Trip Planner:   Mexico  /  Yucatan Peninsula  /  Yucatan  /  Chichen Itza  /  Historic Sites  /  El Castillo

El Castillo, Chichen Itza

(4.8/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web)
Appreciate the impressive form and learn the history of El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid central to the Chichen Itza archaeological site. Thought to have been built some time between the 9th and 12th centuries CE, the pyramid was a temple to the gold Kukulkan, the Yucatec Maya feathered serpent deity. Made up of square terraces, the pyramid has staircases on each of its 4 sides, with the northern staircase's balustrade decorated with sculptures of feathered serpents. The pyramid itself stands at 24 m (78 ft) high, and when added to the 6 m (19 ft) temple on top of it, the size and scale of the limestone structure encapsulates the wonder of the wider archaeological site. Use our Chichen Itza itinerary builder to add El Castillo and other attractions to your Chichen Itza vacation plans.
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7 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Chichen Itza & Merida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Mexico, Guatemala & Belize BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Chichen Itza BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, outdoors, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM MEXICO June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Chichen Itza BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM ROMANIA April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 26 days in Mexico, Cuba & Jamaica BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, culture, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It is a very beautiful place, we were super early and the truth is worth, few people and there is not much heat, Frank and Marco excellent guides. I recommend to go early because the temperature is high and the site is filled with many people at noon and in the evening, also the best photos are uncrowded.
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  • It was wonderful. Try and get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the worst of the heat.  more »
  • Main monument at the site. Climbing is now prohibited. Amazing history of the Mayan and their rituals. Highly recommend using a guide to understand the history.  more »
Google
  • Truly awesome to get to see this place in person, definitely something visit in a lifetime. It was hot as balls, but this place and the rest of the Yucatan peninsula were so beautiful and alive that it still didn't bother us. My wife and I were hesitant to pay $50 for a personal guide, but after the guy talked us through the history and meaning of everything it was well worth it, and we ended up giving him a very good tip, the place is so much interesting and complex if you have someone explain it to you.
  • The place is majestic. You can feel the history all around you. I like to imagine the Mayan people walking around going about their everyday business. It truly is amazing. There really is no describing it. The vendors can get a bit pushy though.
  • The Mayan ruins are absolutely astounding - you must see them to believe their beauty and majesty. The ruins themselves get a 5, however the hundreds of people hawking their Mexican crafts, tee shirts, etc. take something away from this experience and lower the rating to a 4. The beautiful ruins at Chichen Itza are a once in a lifetime must see.
  • This is what you come for. Like another "wonder" Petra the main building greets you right as you enter the complex and it's quite a moment to see it. What I didn't realise is every picture shows you the main 2 faces where staircase is in immaculate condition but the other 2 are anything but which is interesting. I also found out if you sit down on your own for a few minutes close by people will ask to take photos of them many times :)
  • The Temple of Kukulkan is an iconic pyramid, the image of the mayan architecture. Incredible.