On top of what was once one of the largest Mayan cities, the ruins of Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the country. They have also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and named one of the ‘Seven New Wonders of the World'.
Spread over 6.5 square kilometres, the site can be visited in a day. It has two distinct architectural zones: the southern zone, which has early Puuc-style buildings typical of the Yucatan region that date from the seventh century; and the central area, built after the arrival of the Toltecs around the 10th century, and characterised by the fusion of the Puuc architectural style with that of the central highlands of Mexico. Do not miss El Castillo, an imposing pyramid that has dominated the site since it was built in the first century. And do visit the huge Mayan playing field where men once played Pok-ta-Pok, an ancestral form of basketball.
If you decide to spend the night nearby, book a room at the Hacienda Chichen, a 16th century property that has been beautifully restored as a luxury hotel and spa.