I read mixed reviews on visiting Chichen Itza; I heard that it’s overly touristy but at the same time worth seeing. My opinion? Worth it.
My husband and I had a rental car during our time in Mexico, so we got to the entrance before opening. Chichen Itza opens at 8am, and we got there about 7:30am and already there was a line of cars. I thought for sure no tour buses would be there just yet–wrong!
Despite there being a line before opening, Chichen Itza didn’t start getting REALLY crowded until about 10am, which was really surprising. We got plenty of time to take photos without a crowd of people in the background. So I recommend arriving early if you want crowd-less photos.
My main thing the I did NOT like about Chichen Itza, was all the vendors! The place was covered with tables of cheap touristy souvenirs and sellers who kept trying to sell you things. I understand that they need to make a living but it’s still an archeological site, and I felt like it really took away the “wonder of the world” feeling.
As for the pyramid, it’s stunning. My husband and I went to multiple ruins in Mexico, and this one was definitely worth seeing. There’s not just the one main pyramid to see here, a lot is never mentioned but the entire area is massive; we spent 3 hours walking around seeing everything. There are ball courts, other pyramids, cenotes, etc. I would recommend that you have comfy walking shoes and sunscreen if you plan on being there a while.
Other helpful hints:
- pay for parking cost $1.50 USD
- buy tickets there, not online
- have passport when buying tickets so you don’t have to get out of line and run back to the car
- souvenirs cost more here than out in town, save your money