Chichen-Itza and Cenote Jumping
Last week I was in Mexico celebrating my birthday with a solo trip filled with beaches, delicious food, and adventure. While I get to Mexico fairly often, this trip I made the effort to get back to Chichen-Itza, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.
A few years ago, citizens of the world got together to name a new 7 Wonders of the World. It was done because of the original 7 Wonders of the World, only 1 remains (the Pyramids of Giza which I saw in January!). The public voted and the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen-Itza were named as a winner.
Back in my early pre-teen years, I had been to Chichen-Itza so I was well aware of the awesomeness of the complex, the boiling temperatures, and the long drive from Cancun. I booked a tour with Expedia from my hotel lobby to go to both Chichen-Itza and a cenote to swim, just to break up the day a little.
Walking into Chichen-Itza is pretty cool. The path is lined with Mayan descedants selling their wares but once you are passed all that the big temple is the first thing you see. And it definitely has that wow factor!
Chichen-Itza was hot! The lack of shade is very apparent when wondering around either with a guide or solo. My tour bus driver gave us green umbrellas to use as shade which saved me quite the sunburn.
Tens of thousands of tourists visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site every day so go early (which seems to be my new mantra) and beat the heat and the crowds. It costs about $24 to enter these days if you rent a car and do it on your own.
Twenty years ago when I was last here, you could still climb the stairs to the main temple. I remember it being scary and dangerous then so I was not surprised when I saw that climbing it was no longer permitted.
Of the other buildings the ball field and the temple of columns were the most interesting buildings.
You can still see the holes where the goals or baskets were scored. Neat!
After walking around for a few hours (you need about 2 hours here), I was very happy to be back on my air conditioned bus heading to lunch and the cenote for a swim.
The cenote was pretty cool. But don’t be like me. I opted to jump in where all the kids were jumping in, high up with no fear. It was quite a bit higher than it seemed and I got so much water in my ears doing it that I was miserable the rest of the day when one of my ears would not drain. But it was still fun and the water cool but not so cold I didn’t want to swim.
Overall it was a 12 hour day filled with mini-adventures. Chichen-Itza is a must see and cenote swimming is just a cool experience. Next time you go to the Yucatan Peninsula make sure to take a day and experience one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.