El Castillo

Photo Credit: © Son of Groucho CC BY

The main feature in Chichen Itza, El Castillo is a large temple that was once the center of life for the Maya people, perhaps between the ninth and 12th centuries. Today it helps researchers and visitors learn about the Mayas who once lived here.

What to Expect

Every night, the temple is filled with multi-colored lights, and loudspeakers tell a short story on the daily life of the Maya people. For any person interested in history, natives of the new world, or just simply curious, this grand castle is not a sight to be missed.

Standing 30 meters high at its tallest point, the temple juts out of the ground and is decorated with carvings of animals and symbols. It consists of several square terraces and stairways leading to the top. Unfortunately, you will have to settle for the ground view, as the site no longer allows visitors to climb up the pyramid. One unique feature of the architecture is that during the spring and autumn equinoxes, the sun hits the northern corner just right in the afternoon to create the illusion of a feathered snake climbing down the pyramid.

Staying Close

El Castillo is located in Chichen Itza, ensuring visitors to this region of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will have easy site access throughout their trip. You can expect little traffic surrounding this historic site, especially as there aren't many hotel rooms close.

Hotels near El Castillo
Hotel Type Distance Direction
Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows Hotel 0.3 mi. (0.2 km) S
Hacienda Chichen Resort Lodge 1.4 mi. (2.4 km) NW

Location and What's Nearby

There are a decent number of food establishments to consider in the neighborhood encompassing this historical site. The most proximate restaurant is La Casa Del Mayab, which is an easy to come by buffet. The dining establishment is a small distance off. Xunan and Las Mestizas are additional dining possibilities in the area where guests can try something different in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.


Operating Hours

The Chichen Itza park is open from 8:00am until 5:30pm.


Admission into the Chichen Itza park is 88 pesos.

Contact Information

Location: Chichen Itza, Mexico


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