A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is one of the most stunning and well-preserved ancient maya sites in existence.
Situated 130 km east of Merida, Chichen Itza is at its most magical first thing in the morning before the tour buses arrive, so we'll pick you up early from your hotel or B&B to arrive soon after the site opens.
With its soaring stepped pyramids and columned arcades, visiting Chichen Itza is a breathtaking experience. It was one of the Maya world's most important cities with an array of monumental buildings built in different phases over a period of 700 years. The most recognized structure is the spectacular Pyramid of Kukulkan with the Grand Ball Court, the largest ritual ballcourt in the Maya world, following close behind.
In Chichen Itza you will have a private tour with a certifed local archaeology guide, with plenty of time after to explore and enjoy the site by yourselves. Then when you're ready we'll continue on to the magical colonial city of Izamal, often known as the Yellow City because its building are painted the same vibrant shade of golden yellow.
With its beautiful colonial architecture, peaceful plazas and shady arcades, and the clip-clop sound of the horses pulling calesas (carriages) through cobblestone streets, a visit to Izamal makes you feel as though you are taking a step back in time.
We will wander through the historic center that is full of color and tradition, and visit the spectacular Franciscan Convent of San Antonio de Padua. We will also see some of the magnificent maya pyramids that rise in the center of town nestled between houses of the colonial time.
Before returning to Merida, we will stop for a late lunch in our favorite restaurant in Izamal that serves delicous Yucatecan dishes, such as panuchos (refried bean stuffed crisped tortillas covered with shredded turkey) and cochinita pibil (marinated pork), the most famous (and mouth-watering!) dish of the Yucatan.
Length of tour: around 8 to 9 hours
Other tour options
Chichen Itza & Cenote
If you would prefer to visit one of the cenotes (water sinkholes) in the countryside surrounding Chichen Itza, rather than going on to Izamal, just let us know.
Our favorite is the tranquil Cenote Yokdzonot, an open cenote that has a beautiful natural setting and receives far fewer visitors than some of the other cenotes in the area. It's a magical place for a swim after visiting Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza & drop off in Cancun/Riviera Maya
If you are travelling on from Merida to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum, we recommend visiting Chichen Itza on the way.
After a private tour of Chichen Itza, we will head off to the colorful colonial city of Valladolid that is the perfect place to stop for lunch (the city is famous for its traditional cuisine), as well as enjoy a relaxing stroll through its beautiful historic center.
From Valladolid, we will continue on to your final destination in Cancun or the Riviera Maya.