El Caracol

Photo credit: © Alberto Azparren

This early observatory has windows that line up with different constellations at different parts of the year, allowing the Mayas to keep track of the seasons. In addition to the stars, the Mayas also tracked the sun, allowing them to predict the seasons and best harvesting time.


The Observatory is called el Caracol, which means snail in Spanish, because the interior staircase spirals like a snail's shell.

Staying Close

El Caracol is located in Chichen Itza, so those visiting this area of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will be excited to have convenient access to the historical site for the duration of their trip. The area around this site remains relatively quiet, perhaps because there aren't many places to stay close.

Hotels near El Caracol
Hotel Type Distance Direction
Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows Hotel 0.2 mi. (0.2 km) E
Hacienda Chichen Resort Lodge 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) NW

Location and What's Nearby

There are plenty of eateries to choose from in the area around this historical site. The most convenient restaurant is La Casa Del Mayab, which is an easy to reach buffet. La Casa Del Mayab is a brief ways off, but far enough that you might need to plan on employing a particular type of transportation to arrive. Also within a short distance, you will have options such as Xunan and Las Mestizas so if you're lucky, at least one of these nearby restaurants will placate the whole entire party.


Operating Hours

The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.


The cost of admission into the Chichen Itza park is 88 pesos.

Contact Information

Location: Chichen Itza, Mexico


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