Whether you’re arriving at Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by land, air or sea, don’t miss the opportunity to explore one of the ancient wonders of the Western Hemisphere, Chichén Itzá.
Pre-Columbian Mayans began construction on the five-square-mile site between 750 and 900 A.D. The famous 98-foot tall Temple of Kukulkan (also called “El Castillo”) still towers over the Great Ball Court, El Mercado, Temple of Warriors, Wall of Skulls and other structures. Chichén Itzá is believed to have been the largest Mayan city with as many as 50,000 residents.
The complex is now maintained by the Mexican government and visited by more than 2 million people each year. Chichén Itzá is a 90-minute drive from Mérida, the colonial city that is popular with LGBTQ visitors, and about a four-hour trip (including ferry to mainland*) each way for cruise passengers docking in Cozumel. Admission is free, but guests must pay an US$8 fee to take photographs or video on the grounds.
*On March 2, 2018 the U.S. Dept. of State issued a warning to Americans visiting Cozumel to avoid travel on the local tourist ferries to the mainland due to safety concerns. For updates, visit State.gov.