Thursday, 3 May 2012

Chichén Itza to Ourselves

We arrived in the little town of Pisté and found a hairdresser who rented out rooms (they weren’t too bad, cheap for the location) but we should have checked around the corner as we would have seen the huge karaoke bar sign (why do we always end up near hidden Karaoke bars?!).

Pyramide de Kulkulan at night
We walked from our room to the entrance of Chichén Itza to get any idea of how long it would take us in the morning.  We noticed that if you bought a ticket after 6pm for the evening sound and light show you could use the same ticket the next day – sweet! We bought our tickets, went to get food and headed back for the light show at 7pm.  It turns out we should’ve arrived a bit earlier as all the translation devices were gone and our Spanish wasn’t really adequate to understand the whole show.  Nevertheless sitting under a star studded sky watching a reproduction of the birth of the Maya and their history lighting up the Pyramide de Kulkulan was an unreal experience and we were exciting about coming back the next day to explore the rest of the site.
Pyramide de Kulkulan

Armed with extra excitement - we were up bright and early in order to be at the entrance by 8am.  We were the 2nd people to enter the ruins (we would’ve been the 1st but we had to wait for the luggage storage to open…) and it was well worth the early start as we had the entire site to ourselves (except for the odd worker wandering past) so we could get some excellent photos and enjoy the site without any crowds. 

The site itself was really amazing, despite the nay-sayers who claim it’s become too touristy, it was great to see the beautiful Pyramid in its full glory, along with the giant Mesoamerican ball court, Temple of the Warriors, the Observatory – just to name a few.  They have done a great job reconstructing the various ruins and while it may have a “theme-park” feel due to the hordes of tourists, it’s really worth the visit.

The Observatory
We spent four hours exploring the site, and as we were leaving around midday we couldn’t believe the numbers of tourists that were literally being shipped in by the truckload, there were hundreds!! It made us even more glad that we’d come early as the experience would’ve been quite different had we arrived with the crowds.

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