2 million tourists visit Chichen Itza in a year. Is it worth to become one of them? YES! Don’t let the statistics scare you. Feeling so tiny next to El Castillo pyramid and getting lost in ancient ruins is awesome. What’s the secret to have an authentic experience?
The gates open at 8:00 AM. Be there at 7:45 AM latest. Sounds exaggerated, but day tour buses appear around 9:00 already. However, it’s not the other tourists that we mind, it would be foolish to expect no one else wants to see a world wonder. It’s the souvenir sellers that spoil the place! They start to set up their stalls as soon as the gate opens. When they finish, Chichen Itza becomes a huge open market. Instead of reminiscing about Mayan culture, you constantly refuse pushy souvenir sellers.
Chichen Itza is reasonably kid and baby friendly. Stroller will get everywhere, some parts are more bumpy than others, but easily manageable. Bring some healthy snacks, water, sunscreen, and don’t forget a hat. It gets really hot by midday, and the area around El Castillo is flat open. Start with the main pyramid in the early morning, and then explore the other ruins that are more shaded, with plenty of space to hide, sit down, and let the kids run around.
If you are coming on a day tour, arrival time is the crucial factor you should check. If you have your own car or are more flexible on transport, we strongly recommend to stay longer in the area. We stayed in Valladolid, 45 min drive away. Our 3 days here were enough to enjoy this little town, do a day trip to Rio Lagartos, and refresh ourselves in several cenotes.
- Our stay in Casa Zazil Airbnb in Valladolid was amazing, perfect for families! Huge house with own pool, two (!!) baby cots, toys, even fruit, cake and beer in the fridge. The hosts live next door and are very friendly and helpful.
- Yerba Buena del Sisal restaurant: a highlight! Colorful, with garden seating, tasty food, friendly staff and reasonable prices.
- Use this link to get €28 off or this link to get $31 off your first booking with Airbnb.