All inclusive vacations tend to be filled with relaxation, drinking, eating, and fun at the resort. However there is a cultural disconnect between life at a resort and what is really happening away from the coastal hotels. Although seven days sprawled out on a beach is fitting for a lot of people, others enjoy the stimulation of experiencing culture and viewing historically important sites. For those vacationing in Mexico, there is no better place to witness history than at Chichen Itza.
Hundreds of years after it thrived as the main metropolis in the Yucatan peninsula, Chichen Itza is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Mexico. At the center of the city, ‘El Castillo’ also known as the ‘Kukulkan Pyramid’, stands as a lasting remnant of ancient times. In 2007 it was named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (along with The Great Wall of China, Petra, Christ Redeemer, Machu Picchu, The Roman Coliseum, and The Taj Mahal). The importance of Chichen Itza on the world stage was highlighted in 1988 when it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When booking a Mexican vacation it is important to strategically plan the trip in order to minimize travel to Chichen Itza. With over a million tourists visiting the area every year, congestion can at times be an issue with many resorts offering bus tours to the ruins. Timing the visit outside the high season improves the overall cultural experience to this sacred Mayan site. The Akumal area provides the shortest travel to Chichen Itza but be prepared for at least 2-2.5 hours on the bus each way. Staying in a hotel for a night in the surrounding area is a good option for travelers that don’t mind sacrificing a suntan in return for some culture.
Considering the rich history and cultural significance of Chichen Itza, there is no excuse not to take a day away from the beach to see this legendary site.