When most people take luxury vacations to Cancun, they spend a lot of their time lounging on the area's soft, white sand, soaking up the sun & sipping on a few ice-cold local libations. However, for those interested in learning more about Mexico's rich culture, a day-trip to Chichen Itza is a must. It typically takes about two hours to drive to this landmark from Cancun, but most travelers would agree the trip is totally worth it.
What is Chichen Itza? As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is regarded as one of the planet's most awe-inspiring & fascinating sites. This pre-Columbian city was the center of the Mayan civilization from 750 to 1200 AD & featured dazzling pyramids, temples, arcades & other stone structures.
One of the most iconic structures in Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan, a stunning pyramid that highlights the Mayans' dedication to astronomy & powerful architectural knowledge. Each of the four sides of the pyramid has 91 steps, meaning that when the top platform is included, the temple has a total of 365 steps, representing each day of the year. While that's impressive enough, the shadows created by the spring & autumn equinoxes make a serpent-shaped pattern on the pyramid, which shows that the Mayans could accurately predict these natural phenomena.
How can I get there? If you're staying at a luxury hotel in Mexico, chances are your resort will offer tours to the iconic Chichen Itza, especially if it's located in Cancun's popular Hotel Zone. The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, for example, offers tours of the Mayan landmark three days per week. These tours include round-trip transportation on an air-conditioned bus, a bilingual tour guide & a lunch buffet. As an added bonus, if you simply can't get enough of Mexico's amazing Mayan culture, the Hard Rock Cancun also offers tours to Tulum, a pre-Columbian Mayan city with stunning views.
What should I bring? If you're planning on visiting Chichen Itza, you'll definitely want to pack bug spray, sunblock & good walking shoes. You should also bring a modest amount of money, as there's a small entrance fee to get into Chichen Itza, while the area also features several vendors selling Mayan-inspired items that might just make the perfect souvenir. Finally, don't forget your camera! Trust us when we say this is a photo op you don't want to miss!