Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?

Old Jan 28th, 2002, 11:43 AM
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Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?

I assume this is the proper place to ask questions about Mexico.

I will be on a cruise in June that will stop in Progreso for about 8 hours. I plan on hiring a taxi to drive my wife and I to Chichen Itza. I have done research and I feel comfortable being our own tour guide while at the ruins.

I understand that this is about 2 square miles of ruins and my wife and I are 29 years old, healthy and do not mind walking at all. My wife is afraid of heights, so we will not climb to the top of the El Castillo.

My question is, can we realistically see the following in about 3 hours:

Temple of the Jaguar
Platform of the Skulls
The Ball Court
Platform of the Eagles and Jaguars
Temple of the Bearded Man
Platform of Venus
The Temple of the Warriors / Plaza of 1000 Collumns
El Castillo

I understand that these above areas are the main area. I was also wondering whether it was feasible to go to the outskirts and see the Sacred Cenote (to the north approximately 1/2 mile) and the areas to the south which make up the OLD Chichen:

The Observatory (El Caracol)
The Nunnary
The Church (Eglesia)

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. I assumed that since we will not climb on the outside of El Castillo, maybe we would have time to go inside (the narrow passage ways)

Also, where is that pile of stones located that make noise when they are struck with wooden mallets?

Dave Miklas

[email protected]
Old Jan 29th, 2002, 05:00 AM
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Dave, it has been about ten years since i was at chichen itza, so my info isn't great, but at least this will bump up your question again...

Anyway, my recollection is that a lot of the main sites at c-i are fairly close together, so you ought to be able to see much of what's on your list. Take lots of water _ it will be HOT in the interior, even if it feels bearable on the coast, and with your schedule you will probably be there in the hottest part of the day. And even though you think you don't want a guide, you might want to rethink that _ we usually don't hire guides either, but did at Tikal in Guatemala a few years back, and the guy was really interesting and helped us find shortcuts between the temples we wanted to see _ which may prove valuable to you since you're on a short schedule.

have a great trip!
Old Jan 29th, 2002, 07:28 AM
john Stomver
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I think that you will be able to see it all in 3 hours. I am curious to know whether anyone has any experience going there from Progreso (how long the taxi ride is). Most cruise passengers do Chichen Itza from Cancun.
Old Jan 29th, 2002, 09:55 AM
dan woodlief
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You will easily be able to see it all in three hours. If you do have time, I would recommend climbing the pyramid because it is quite an experience. You can go up and down in 10 minutes or less. If you don't eat lunch at Chichen Itza or shopping at the giftshops, you shouldn't have a problem. You might be interested in my Maya travelogue at
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 03:52 PM
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My wife is also afraid of heights. She found a shade near El Castillo to rest while I did a quick climb to the top. It's seems like a different world when you're up there. I highly recommend it.
Old Jan 31st, 2002, 09:30 AM
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3 hr.will be plenty of time & you will be able to see the whole park. My husband & son climbed to the top of the pyramid & loved it. It is much steeper than it looks and alot of people were coming down on their rear-ends holding on to a rope. There is also a snack bar there that sells bottled water & soda.

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