Chichen Itza in 90 mins (Plus 4 hours driving)
Chichen Itza Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
I have always been fascinated with the Mayans. There is a certain mystique about this incredibly advanced civilization that thrived in Central America for centuries and then seemed to vanish. Almost all of us have seen pictures of the reliefs depicting human sacrifice and menacing creatures that are half-man/half-animal. Scientists are still amazed by the accuracy and complexity of the Mayan calendar, and we all wonder if anything will happen in December 2012 when the Mayan calendar ends. All of these things had piqued my curiosity and made me eager to explore the cities of these intriguing people.
When I had started planning my March 2008 trip I had wanted to stay at a resort in the Riviera Maya so that I could enjoy the beaches and visit the Mayan ruins.
The Chichen Itza ruins are now part of a national park to keep them maintained and preserve them. We entered through the main gate and walked through a path in the jungle up to the clearing where the old temple was. It is safe to say that everyone there was awestuck when they crested the hill and saw the temple and all the other buildings in the complex for the first time.
All throughout the park are vendors selling souviners. The vendors are more than happy to take a gullible tourist's money. Unfortunately, there are alot of ignorant travelers out there who unknowingly pay more than they should for things and this drives up the prices for the rest of us. Many people just pay the first price offered without even attempting to broker a better deal. Luckily, the vendors around the ruins love to haggle so if you are a discerning shopper you can get the price down lower. I personally love to argue and considered the verbal jousting to be a highlight of the trip. After a little sightseeing and picking up presents for family back home, we boarded the bus to head back to the cruise ship. Even though we were only there for a short time, it was a great trip. My friends and I had a wonderful afternoon and managed to soak up a little culture in the process. I cannot wait to head back down to Central America to see more ruins. I am currently waiting for some spring vacation time to head back down there.