Chichán Itzá is one of the new seven wonders of the world what it makes it a must see destination. If you can take only one tour in Cancún this is the one.
I will do my best to answer questions like:
- How to get to Chichén Itzá?
- Is it better to go by car or take a tour?
- What is the cost of the tour to Chichén Itzá?
- Where can I buy my tour?
- What is included on the tour?
Take a tour or go by your own
Chichén Itzá is located near Valladolid in Yucatan and it’s 2.5 hours far from Cancún what it makes it hard to get there. You could go by bus/car or take a tour and forget about planing but before making any decision please consider the points below:
- By car – Cost of gasoline and highway fee $305 pesos (14 EUR) one way.
- By bus – Fixed schedule and the ticket costs around $230 pesos (12 EUR) one way with ADO but you need to book it with 2 days of anticipation at least or there will not be any seats available for you.
- Take a tour – You have free transportation from your hotel to Chichén Itzá and back.
Cost of the entrance to Chichén Itzá
There are 2 prices, for locals and foreigners. According to INAH’s webpage (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) the cost is $70 pesos the general admission plus an additional fee of $172 pesos for foreigners and $92 pesos for us (Mexicans). The final prices are:
- $242 pesos (12 EUR) for foreigners.
- $162 pesos (8 EUR) for Mexicans.
However when I went the prices changed slightly, $75 pesos the entrance and $98 pesos for the fee. If you take a took the entrance is included.
You need to pay $45 pesos (2 EUR) if you want to use your video camera (Handycam) or GoPro. I recorded videos and took photos with my phone on a gimbal and I didn’t pay the fee (I asked in reception to make sure).
There are no restaurants near Chichén Itzá, There is only one small coffee shop inside (thankfully) and of course food is included on your tour, you will stop in a restaurant (Hacienda Maya) and get access to the buffet.
If you are traveling alone or with one more person is better to take the tour because your guide will take care of everything however if you are traveling in a group of 3 to 5 persons I would recommend you to go by car. The cost of the highway and gasoline can be divided and you can bring food apart from leaving/arriving at any time you want with the possibility to visit and eat in Valladolid.
Where to buy a tour?
There are tons of sales points all over the city and the prices go from $30 US to $60 US. I didn’t ask what was included on the most expensive to be honest. I bought mine in Tourscancun.org because it has very good reviews on TripAdvisor and I am happy with the experience. The tour costs $749 pesos ($42 US).
I bought Chichen Itza with Cenote tour and this is what is included:
- Transportation from/to your Hotel with A/C.
- Guided visit (English and Spanish)
- Visit to Valladolid.
- Hacienda Maya.
- Buffet (beverages no included).
- Entrance to Cenote.
- Entrance to Chichen Itza.
- Travel insurance.
The tour started at 7 am and finished at 8 pm.
My tour to Chichén Itzá
I went with my friend and we decided to take the tour so I bought it online because I didn’t want to spend 10-15 minutes talking with different sales men. It was easier to compare and see what it is included and the itinerary for the day.
7:00 am to 8:30 am
The tour started in the hotel lobby to pick me up then I went to a concentration point in Zona Hotelera to get my tickets, batch or bracelet.
8:30 am to 11:30 pm
The bus departed at 8:30 am and 2 hours later I arrived to Valladolid at 11:30 am. Valladolid is in a different time zone (-7 instead of -6 like in Cancun). During that time the guide provided a history lesson about Maya Civilization.
Express Visit to Valladolid – 11:30 pm to 12:00 pm
The visit only lasts 30 minutes. No more. You will visit the city center as well as the Cathedral that is absolutely beautiful. Spoiler alert. The Cathedral has a snake carved on the front.
Hacienda Maya- Restaurant – 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
In The Hacienda Maya you will find any kinds of souvenirs, mugs, sculptures of any size made out of wood or obsidian, silver earrings and bracelets, guayaberas and ponchos. Because it’s an official selling point the prices are higher than in Cancún in the city center.
Half and hour later you will go to the restaurant that is next to the Hacienda and eat traditional food, Cochinita Pibil and Pollo en Escabeche.
Cenote Ik Kil – 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
A cenote is a cave full of water (pit/sinkwhole) that you can swim on it. The water is heavier than sea water because of all the minerals and if you don’t want to get tired swimming around I recommend you to rent a life jacket for only $30 pesos ($1.5 US). This cenote is 50 meters deep.
Chichén Itzá – 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Finally, the best part of the tour at the end. I can’t describe how I felt the time I gave my first step in Chichén Itzá and saw the Kukulkán Temple. Sunny day, blue sky with some clouds around and ancient history in every corner and then you wonder how Mayas invented the number “0”? Why were they obsessed with time and wanted to measure everything? How did they elaborate the so accurate Mayan Calendar? How did they discover that every 52 years the stars complete a cycle and appear in the same position? how come?…
One more time your guide will explain you everything and give you tons of facts and interesting things that Mayas did.
Did you know that there is a cenote under Kukulkán Temple?
Yes, there is and this is one of the reasons why you can’t climb the temple because the ground is only 5 meters thick and it could collapse with the weigh of millions of people visiting the temple every year.
The guided tour is 1 hour and 1 hour to walk around which I consider not enough. I was running all over the place to take pictures because the museum closes at 4:30 pm.The tour is over and 3 hours later you will be back in Cancún.
It is a tiring tour because of all walking – swimming and even more if the temperature is more than 30°C with no clouds but as I said earlier, if you could take only one tour this is The One.