Let me tell you, as someone who has climbed the pyramids at Chichen Itza, I would not do it again. You get to the top and there is nothing up there, though it looks like you might see something cool from the bottom.
But the thing is, it is a LONG climb at something like a 50-degreee angle and the stairs are only about 4 inches deep. I doubt the US would allow people to scale them. One slip and you could easily tumble 50 yards to the bottom.
I went down using my feet AND hands, and I couldn't wait to get to the bottom.
Sorry, I do not know the answers to your other questions! I will say Chichen Itza is worth seeing even f you can't climb the pyramid. There are many buildings there.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Chichen-Itza can no longer be climbed, the pyramid is completely roped off since like 2 years. There were structural problems to have this ancient site cope with thousands of tourists daily and these were directly related to safety issues, which also touch the climbing, since there also a person died from falling the stairs...Having climbed the pyramid before, to me it felt magic to be up there and you are higher than all treetops and see to no end at 360...The light show was ok, however I do not think that this is available daily, you may check before planning so, the night show I definitely remember was at Xcaret, 1h from Cancun and 10 min. from Playa del carmen..great stuff.
Coba is a large area and still offers some structures to be climbed, a good idea is to take on of the bicicles to see all the site, walking can be hot, time consuming..a great Mayan Site!
Other Mayan Ruins from reachable from Cancun, depending on how much time you will be there, you got famous Tulum (1h 45min from Cancun), Muyil (2h from Cancun), even San Gervacio in Cozumel (minor site, 1.5-2 hours from Cancun). Depending on the time you also have the beautiful Uxmal and Izamal, Dzibichaltun in the Yucatans to Kohunlich and Chacchoben in the Costa Maya Area (4h from Cancun)...good luck!
Re: Coba, Chitzen Itza and other Mayan sites near Cancun
Originally Posted by showcat
I'm planning a land trip to Cancun. I hear that you can no longer climb the pryamids at Chitzen Itza is that true? Leave to a couple idiot tourists to ruin it for everyone.
Has anyone seen the light show at night here? Is it worth spending the whole day here to see?
Has anyone been to Coba? Can you climb the pyramids there?
Any information about these sites or other Mayan ruins near Cancun is apresheated thanks.
Yes I have done all three. I can't add much more than what cozumelcruzing said other than I enjoyed the light show at Chichen-Itza very much. I would stay in the area one night for sure. Also enjoyed Coba, but not many modern facilities there and it is remote. You are in the jungle for sure.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
CruiseMates Forum Moderator
Let me add EkBalam to that list of recommended mayan sites. Small but impressive, you can combine your tour to EkBalam with a visit to Valladolid or even Chichen Itza if you don't mind a full day of activity.
Let me say that I went to both Chitzen Itza and Ek Balam. I enjoyed both, but the light and sound show at Chitzen to me seemed more like a giant color wheel on the Christmas tree, (oh look the pyramid is pink, now it's green, now it's blue! ) Chitzen is a pretty vast sight, and the best deals on souveniers can be bargained for there if you have the time. The over all feeling to me was one of sacrifice, blood and war there. Too bad you can no longer climb the structures or the govenment doesn't build metal stairs along side so you can climb without damaging the artifact. Like in Tikal.
Elk Balam I simply feel in love with, it's very magical. Even the red earth was beautiful, butterflys, trees paths and nature, the royal family lived here in the structures, it's still being excavated, and climbing the Temple with the kings tomb on top I felt like I was discovering King Tut's tomb! It's smaller and you get a hands on experience here. So I've been to Talum, Chitzen and Ek Balam. Ek Balam was by far my favorite. My hope is that people will respect Ek Balam unlike they did at Chitzen when the structures were accessable to the public. I feel very lucky to have been there and explored this city while one can still do so. It's amazing! Hope to get to Tikal, Coba and others in the future!