Calling all budding archeologists, this is your sign to visit the incredible Chichén Itza which is currently experiencing an uptick in tour sales.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has made its most recent findings open to the public for the first time in decades this year, which seems to be gathering the interest of many visitors.
The past weekends have seen more and more people looking to witness “Chichén Viejo”, a new part of the Chichén Itzá tour, which is the new most visited archeological site in the Mexican Caribbean.
Enrique Monroy, a tourist advisor stated, “There was a bit of an upturn on the subject of the ruins; there are many people who have wanted to enjoy what they have found in Chichén Itzá; they want to go and see what else they can know. This weekend, there were a lot of people”.
For the past thirty years, the INAH has worked tirelessly on this newly opened area, which is believed to have been the residential quarters of the elite who inhabited Chichén Itzá, a ruined ancient Maya city that dates back some 1,500 years ago, located in south central Yucatán state.
The site is actually one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which states that it is “among the undisputed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture because of the beauty of their proportions, the refinement of their construction and the splendor of their sculpted decorations”.
If that isn’t enough to capture your interest, let’s dive deeper into the new area opening and what to expect…
What Is Chichén Viejo?
Believed to be the residential quarters of the elite living at Chichén Itzá, more than 25 structures are on display, with the main building, residential buildings, administrative buildings, and religious areas all painting a unique and intricate picture of life from a seminal time in history.
You will bear witness to some incredible ancient architecture, with tombs and plazas that were likely used for rituals by its inhabitants, with one monument having an inscribed date of July 30, 878 A.D.
Need To Knows
First off, the site is still currently being researched and excavated and is only open to guests on Fridays and Saturdays, which certainly explains the uptick in sales from tour promoters.
The access hours are from 9:00 to 11:30 am for the first group and from 12:00 to 2:30 pm for the last group, and will always be led by INAH guides and employees, meaning you will receive the most up-to-date and accurate information about the site.
Secondly, to gain access to the area, you will need to make a reservation at the Chichén Itzá Archeological Zone ticket office at the price of 85 pesos.
This ticket price currently includes your tour of the Chichén Viego. However, persons over 60 years old, retirees and pensioners, teachers, children under 12, researchers, and interns are exempt from payment, granted only by INAH permission at the ticket office.
Thirdly, the preservation of this incredible archaeological site is of utmost importance to all, and therefore strict rules have been put in place so the area is not damaged or forced to close to the public.
Food and beverages, unauthorized professional photographic and video equipment, weapons and subsistences prohibited by law, pets, tripods, musical instruments, drones, and smoking are to name but a few items and activities prohibited on the site, and can be found listed at the ticket office.
Archeological Tourism Boom
This year has seen a remarkable boom in archaeological tourism, as more and more people visit the Mexican Caribbean not just for the infamous beaches and incredible cuisine but also to catch a glimpse of historical life that truly shaped the rest of world history in more ways than one.
New openings are beginning to take place in other areas, such as Cozumel and Tulum, as part of the initiative of local governments to offer more to tourists who come to the region in the hope that they continue to break all records this year as one of the most popular destinations on the planet.
Gone are the days when international visitors just wanted a slice of beach paradise and nothing else; now everyone wants to experience the rich culture, history, and tradition that the Mexican Caribbean has to offer (and who can blame them?).
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