Chichen Itza, situated in Yucatan, Mexico, ranks second in terms of most visited archaeological site in Mexico at present. The site is located 120 km from Merida passing through federal highway 180 in Yucatan. Literally, the word “Chichen Itza means “at the mouth of the wall of Itza”. The site is categorized as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”. The structure and design of Chichen Itza were properly planned. The site is rich in history serving as a special place for knowing the ancient Maya civilization. Moreover, Chichen Itza was also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
The builders built pyramids and temples in sets of clusters. Among these, there are four popular clusters that include the Ossario Group, the Great North Platform, the Old Chichen, and the Central Group. The Great North Platform remains the most attractive and popular cluster due to the existence of the Kulkan Pyramid and the Temple of the Jaguars. The Northern Group includes the marketplace, Temple of Warriors, the Steam Bath, Platform of Venus, Platform of Eagles, and Tzompantli. Moreover, the site also contains the Sacred Cenote, a natural well with 60 meters diameter in measurement. The Great Ball Court has its special attraction due to its unusual sounds. It is reported that clapping once from one end of the Ball Court produces nine echoes in the central of the court.
The Kulkulkan Pyramid, which dominates the center of the Chichen Itza, remains the major attraction of the site. The pyramid is also known as EICastilo (the castle). It was built by the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization.The pyramid has a height of 24 meters. It has four sides containing 365 steps (illustrating the solar year), 52 panels (showing each week in the solar year as well as each year in the Mayan century), and 18 terraces (representing 18 months in the religious year).There is an attention-grabbing temple inside the pyramid.
Besides the pyramid, there are plenty other archaeological places to visit. All these places resemble Mayan culture in different ways. The huge Chichen-Itza court resembles the old memories of Mayan sports. The Mayan sports include a game in which a soccer-sized ball had its own complicated rules providing interesting competition. It is the largest ball-game in Mesoamerica with the measurement of 168 meters in length and 70 meters in width. The game was a considerably entertaining for the people. However, the game had a ritual of sacrificing the losers in the honor of the winners.
The Central Group involves the Ossuary, the Red House or ChichanChob, the House of the Deer, The Nunnery, the Church, the Caracol, the AkabDzib, Temple of the Carved temples, the Well of Xtoloc, and the Temple of the Bearded Man. The place can be visited traveling to Chichen Itza from Merida by day-to-day travel agency hours, public bus or rental car that take about one hour for trip. Hence, Chichen Itza is the most popular tourist destination in Mexico due to its eye-catching physical appearance and its attachment with ancient Mayan Civilization.