By now, if you have been avidly keeping up with all happenings within the Mexican Caribbean, you will know that a new billion-dollar infrastructure project is launching next month known as the Maya Train.
You will also be aware that the entire Yucatan Peninsula, where the train will travel, is experiencing a year like no other in the tourism sector.
As the winter season begins, places like Cancun and Puerto Morelos are already seeing an impressive number of visitors booking their vacations, and with a new scenic train bringing even more connectivity to the region, those numbers are only expected to grow.
Its route is set to unlock the Yucatan Peninsula, making once smaller, unknown destinations more accessible to the public, as well as connecting ‘Magical Towns’ and off-path gems that might have gone unnoticed in the past by the larger majority.
However, the most exciting of all of these planned routes and destinations, is just how easy it will become to travel to the Mexican Caribbean’s most beloved archeological site, Chichén Itzá.
Busiest In The Country
If you are into all things history and archeology, you are going to know that the Yucatan Peninsula is littered with countless Mayan ruins left behind by a civilization that dates back more than 1,500 years ago.
With Yucatan witnessing a record-breaking year as a go-to vacation destination, more and more tourists are finding themselves drawn to look beyond the pretty beaches of Cancun and Tulum and instead witness something just as exciting.
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October saw the archeological site of Chichén Itzá being placed as the busiest in the whole country, with a total of 168,354 visitors, beating other popular sites in Tulum, Quintana Roo and Tetihuacán, in the State of Mexico.
As winter season kicks in, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has predicted that the site will exceed the 2 million people that visited in 2022, which is a staggering number for a type of tourism (archeological) that was certainly not as popular a few years ago as it is now.
What Is It About This Place?
So if it’s going to be that busy when you visit, you are going to want to make sure it is worth it, right?
This impressive site was one of the greatest Mayan centers in all of the Yucatan Peninsula, with over a 1,000-year history still standing tall today, captivating the imagination of everybody.
@shetravelledtheworld Your guide to this magical location 📍 Chichen Itza, Mexico 🇲🇽 #chichenitza #mexico #solotravel #yucatan #traveltheworld ♬ A Moment Apart – ODESZA
Truly leaving its mark, the site is home to towering structures, pillars and pyramids, with the best-known landmark being El Castillo; a step pyramid that is synonymous with Mexico.
Once home to the elite families who inhabited the area, Chichén Itzá hosts some architecture that was so technologically advanced for its time, that it still baffles historians to this day, as well as reflecting its own multiculturalism, with many different types of ethnic groups under the Mayan title having lived there at some point.
Well-preserved temples, pyramids, The Great Ball Court, cenotes and so much more lie within this spectacle of an archeological site that you just won’t want to miss!
New Discoveries All The Time
Just last week, the head of the INAH, Diego Prieto, announced an interesting find, where they uncovered the statue of a human head, possibly relating the Kulkulkán, the feathered snake of the Mayans, a hugely significant symbol of the time.
Discoveries seem to be being made all the time, with the introduction of programs to help further explore, expand, and reopen archaeological sites to the public, in the hope that numbers and retention for those areas remain high.
The Program for Improvement of Archeological Zones (Promeza) only recently reopened a further site within the ever popular Chichén Itzá, known as Chiché Viejo, which had been previously closed to visitors for decades.
This lesser-known attraction has also seen an uptick in popularity since its opening, with the site believed to have been the residential area for the elites of Chichen Itza during the time period, and paints a far more intimate look at life here, far beyond the spectacles of large pyramid and temples.
The site has an area where you can now see up-close the remains of five cremated human bodies linked to the elite family who lived there, as well as having structures with hieroglyphic written dates carved into them from July 30, 878 A.D.
That’s right; we are talking old!
Chichén Itzá has been capturing the hearts of tourists and locals alike for years and still remains ever popular today.
The reason? At first glance, the spectacle and grandeur of the site will take your breath away. But it is on closer inspection when you take stock of just how monumental this site truly is, and how seminal it was in shaping the very world we live in now, that you will find out why everyone just can’t seem to get enough.
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