Wednesday Photo: Chichen Itza

This is the Kukulcán Pyramid, also known as El Castillo, at the largest of the archaeological cities of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Just days after graduating high school, my family headed to Cancún for a week, taking a bus tour here from our hotel that included stops at a restaurant with Mexican dancers for lunch, a guided tour of Chichén Itzá and a stop at the Il Kil cenote.

I remember a handful of things about this day: I am always amazed by the architectural prowess of ancient civilizations, and the Mayans perfectly aligned their buildings and created meaningful shadows and echos; earlier that day I vowed to avoid tour buses when possible as we drove through Valladolid and I couldn’t get off to look around; and it was one of the hottest days in my memory.

Unfortunately, climbing the pyramid is no longer permitted. Two sides were in total disrepair when I was there, and just a few months later, in January 2006, the climbs ended. If the stairs are reopened (0r for any other steep stairs you may have to climb), remember this hint: Climb the stairs at an angle, going back and forth across the steps rather than straight up.

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3 Responses to Wednesday Photo: Chichen Itza

  1. DangerousBiz says:

    Very cool picture! Sounds like a fun family trip (definitely more exotic than most of the things my family has tried).

    It’s always interesting learning about early Mexican civilization, like the Mayans and Aztecs. I’ve been learning a lot about the Aztecs this past week; just read all about the history of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Very, very cool stuff.

    • elliewick says:

      It’s definitely the most exotic thing we’ve done. We also drove little speed boats out into the sea to swim with fish. Ahh, good memories.

  2. Andi says:

    Gorgeous! One of the last 7 wonders of the world that I have yet to see.

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