After only a few days of honeymooning on Cancun’s beaches, it was time to return to normal life and explore some Mayan ruins. So we headed straight for Chichen Itza, the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. In order to beat the afternoon sun and the hordes of visitors, we arrived early and even managed to snap a few pictures of the impressive El Castillo pyramid without anyone in it. Ducking in and out of trees and bushes, we continued exploring the rest of Chichen Itza’s attractions: the large ball court, the observatory and the Temple of Warriors to name just a few.
Unfortunately, since a tourist fell off El Castillo in 2006, all the monuments have been cordoned off and closed to the public. This means no scampering up the pyramid, no climbing over rubble, or no seeking shade between pillars. What’s an Indiana-Jones-wannabe to do? I have to admit it definitely took some of the fun out of the experience. It also made it quite difficult to get a close-up look at all the great stone carvings which portray the Mayan history in all its graphic detail. Just look at the picture below of someone holding a human head. Yikes!
Overall, Chichen Itza was definitely worth the visit. Although, maybe not for much longer. Rumor has it that Disney wants to build a theme park around the archaeological site. (Seriously? I find that hard to believe.) Well, if that’s the prize for having been declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, then I’m glad the Pyramids of Giza, Tikal or Angkor Wat didn’t make it on the list.