You’ve probably noticed our cowboy hats. We bought them in Playa Del Carmen so that we could use them when we visited the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza – but really, we should’ve just bought them when we arrived on site. Outside of the gates before you enter, there are around 10 different people all selling the same hats and selling them for $5. We paid a bit more than that in town – and don’t think that we didn’t haggle.
You need a hat when you visit Chichen Itza. There is very little tree coverage in the center and along the walkways. Also – hide your video camera if you can – or else you’ll get charged 25 pesos to take video as opposed to just photos…. and yeah I know, 25 pesos right now is… just under $2 American – but whatever.
Chichen Itza? It’s kind of cool. I don’t know – I liked the pyramid, even though you can’t climb up it any more. You can’t really touch any of the ruins. Oh yeah – there are vendors everywhere inside of the ruins area. Apparently there is some kind of dispute between the federal government and the state/local government regarding this. The vendors aren’t allowed to come in through the ‘gates’ – but they just make their way to the location through the surrounding jungle. It’s kind of… different. You have this really great pyramid, but surrounding it is a very large flea market.
I think that before you go, you should definitely pick up a book on Chichen Itza and learn more about it. No matter who your tour guide may be (the one that guides you through the site, not the one that drives you there) – I think you’ll definitely benefit from knowing more about Chichen Itza before you get there – so that when you see the different carvings and statues, you’ll really understand what they are and what they mean. It would be the difference between a Disneyland tour guide and having a Professor in Mayan Culture give you a tour. (Not that our tour guide wasn’t great – he is Mayan himself and was considerably knowledgeable.)