Chichen Itza

#54 - Cancun, Mexico
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Back in the day, pyramids were more popular than you could imagine.
Even the Mayans built pyramids -- for other reasons than the Egyptians, but pyramids nonetheless. This is fascinating since the two are miles and miles away from each other. Chichen Itza is a majestic Mayan archaeological site. The name literally means "at the edge of the Itza's well," inspired by the fact that fresh water runs underground this arid region. But our #54 AbsoluteVisit is not just impressive because of its natural wonders, the ghost city left behind is fascinating to explore and its history is even more intriguing to witness firsthand.
Slide 1
El Castillo and Friends
#1 Chichen Itza Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 2
Las Monjas Steps
#2 Chichen Itza Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 3
El Castillo
#3 Chichen Itza Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 4
The Great Pyramid
#4 Chichen Itza Photo - Zhao Naidoo
Slide 1
Chichen Itza El Caracol
by 1yen
 
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Quick Facts & History

  • Built by the Maya Civilization, Chichen Itza is a large archaeological area in Mexico that is believed to have been an important pilgrimage place for the Mayas and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Each structure within the complex of Chichen Itza has a name of its own and was all made from the same type of stone.
  • One of the most famous structures, the Juego de Pelota, is the largest ball court in Mesoamerica, measuring 168 meters (551 feet) long and 70 meters (230 feet) wide.
  • Another well-known structure in Chichen Itza, El Castillo (a.k.a. Kukulkan's Pyramid), has a unique quality that appears every year during the spring equinox. As the sun casts its rays on the 75-foot (23 meter) tall pyramid, a shadow appears in the shape of a descending serpent. Unfortunately, people are no longer allowed to climb these famed stairs for preservation purposes.
 

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El Castillo and Friends
Ranked #1 by Brad Harbach
Las Monjas Steps
Ranked #2 by Brad Harbach
El Castillo
Ranked #3 by Brad Harbach
 
The Great Pyramid
Ranked #4 by Zhao Naidoo
 
 

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Places That Are Nearby

Chichen Itza
#54
Galapagos Islands
#5
Teotihuacan
#64
Tikal
#85
 

Videos of Chichen Itza

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# 1

El Castillo and Friends

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# 2

Las Monjas Steps

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# 3

El Castillo

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# 4

The Great Pyramid

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