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Chichen Itza Mexico

By Elma B.

We had the immense pleasure of visiting Chizen Itza in the Summer of 2004. We took a tour of the region by stopping at various places like the center of the town of Tulum and even at a BREATHTAKING sinkhole on our way to the archeological site. The sink hole was very deep in the ground, and we ascended down and were able to take a dip in the cool water after taking a look at all of nature's wonders that surrounded the sinkhole. The natural light from the top made the inside of the sink hole surreal with its deep blue water and the exotic green plants on the very top, please see the photos below for details. 

Finally, we arrived to Chizen Itza! Chitzen Itza was a large city built by the Maya civilization; currently, it is an archeological site with pyramids and other amazing monuments located in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Chichen Itza was inhabited from 600-1200 A.D. There are many architectural styles on the site akin to that seen in central Mexico and to that the Puuc and Chenes styles in the northern Maya lowlands. 

A factor that our tour guide brought to our attention was fascinating: the stone dragons, found at numerous points throughout Chichen Itza, very much resemble the stone sculptures of dragons found in China. His theory was that the Mayans had long ago migrated from China via boats with the help of the currents in the Pacific. Hence, there was that striking architectural resemblance.

Also, the tour guide explained that the reason that the bustling civilization in Chichen Itza disappeared was due to the Spanish conquest. Many of its ruling class and the priests were killed by the Spanish conquistadors. Much of what exactly happened to the ruling class and the educated priests remains a mystery. 

Undoubtedly, Chichen Itza remains one of the largest Mayan cities and has a very mythical feel. It was a major regional capital that centralized political and sociocultural life. Chichen Itza had the most thriving economy in the northern Maya Lowlands.  Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, circa 1.2 million tourists per year visit the site. I would highly recommend visiting the site, which remains one of the world's oldest civilizations and most fascinating archeological sites with large pyramids akin to the ones in Egypt. 

Unfortunately, I cannot find many of my own photos as my visit was in 2004; with that said, please take a look below of some beautiful photos which are very representative of my visit there. Traveling tip: avoid going there in late July/early August because of the scorching heat as there is little to no shade on the archeological site itself. 

Sink Hole

The Mayan children at Chichen Itza

After our tour, the bus stopped at this lovely restaurant, where we ate and saw a cultural dance and musical performance by the Mayans.

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