Skip to main content  Text Only version of this page
BBCi

CATEGORIES
TV
RADIO
COMMUNICATE
WHERE I LIVE
INDEX

SUNDAY
4th April 2004
Text only
Food Antiques Gardening Lifestyle Homes Motoring Watchdog programmes

BBC Homepage
 

About the BBC

Contact Us

Help


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
 Holiday | Programmes | 50
Mexico

Chichen Itza

Best time to go: The plateau and high mountains are warm for much of the year, while the Pacific Coast has a tropical climate

BBC Weather
For a choice of tour operators see our Travel WebGuide
Sorry, you must have cookies enabled to use this vote.
Please see our Privacy Policy for more information about cookies and how they are used by the BBC.
Craig Doyle
In at number 13 of the top 50 was Chichen Itza.

Found in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and surrounded on all sides by a vast rain forest, Chichen Itza is a ruined ancient city occupying an area of four square miles (10 square kilometres), which was first populated around the sixth century AD by the Mayans. They were famed for their advanced mathematical knowledge and incredible understanding of the solar system.

El Castillo, the most famous structure in Chichen Itza dominating the site, may be a simple looking building, but it is in fact the Mayan calendar, made in stone. It is a square structure rising in nine receding terraces to resemble a staggered pyramid.

Each face has its own monumental staircase, and each staircase has 91 steps, which added to the single step at the main entrance to the temple amounts to 365.

At the top of the pyramid is a carving of a plumed serpent representing Quetzalcoatl, a Mayan deity.

Other structures to explore include the Akabtzib (House of the Dark Writing), the Chichanchob (Red House), the observatory El Caracol (The Snail), The Iglesia (Church) and the Casa de las Monjas (Nunnery).

The city has hundreds of buildings, many of them partially restored, but some still covered with jungle vines and bushes. A stroll through the city will give you a fascinating insight into Mayan culture, but the best view can be found at the top of El Castillo, if you are brave enough to attempt the climb.

   

All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights about £700

Approx flight time: 11 hours, 25 minutes from London to Mexico City

  • El Castillo is 79 feet (24 metres) high
  • the name Chichen Itza means "opening of the wells of the Itza"
  • the tallest pillars ever erected by the Maya can be found in El Marcado (the market) in Chichen Itza
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

Can you help Wenny T?
See when your favourite Holiday programmes are next on TV.
Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 6 hours behind

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required


Inoculations & health
Typhoid, Hepatitus A, recommended, Dip, Tuberculosis Hep B and Rabies sometimes recommended

BBCi Health
NetDoctor

Currency
New peso
Check out the latest rates: use our currency converter

Language
Spanish

BBCi Languages




Terms of Use | Privacy