Chichen Itza is worth a visit if you are in the Yucatan and can make it happen. The most convenient way to visit the site is on an excursion while on a cruise with a stop in either Progresso or Cozumel. There are other ruins worth seeing, but this stop is one of the new seven wonders of the world:
The "New" Seven Wonders of the WorldOn July 7, 2007 (7-7-07) an organization announced a "new" set of the Seven Wonders of the World based on online voting from around the world...
Chichen Itza, Mexico - Mayan City
Christ Redeemer, Brazil - Large Statue
The Great Wall, China
Machu Picchu, Peru
Petra, Jordan - Ancient City
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India
The first time I visited the site the tour was so long and detailed I missed both the cenote and the observatory. Recently when I was fortunate enough to return with my son, we raced around to make sure we got to all three things. These tours from the coast are a bit rushed. It would be nice to spend a relaxing day milling around the pyramid, ball court, and Temple of Warriors, in addition to all the smaller structures.
This carving shows a figure in full Mayan dress holding up the head of his victim.
Several buildings feature relief sculptures which are both fascinating and gruesome. The game played on the ball court involved the human sacrifice of the champion (you have to wonder who the real winner was).
The goal of the game was to get a hard rubber ball through this "hoop."
Read more about the history and archeology of this fascinating place here:Chichen Itza