6 Little-Known Secrets About Chichén Itzá
If you want to experience the charm of a tropical city by the shore, whilst simultaneously exploring the Mayan wonders hidden within Mexico’s jungles, then look no further!
Amongst all of the archeological treasures here, Chichén Itzá is easily the most famous and well-preserved site.
But do not be fooled, Chichén Itzá is not just another archaeological site crawling with tourists, this lost jungle city houses fascinating secrets that span centuries and entire civilizations.
These sacred ruins are a must see whilst here in Mexico, but before you visit them it’s time to brush up on some of the lesser-known secrets that shroud this enchanting Wonder of the World.
After reading this, I guarantee that when you experience Chichén Itzá first-hand you will get goosebumps as you roam around the ancient city.
Chichén Itzá covers 2.5 square miles and is halved into two sites: the South and the Central archeological zones.
The South Zone dates back to the 7th century while the Central Zone was built around the 10th century.
Our expert guides at PlayaDelCarmen.com will journey with you back in time to explain the history and mystery that continues to permeate this incredible landscape.
But before you get there, here are some of the sacred secrets to keep in mind:
1. A giant Snake Crawls Across El Castillo
El Castillo is an intriguing structure, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkan, or Quetzalcoatl, the 80-foot stone pyramid is a physical depiction of the Mayan calendar.
The feathered snake deity, Kukulkan, climbs across the pyramid of El Castillo twice a year.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the spring and autumn equinoxes you may catch a glimpse of this incredible phenomenon.
Look at the picture above. Look carefully. During the equinoxes, the sun casts a shadow on the temples 365 steps (one for each day of the year) to create the image of a serpent!
As the sun sets, the snake seemingly slithers down the steps to join a stone serpent head that sits at the base of the great staircase.
Coincidence? I think not.
2. Chichén Itzá is Painted with BLOOD
As you walk around the ball court pay close attention to the walls.
The ball court here at Chichén Itzá is one of the largest ever found and is adorned with carvings that tell of the brutal games.
One of the most popular Mayan sports included a game where losers lost their heads.
As if that wasn’t grim enough, they later extracted their hearts and presented them as offerings to the gods.
The Mayans often used blood to bring their stone structures to life by adding some color.
3. The Mayans were Astronomical Geniuses who Followed Venus
In addition to the two platforms dedicated to the planet Venus in Chichén Itzá, there is an observatory-like structure, El Caracol, that was specifically designed to trace Venus’s orbit across the sky.
If you consider the kind of technology that would have been accessible to the populations who lived here over 1000’s of years ago, it seems almost impossible that they would have been able to create something so impressive all by themselves.
There are many theories surrounding the subject, but we would love to hear yours! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
4. An Underground Water World Lies Beneath the Complex.
5. It’s Not Just a Mayan City
Although Chichén Itzá is largely regarded around the world as a Mayan archeological site you may be surprised to learn that another indigenous Mexican group called The Toltecs also had a major influence on the cities development.
The Toltecs arrived at Chichén Itza around the 10th century and were integral in developing the Central Zone of the site.
The Central Zone
This area showcases a fusion of highland central Mexican and Puuc architectural styles.
6. The Reason for its Demise is Still Unknown.
The Plaza of a Thousand Columns
Once the tour is complete lunch will be provided at a nearby restaurant. Drinks cost extra so be sure to bring a little bit of money.
To bring the day to a close we stop off at one of the beautiful cenotes surrounding the area to enjoy a refreshing swim in the underground water world.