On our recent short trip to Mexico my boyfriend and me did our best to use our time wisely so that we see and do as much as we could. Even though the day tour to Chichen Itza was not our first activity is the one that really got me and the one I am never going to forget as long as I live.
We booked this tour before we arrived in Mexico through Viator. Since the Chichen Itza is one of the most visited locations in Mexico we decided to choose a tour with an archaeologist among the others. The Amigo Tour with Frank gave us the opportunity to visit this archaeological site in Yucatan in the early morning hours before the avalanche of tourists floods the entire place. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life.
It was a very wise choice because of the heat as well. As you all know Mexico has tropical climate. The temperature and the humidity levels are constantly very high and it gets even higher around noon.
In order to enjoy this tour we needed to make one little sacrifice and wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning, but it was worth it. The bus picked us up from Cancún at 4:30 in front of our amazing hotel The Royal Islander – An All Suites Resort . Check the link for reviews, prices and availability for your desired dates. .
Our guide Super Frank, was very knowledgeable of the Mayan culture.
One is sure by visiting this place with Frank you are going to learn much more of what you can find in history books. Chichen Itza is classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and in 1988 was enlisted as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you wish to stay in the heart of Chichen Itza I can suggest you to stay in the Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows. This hotel has been named one of the world’s top hotels by National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler magazines.
There we learned all about the Kukulkan Temple, how the Mayans lived, from where and why they came in Mexico. Why the corn is the symbol of life for Mayans and many, many more interesting facts regarding the Mayans calendar, the significance of ball games and gatherings, etc.
This tour was an endless source of knowledge in general. I really feel blessed to have such of opportunity to learn so many interesting things in a such as short period of time.
If you study or you are involved in art, design, architecture or you love history and archaeology this is the must place to visit at least once in your lifetime. For me Chichen Itza was an amazing example of balance, composition and harmony in space.
The design and layout of Chichen Itza was clearly well planned and builders constructed temples and pyramids in sets of clusters.
If you visit this place with an open heart and mind you are going to gain something much more valuable than the practical knowledge learned from books and lectures.
I will not go into the tour details and everything I learned there in this article, because you need to discover it by yourself.
One is sure, I can heartily recommend this tour to everyone. It was amazing to experience the mystery of the temple acoustic, that reproduce the sound of a bird if you clap your hands in front of it.
The Mayans cherished the number 7, and when they built the great ball court at Chichen Itza, they designed it to echo exactly 7 times.
I will also give you a few tips regarding this tour that can make your life easier if you decide to go one day. Be sure that you have a good night sleep before the tour, don’t stay at Coco-Bongo dancing and drinking alcohol until 2:30 in the morning, as we did.
This tour starts very early, at around 4:30 in the morning and it demands a lot of your energy. If we could do it differently we would skip the Coco- Bongo experience for some other night.
Take some healthy snacks with you, to give you the energy until you are back in town or your hotel in the late afternoon. The lunch box they provide at the tour is nothing special. In the paper bag you will find a sandwich (cheese, butter and a slice of green salad and tomato that made the bread saggy due the heat) even though I was hungry I couldn’t eat it. The chips, banana, chocolate, and small water bottle was OK, but not enough if you haven’t eaten anything all day.
Upon arrival, we had a bit of free time to use the bathroom and grab a bite to eat at the open kiosk by the entrance, I also took a cup of coffee which I enjoyed inside of the park later on under the tree shadow.
There is no dress code, but I suggest you to wear comfortable shoes, a straw hat, and long sleeved lightweight shirt to protect yourself from sunburns.
It is up to you if you are going to follow the guide or you are going to explore around by yourself. My advice is to follow the guide, because you can learn more.
You will have some free time before the departure to check the local vendors market on your way to the Sagrado Cenote.
If you take better look at the rocks around you will see many grey lizards.
In general we saw a lot of them, there were everywhere. It is not easy to spot them, because they are masters of camouflage.
Lizards use color camouflage to hide from predators in the rocks. They almost melt with the environment.
Regarding the local vendors don’t be tricked by the $1 signs on the T-shirts and other stuff they sell. If you approach them with a 1USD in your hand they will explain you with a smile that the price is not in US dollars but in Mayan dollars. It is a perfect tourist scam.
I have seen people handing a $20 bill to the vendor for a $1 T-shirt and instead of taking 19 USD back they were getting only 2. If you ask for the rest of your change they will inform you that the prices are in Mayan dollars, not US dollars.
At the end you will walk away with the item you only bought because was cheap and it turns out that it weren’t cheap at all. One is sure the Mayan dollars don’t exist. So, ask for your money back. Don’t be afraid to make a scene.
I don’t like when people underestimate my intelligence. I would rather just give the vendor some money to help feed their family without taking anything from the stall, than let the vendor make a full of me in this way.
This is the main reason why the tour organizers will advise you to make your souvenir shopping in the official store at the Mayan village.
It might be a bit more expensive but at least they have prices listed on every item so it is more clear for you how much you have to pay. You can always ask for discount if you purchase more items and you will get it at the end as we did.
The Mayan village is the last stop of this tour. There they will provide you with the lunch bag as I mentioned, you will have some free time for shopping in the souvenir shop. First of all, upon arrival you will participate in a small Mayan ritual where you are going to be blessed by a Mayan priest. At this point our guide Frank explained to us more about Mayan religion back then and nowadays, and gave us some tips on how to recognize the real Obsidian rock.
I believe I said enough about this tour to trigger your attention. I hope you learned something from it and that you enjoyed reading it.
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If you decide to visit Cancún check the following link accommodation in Cancún. As I earlier mentioned we stayed in amazing The Royal Islander – An All Suites Resort check the link for guests reviews, prices and availability for your desired dates.