After the festive cheer of the Christmas and New Year holiday season, getting back to work and routine life can be a damper on the mood. A great way to lift your spirits is to start looking at spring break holiday ideas. Think of aquamarine Caribbean waters, powder white sand, and palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze. Feeling cheered up already? Now, all you have to do is book a spring break holiday in Cancun, arguably the best resort destination in Mexico. Golden beaches and perfect weather make it the ideal choice for spring break vacations. Cancun is also Mexico’s official party capital with a nightlife that rivals the best cities in the world. But in between the wild parties and beach bumming, there is time to soak up some culture. The ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá on the Yucatán Peninsula is two and a half hours from Cancun by road and has a wow factor that will leave you amazed.
Chichén Itzá: A Magnificent Peek into History
The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá occupies about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) in the central-southern part of Yucatán state. It is one of the best-preserved remnants of the ancient Mayan empire that flourished 3,000 years ago in the Central American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. The name Chichén Itzá refers to the mouths (chi) of wells (chen) which were the only source of water in the arid region. The wells (cenotes or sinkholes) were the reason the Itzá tribe chose to settle here.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, the ruins date back to the 6th century and include several fascinating structures such as the Chichanchob (Red House) and Casa de las Monjas (Nunnery). Toltec invaders in the 10th century constructed other major buildings, including the most recognizable structure at the site, El Castillo (The Castle). El Castillo is a Temple to the God Kukulkan, a feathered serpent deity worshipped by many central Mexican cultures. This stunning step pyramid dominates the archaeological site and is an ode to the importance of astronomy in Maya and Toltec cultures. The pyramid rises to an imposing 24 meters (79 feet) and has 91 steps on each face. Along with the platform on the top, this is a total of 365 steps to match the number of days in a year.
Chichén Itzá Spring Equinox
Chichén Itzá is spectacular at any time of the year, but especially so during the autumn and spring equinox. On the day of the equinox (usually between March 19 and March 21), an incredible phenomenon occurs at the magnificent archaeological site. The late afternoon sun creates the fascinating illusion of a 10-storey feathered serpent slithering down the north face of the pyramid. Visitors gather in large numbers to witness the spectacular play of light and shadows at this World Heritage Site that has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. If you are heading to Cancun for spring break holidays, don’t miss the chance to see this incredible phenomenon.
A visit to Chichén Itzá can be easily combined with a spring break vacation in Cancun. The spectacular ruins are conveniently located close to two international airports. Merida is less than two hours by road and Cancun is two and a half hours away. We have a range of day tours to Chichén Itzá from Cancun and the Riviera Maya, where you’ll have the chance to explore the spectacular archaeological complex, take a dip in a cenote, sample some authentic Mayan cuisine, and stroll through the beautiful colonial city of Valladolid. If you’re looking for longer spring break vacation packages and a more in-depth exploration of Mexico, check out our 7-day tour from Mexico City to Cancun. We also have a 10-day Mexico tour where you will journey from the capital to the Caribbean coast and take in the rich history of the region, including the Mayan wonder of Chichén Itzá.
If you’re flying in to Merida, consider this fabulous spring break vacation deal, our 5-day tour of Yucatan which will introduce you to the amazing diversity of the region. If you’re looking for a longer vacation and want to discover more of Central America, we have a 22-day Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize tour from Cancun.
Spring Equinox Tours to Chichén Itzá from Cancun
Highly recommended is a morning tour to Chichén Itzá. This will give you the chance to enjoy the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site before the crowds arrive later in the day. With included round trip transportation from Cancun, it’s a hassle-free way to experience this incredible remnant of Mayan history. You’ll benefit from the services of a private archaeologist and guide for an in-depth and fascinating visit with lots of interesting information. You can also choose an afternoon visit where you’ll be able to stay until sunset and see the Light and Sound Show at Chichén Itzá.
For a little more luxury, sign up for a deluxe Chichén Itzá tour that combines a visit to this amazing site with an exploration of the Zaci cenote and the colonial town of Valladolid. Often called the hidden gem of the Yucatán, Valladolid is a deeply Mayan city and a great place to sample authentic cuisine. Here, you can interact with friendly locals dressed in colourful traditional clothes and browse through shops of local artisans for unique souvenirs. Think of Valladolid as an antidote to the flashier hotspots of the Yucatán like Cancun and Tulum.
Our premium one-day tours to Chichén Itzá from Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Playa del Carmen include travel on a luxury coach with an onboard gourmet breakfast as well as a Yucatecan buffet in a magnificent 18th century mansion. That’s not all – more adventure awaits you. There are tours where you can swim in the Ikkil Cenote, an ancient underground sinkhole!
Chichén Itzá is undoubtedly one of the must-see destinations in Mexico. If you are headed to Cancun for spring break vacation this year, don’t miss the chance to witness the incredible shadow serpent on spring equinox day. Pick from our range of tours to Chichén Itzá and secure your spot today. We also have several spring break holiday packages that include a visit to this incredible archaeological discovery.