Situated in the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is the most famous, most visited, and most impressive of the country’s many Mayan sites.
This is somewhat ironic because its most famous structures do not have typical Classic Mayan architecture but show strong influences from other civilizations from Central Mexico.
While the scorching sun and teeming crowds can put some people off, it is not without reason that the astounding archaeological ruins were selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Built between the ninth and twelfth centuries, the once-great city covers a huge area, and many of its buildings, temples and palaces are still in remarkably good condition.
These feature a wide array of different architectural styles and offer a fascinating insight into the Mayan civilization.
The undoubted highlight is The Pyramid of Kukulcan – or El Castillo – which is the site’s most famous landmark.
The hulking temple’s stone terraces dominate Chichen Itza and were ingeniously constructed to give the illusion of serpents crawling down the side of the pyramid.
Many tourists visit Chichen Itza as a day trip, especially from Cancún or Merida but it is also possible to stay a night or two here.