Spent a half day wandering around the main site and associated buildings. Well laid out and reasonably clean, although there are many locals here trying to sell their wares which... read more
Chichen Itza (/tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/, Spanish: Chichen Itza [tʃiˈtʃen...
Chichen Itza (/tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/, Spanish: Chichen Itza [tʃiˈtʃen iˈtsa], from Yucatec Maya: Chi'ch'een Iitsha' [tɕʰiʔtɕʼeːn iːtsʰaʔ]; "at the mouth of the well of the Itza") was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinum Municipality, Yucatan State, Mexico.
Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic period (c. AD 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.
The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatan.[nb 1]
Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year.