Chichen Itza is located in the town of Tinum, in the state of Yucatan. It is about 150 kilometers from Cancun, via Valladolid. The easiest way to get here would be to book a tour from Cancunm, which would cost about 450 Mexican pesos. You may also take an ADO bus from Cancun, for about 200 pesos. Useful Info The complex is open from 9am to 5pm, everyday. Entrance fee is 59 pesos. There are gift shops and stores at the entrance of the complex. There are also many ambulant vendors roaming inside, as well as hawkers peddling souvenirs.
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El Castillo is not the only large-scale structure in the city though. To the west of El Castillo is the Great Ballcourt, which at 550 feet long, is the largest in Mesoamerica. It is where the game called ōllamaliztli was played in ancient times. Ōllamaliztli is similar to the modern-day raquetball. Players would hit the heavy ball made of solid rubber using their hips and try to shoot them through stone rings installed along the walls running along the court. The games were only witnessed by the powers-that-be of the Mayan society, and the ordinary people are not allowed to watch them (although people play them outside in their homes). The players were handpicked from the best of the best, and the prize for winning the game is to be ritually sacrificed in the temple. Losing the game would mean humiliation as losing players were considered unfit for the gods, while winning one would mean eternal glory, although at the expense of having one's heart cut out after being decapitated. At the end of the ball court is the Temple of the Bearded Man. The building, decorated with bas-relief, probably is where the nobility and the priests watch the games. Two more temples - the Temples of the Jaguars - were built on top of the walls flanking the court. One overlooks the court, while the other faces the main plaza. These temples were decorated with bas-relief too, with the serpent the predominant motif.
How to Get There There are literally hundreds of cenotes around the Yucatan Peninsula. The one I've been to is in Hacienda Lorenzo Oxman, in the town of Valladolid. You can arrange to go to one with the tour operators around Cancun. Useful Info They charge 50 pesos to go in the cenote in Lorenzo Oxman, but mine was included in the tour to Valladolid and Chichen Itza. I paid about 480 pesos for it (1 Mexico $ is about PhP 3.5) , and it includes lunch
Adjacent to the great ballcourt is the tzompantli, a rack where the skulls of warriors, captives, sacrificial victims, and the winners of the games were displayed. The skulls were strung together through the sides, like that of barbequed meat. Beyond the tzompantli are two platforms, the Platforms of the Eagles and Jaguars, and the Platform of Venus, dedicated to the planet that figured so much in Mayan astronomy. Beyond it was the Sacred Cenote, the water-filled sinkhole that became a pilgrimage site for the Mayans. Archaeologists recovered human remains, gold and other offerings from the bottom of the cenote. It's not as big as the one in Hacienda Lorenzo Oxman though. On the east side of El Castillo is another stepped pyramid called Temple of the Warriors. On the top of the pyramid is a chacmool, a sculpture depicting a reclining human figure. On the figure's stomach is a bowl where human hearts are deposited during the ritual sacrifices.