Chichen Itza, Impressive Mayan ruins

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2011

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Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Our alarm went off at 05:30, it was time to go jump into the shower, pack our backpack and head out. Our tour guide was promptly waiting outside the hotel. We booked a tour with 'Cancunwithme' a highly rated tour guide. We opted for a private day trip, and had the owner (Manny) come along to show us around.

We both have never been to Mexico before, and never thought about going there, so we were low on research. From the few things we picked up on the Internet and the tourist flyers, we had one thing on our list, “Chichen Itza” as this is a 'must do'. For this we had to leave very early, to beat the crowds, and we were glad we did.

The drive to the site is a long and boring 3 hours. There is nothing along the road except for 'Jungle' so we all kind of slept on our way over. Even the driver dozed off a bit which was a scary. To wake him up I asked him to stop for a sanitary break. Once we safely arrived at Chichen Itza we hired a local tour guide named Lilo as Manny is no expert at these sites (which he clearly states on his site).

Lilo was of Mayan decent himself, and was very knowledgeable about the history and ruins. He had an interesting way of telling the stories around the ruins and the Mayan history. We would recommend anyone who is going to Chichen Itza to hire Lilo, it makes the visit so much more interesting. During our visit we shot tons of photos and Manny made some shots of us as well as part of the 'package'. Around noon we had seen the highlights, and the site began to crowd up with tour buses full of tourists. This was our cue to leave and get some food.

We went to have lunch at a local eatery in Vollalidod, a little hole in the wall which you could never find on your own, even if the GPS would point it out to you. The food was local Yacutan cuisine, chicken and pork dishes. While we were enjoying our lunch It started to rain hard. The streets changed into small rivers, so we could not head in to town.

We decided to go to see a Cenote (a little lake in a cave) nearby which was very interesting. We dipped our feet in the (cold) water and enjoyed this unusual sight. We did not really feel like swimming as the rain cooled the temperatures down to comfortable levels.

After our visit to the Cenote we headed out to another Mayan ruin called Ek Balam. This is a smaller site where you can actually walk on the ruins and touch them yourselves. We escaped the rain just long enough to climb up the temple half way, then thunder struck, and we decided it was not a good idea to climb up the highest building in the neighborhood in a thunderstorm. It was mid afternoon already and as all sites close at 17:00 and don't let people enter around 16:00 we would not make it to another one in time.

We drove back to the coast and headed back to the apartment. This was a very interesting day and we truly saw some wonders of the world. Back at the apartment we treated ourselves to a well deserved Corona. We both were dead tired from the long day, and fell asleep early.

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