By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My wife and I are planning a trip to Mexico in early fall. Last time we were there we walked up the temple in Chichen Itza. Someone told me you canít do this anymore. Is this true?

A: Yes, since January 4, 2006 visitors are no longer able to trek up to the top of the Castillo also known as Piramide de Kukulcan by the Maya for a birdís eye view of the ancient city.

However, you can still wander through Chichen Itza and muse at such sights as the ball court, the Tzompantil, which is the wall of haunting carvings of skeleton heads and the Temploe de los Jaguares, home of a jaguar statue. Should you wish to venture off-the-beaten path here, thereís a 20-minute trek to the Cenote, the cavernous sink hole of fresh water, believed to be used by the Maya for rituals. Today, iguanas, bats and butterfly lurk by.

Another off-the-beaten path walk takes you to the Caracol also known as the Observatorio. This is the only structure visitors can walk up. There are two levels of stairways and terraces leading to the tower.

You can pick up maps at the entrance but many people venture here with a guide. Bus tours to this part of the Yucatan are also organized daily and can be booked at your resort. Contact your travel agent for details.


dispatches | q&a | photos | fork | newsletter | archives | links | search | store | streaming | submissions | about | contact | home

All text & photos © 2006.