give you the tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own by public transport or by car. With prices and times for you to organize yourself well. We also make a price comparison if you go on tour or rental car.


  • From Cancun: it leaves at 8:45 am from the central terminal of the ADO, it has a 3-hour journey. 268 Mexican pesos each way. Return at 4:30 pm to Cancun. 
  • From Playa del Carmen: leaves at 8 am from the central terminal of the ADO, has a journey of 3:50 hours. 292 Mexican pesos each way. Return at 4:30 pm to Playa del Carmen.
  • From Tulum: goes to the 9 and another to the 3: 40 in the afternoon, has a route of 2: 40 hours. 120 to 240 Mexican pesos per way.
  • From any previous population of Riviera Maya You can also go to Valladolid, and from this beautiful city you take the bus for 30 pesos to Pisté, a town where Chichen Itza is.

I recommend you read ADO to the archaeological zones


If your idea is to go by rental car to Chichen Itza we leave you the tips to do so.

  • You can go from Cancun and Playa del Carmen by toll road (for a fee), which costs you about 380 pesos each way. Around 2: 15 hours for the fee, and if you go for free add half a good hour to the journey.
  • From Tulum It is at 2 hours, from here the road is not paid.

Advice from how to get to Chichen Itza by car from Riviera Maya


Mérida from the bus terminal leaves daily to Chichén at 6.30, 8:15 and 9:15, it takes between 1:30 and 2 hours each way and the ticket costs between 140 and 180 pesos. More economical is the transport that leaves the CAME, it takes 2 hours and a half and costs around 70 pesos.


The same can be done by quota road or by free from Merida to Chichen: the journey on the toll road leaves for about 140 pesos and it takes 1: 30 hour, for the free road it takes another half hour longer.

Information on schedules and prices of Kukulkan Nights show


Following with the advice to visit Chichén Itzá, the comparison between going on your own or on a tour could not be missed. Most tours from Riviera Maya stop at the Hubiku cenote, the Ik-kil cenote and Valladolid.

The great bulk of visitors to Chichen are from the Riviera Maya, it is comfortable and you do not get so much the difference in price, it can even be cheaper to go with an agency. From 45 usd for foreigners the excursion.

There are also agencies that offer tours in smaller agencies, where you pay around 85 euros for the day trip to Chichen Itza. The agencies pick you up and leave you at your hotel.

If you are looking for cheap tours I recommend this link excursions from Riviera Maya

Making calculations If you travel on your own by bus from Riviera Maya to visit Chichén Itzá you get for about 1200 pesos, counting food, tickets and bus in the price. (480 pesos entrance, 500 pesos the bus plus the food)

By rental car 760 fee road payment weights, about 700 gasoline weights, the entrance to Chichen Itza which is 481 pesos. As you drive you will want to take advantage of the day and see some cenote. Account entrance to cenotes on 100 pesos, parking 40, economic food 120 pesos. Put that you pay about 800 pesos a day for the rental car. Total price: 2922 pesos (about 130 euros). If you go 4 people save, you leave for 32 euros per person and you win in freedom. If you go two, a tour is cheaper.

Everyone travels according to their tastes and customs, so you choose how to go.

Chichen Itza Ball Game


If you want to follow our tips for visit Chichen without so many people and heat, it is best to sleep near the enclosure and enter early. The big coaches that arrive from Mérida and Riviera Maya arrive as early as 9, and the big bus later. In the late afternoon there are also not many tourist buses.

Remember that you have the accommodations in the area with direct access to Chichén Itzá: are the The Lodge at Chichen Itza and  Hotel & Bungalows Mayaland. Without a doubt a hotel privilege.

Chichén Itzá offers with an extra cost to enter before the 8 in the morning. The same for staying at sunset



Pisté, the closest town to Chichen Itza, has a wide hotel offer, you will surely find your perfect option. To facilitate your search we write an entry about where to sleep in Chichen Itza, We hope you find it useful.

Chichen Itza is much more than a quick visit from one of the Riviera Maya hotels. But it is already known that they are things that bring fame, and Chichén Itzá has to go yes or yes.

Hopefully our tips will help you to visit Chichen Itza. Share on your social networks or with friends if you found the information useful. We are here to help you in your journey through these lands.

Tips to visit Chichen Itza on your own or on 5 tour

Chichen Itza councils, archaeological site

LOCATION: Chichén Itzá is located 120 km from the city of Merida, 50 kilometers from Valladolid and 188 from Cancun. Located near one of the exits of the 180 toll road, which connects Mérida-Cancun.
SCHEDULE AND SERVICES open from 8 a.m. to 17 p.m. daily. They sell drinks and junk food (chips, cookies and stuff) inside. There are services at the entrance.
PRICE ENTRY: 75 pesos for INAH, plus the Cultur payment: 405 pesos for foreigners and 127 for Mexicans and permanent residents. Total foreigners 481 pesos and Mexicans 202 pesos. On Sundays the entrance to the INAH is free for Mexicans and permanent residents. Access to the archaeological sites is free every day for children under 13 years of age, students, teachers and seniors with valid credentials. During 2019 nationals with residence in Yucatan do not pay CULTUR. PARKING LOT: 80 mxn per car.
Light and sound show The Nights of KukulKán takes place every day, except Mondays. Light and sound schedules: at 20 in summer-autumn and at 19 in winter-spring.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? From Mérida, CAME buses depart from calle 70 with 71, you have 1h30 ″ (hours 6:15, 9:15 and 12:40 hrs) From Cancun an ADO bus leaves at 8:45 (Av. Tulum, esq. Av. Uxmal), which returns from there at 16:30. 3 hours drive. From Valladolid combi (bus) leaves near the ADO, they charge about 30 pesos. On the way back to Valladolid, the combis pass through Piste.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothing, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, closed shoes better and some water always goes well if you do not want to buy it inside rather more expensive.
EQUINOXES:I mention the special case of Chichen Itza with the theme of the equinoxes, being a phenomenon that attracts many travelers. During the spring equinox, on March 21, the sun sets over the 17: 20 and the area closes at its usual 17 schedule, emptying the enclosure at the 16: 45. So you don't see it whole. And in the autumn equinox, the September 22-23, the sun sets later, so it doesn't appreciate either. Does it cost so much to extend the schedule? Why they don't do it is a mystery to me.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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