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snorkelman January 28th, 2002 03:36 PM

Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?

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

Jilly January 29th, 2002 09:08 AM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?

You will be surprised just how much you can see in 3 hours... especially if you are your own tour guide.

When I was there last year, they had closed the inside passages on El Castillo.

The majority of the items you have listed are in one general area. It is not at all difficult to walk to each item. I strongly suggest that you do go out to the Nunnary, and Observatory. They were wonderful to see, and in reality were not a long walk.

I have never made it over to sacred cenote, only because I have been told there is not much to see, however, this could be wrong.

If you are dedicated to seeing as much as you can, I don't doubt you will accomplish a lot in three hours.


Vicki C January 29th, 2002 07:37 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?
I think you will have plenty of time to see what you want. Have you thought of a rental car instead of Taxi? We will be in Progreso next Thurs. We will be renting a car to go to Uxmal. Will let you know how it goes when I get back.

Reginald Wilson MD January 31st, 2002 04:55 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?
You can see all you mentioned above in 3 hours. I have been to Chichen 4-6 times. I did some medical mission work at Xocempeck just 6 miles from there. Have you checked on the expense of a taxi from Progressio? May be expensive! Do not try to go to OLD CHICHEN with out a guide. Good luck Reginald

Peter February 8th, 2002 12:06 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?

Me again. Chichen Itza is great but massive. Too short a time. BUT, just a twenty minute drive from Xel-Ha is Tulum! Smaller, but still great ruins!


kym March 10th, 2002 03:09 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?
I have been to both Chicken Itza and Tulum on various trips to Mexico. Chichen Itza is a must see. Unbelievably wonderful. We went five years ago. We were able to climb outside as well as visit inside on our trip. Also, we hired a local guide there to explain elements. It was helpful to us. He walked us to a cenote there on site. I don't recall it being a long walk. You will probably want to rent a car in place of a taxi. It was a wonderful experience! Tulum is lovely, though does not compare. I know nothing about Uxmal.

pamda March 10th, 2002 05:03 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?
Hi ...

Just back from a week-long tour of the ruins in the Yucatan peninsula.

If I had to choose between Chichen-Itza and Uxmal it would be Uxmal.

You will be surprised at how small the site at Chichen is. It's all easy walking. I'd skip the cenote. It's just water.

Three hours is plenty. When you come into the visitors' pavillion, turn right just after the ticket-sellers and there are free maps to be had.

Do NOT forget to take water with you or buy it in one of the restaurants in the visitors' center. If it's a hot day, shade is in short supply.

Taxis at Progreso are flat-feed, no negotiating. So don't even think about it. If I remember, it's about $60 US each way. You can do better by renting a car if shaving a few pesos is important to you. Roads are VERY well-marked.

No reason you can't climb the big pyramid. Your wife can stay on solid ground. I'm like your wife ... I don't climb. Actually, I can climb, it's the coming down part that flips me out.

I should have a bunch of pix up on my personal website in the next day or two. <>

Let me know if I can help more.

pamda -- CM First-Time Cruisers Editor and Ruin Maven

p.s. You might want to check this out ...


Ann March 21st, 2002 09:59 PM

Re: Chichen Itza - what can I see in 3 hours?
I must agree with one piece of advice from Pamda ----- Take plenty of water!
We went to Chichen Itza in June a couple of years back. It is so packed into the jungle, there is little breeze -- unless of course you're at the top of Castillo! :)

You CAN see everything in 3 hours, but you probably won't get to spend A LOT of time in each area. Some of the places -- especially the Observatory and the Ball court -- you just want to sit there for a while and soak it all in!


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