Chichén ItzáA brilliant work of architecture and astronomy, the Pyramid of Kukulkán at Chichén Itzá is so precisely engineered that on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun casts shadows that slither like snakes and seem to descend the structure’s stairways. Said to represent the plumed-serpent deity Kukulkán, the shadows return to earth twice yearly to drink from sacred sinkholes known as cenotes. Today the phenomenon attracts thousands to the already crowded archaeological site, but almost-identical light-play can be seen the day before, alongside a mere fraction of the visitors.
See Maya Temples
A Perfect Day at Chichen-itza
Chichen Itza, Mexico, Learning AFAR
The Mysterious Ball Court of Chichen Itza, Learning AFAR
Descent of the Feathered Serpent at Chichen-Itza
Top of the City
Ruins Beyond Cancun
What to do after a day in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza and the Plumed Serpent
A very popular day trip from Cozumel is an excursion to Chichén Itzá, one of Mexico's most important Maya sites. Chichén Itzá was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, with UNESCO calling the sacred city "one of the greatest centers of the Yucatán Peninsula." It was, in fact, an entire city, and it lasted for almost 1,000 years. Today, numerous temples and structures are intact, giving visitors a unique and comprehensive introduction to Maya history and culture.