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Added Tales of the Maya Skies planetarium show info
== Understand ==
Many tourists visit Chichen Itza as a day trip, especially from [[Cancun]], more than 100 miles away. This archaeological site is also an hour and a half away from Merida, the capital of Yucatan. The Maya communities near Chichen Itza have developed many wonderful sites for travelers to rejoice in the Maya Cultural heritage. It is recommended you avoid a day-trip visit to Chichen Itza and schedule a night or two to enjoy all the activities nearby. This allows time to see more than just a portion of this large site. If you stay a night here, come to the archaeological site early in the day before the sun is so hot, and before most of the day-trippers arrive. This is a large park and usually visitors are on a tight schedule, consider the services of a guide. They can be found in the museum at the entrance and are very nice and reasonably priced. If you tire of their company, they will not be offended if you mention that you would like to visit on your own. A guide can give you information on sleeping overnight at the site.
=== History ===
By road, Chichen Itza is on the main highway between the capital city of [[Mérida (Yucatan)|Mérida]] and the resort city of [[Cancun]]. If you have time and are looking for a more adventurist route, the "libre' road that runs parallel to the toll highway goes through and by many villages and gives a better feel for the area. If you take the "libre" route, you will need to be more alert for pedestrians and animals on the road, as well as the numerous "speed bumps" you will encounter. If after dark, stick to the toll road. Come by automobile or take the very regular bus service.
ADO bus service from Cancun costs
If you are located outside of Chichen Itza, a number of companies organize tours, including '''Adventure Life''', [http://www.adventure-life.com/tours/mexico-tours/], '''Tours Aldebaran''' [http://www.aldebarantours.com]. Also, '''Chichen Services''' [http://www.chichenservices.com] which is dedicated to offer travel experiences dedicated to Sustainable Tourism and to financially help the nearby town residents with their community projects and endeavors.
== See ==
[[Image:Chichen itza ruins.jpg|250px|thumb|View from the top of El Castillo]]
These are the vestiges of a fascinating civilization of times past. Well informed guides speaking all major languages are available for hire here, or explore on your own with a guide book and map.
* '''The Pyramid of Kukulcan''' or '''El Castillo''' -- the most famous landmark of Chichen Itza. This was a temple-pyramid dedicated to the Feathered Serpent God, Kukulcan. It is nicknamed "The Castle". Sculptures of the Feathered Serpents run down the sides of the northern staircase, and are set off by shadows from the corner tiers on the Spring and Fall equinox. (As of January 2006, you can no longer climb El Castillo.)
* '''Light & Sound Show''' - If you visited the ruins during the day, you can return re-enter with the same ticket for the night show, which takes places in the center of the ruins. There's a light show and a narrative in Spanish (headsets for other languages are available for a small fee ($25 MN pesos in August 2008)). The show lasts around an hour and while it may not be the most exciting, on a nice night it is a pleasant way to relax, watch the stars and see the ruins lit up. They tell a great tale, which is very well done. If you do stay for the show, keep in mind it will be dark, very dark, when you leave the grounds. Have a flashlight and be familiar with how to get back to the main road, signs are almost non-existant. If you can plan to be there at a "full moon", it will be worth the effort, add to the experience and photographic results. An alternate plan is to arrive in the area in the afternoon, see the Light & Sound Show that evening, the ruins in the morning, and depart the following afternoon - your admission on the first evening grants a discount on the next day, making it about the same price .
*'''Toh Boutique''' and '''The Maya Hut''' sells Maya craft, textiles and jewelry. Purchases support the Maya Foundation and the Nature Conservation and Bird Refuge Program, reforesting the region and preventing the illegal hunting of white tail deer and other animals in the area.They also have a tradition of dancing.