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

Chichen Itza is a good option for those wishing to visit El Castillo, since travelers to this part of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will have easy access to this historic attraction throughout their trip. There isn't much congestion in the area near the historic site, especially as there is such a modest selection of hotels 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

El Castillo is in a valuable location for tourists looking to find various food and drink options nearby. The most frequented nearby restaurant is La Casa Del Mayab, which is a convenient buffet. The restaurant is a brief distance away, but out of the way enough that you may want to plan on using a particular type of transport to travel there. Also within a short distance, you'll have options such as Xunan and Las Mestizas giving you a number of restaurant choices.


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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