There are plenty of guides for what to look at and do in Chichen Itza, but what about in the surrounding area? While often overlooked by the famous ruins, many other places around Chichen Itza are beautiful and well worth a visit.
Some examples include a Hotel that has both delicious meals and a planetarium, another set of ruins thought to be a sister city to Chichen Itza, places to swim, and ceremonial sites.
If you’ve explored all of Chichen Itza and want to know more about the surrounding area, this guide will help you find things to do and places to visit.
Places Near Chichen Itza You Must See
There are plenty of things to do near Chichen Itza. Even if you visit the ruins during the day, you can also check out the light show that happens at night. It is 25 minutes, and you can buy tickets online.
Additionally, nearby is a place called the Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows. Though it is a hotel, it also has other fun things. One is a planetarium. The shows are about 25 minutes and are about $9.
The show is in Spanish, but you can appreciate the sight even if you don’t know much of the language. Also, the room is air-conditioned, so it is a great place to take a break from the hot sun and cool down a bit.
Historical Spots Around Chichen Itza
There are many historical spots around Chichen Itza as well. The first is the Yaxunah ruins. These ruins are considered to be the lost sister city of the Chichen Itza ruins. Despite that, they are relatively unheard of.
The site isn’t as restored, and there are no tours, but the site is still worth a visit. Sometimes, there are people at the museum nearby that will give you a tour of the area.
Another historical spot is the Balankanche Caves. Eight hundred years ago, the caves were a ceremonial site for Mayans. Guided tours in various languages are done throughout the day.
Where Can You Eat Near Chichen Itza?
Remember the Mayaland Hotel & Bungalow? Well, a planetarium and a hotel weren’t enough for them. They also have a delicious menu at their hotel, featuring Mexican and Central American food.
Along the same line, there is also the Mural, Hacienda Chichen, and Restaurant Sac-Beh. All serve Mexican or a fusion for their meals, really letting you try local dishes.
If you want something a little lighter, there is also the Lina Cafe, which provides coffee and crepes that are well worth trying. However, the areas surrounding Chichen Itza aren’t good if you are missing home and want something familiar.
What Souvenirs Should You Get there?
Depending on your tastes, there are all sorts of souvenirs to get. Usually, tourist areas are crammed full of vendors trying to sell handmade products. However, near Chichen Itza, there are also souvenirs of the area and ruins themselves.
However, there aren’t many souvenirs that are unique to the area. If you are traveling anywhere else in Mexico, you will find the same products anywhere that is a tourist destination.
Take the time to look for something unique to Chichen Itza. Or, if you are only visiting Chichen Itza, get some of the souvenirs unique to Mexico.
Some examples of souvenirs are:
- Custom necklaces
- Mayan calendars
- Silver jewelry or art pieces
- Obsidian jewelry or tools
Are There Places to Swim Around Chichen Itza?
By far, the best and most well-known place to swim around Chichen Itza is Cenote Ik Kil. There are cenotes in Chichen Itza, but they are considered sacred, and no one is allowed to swim in them.
However, after walking around in the heat all day and seeing that water, you may be ready to go swimming. Thankfully, there is another cenote nearby.
Cenote Ik Kil is very popular. It is not only pretty to look at, but you can swim there as well. Moreover, they are close together, so you can easily visit both on the same day.
The cenote is cave-like like many others but has a hole that opens it up to the light and fresh air. It makes the crystal clear water stand out. Vines trail down to the water, creating a stunning sight.
Final Thoughts on What To Do Near Chichen Itza
While Chichen Itza is definitely worth a visit, that doesn’t mean you should ignore other areas nearby. There is plenty to do in the surrounding area around the site, including seeing a sister city, exploring museums, and even looking at the stars.
No matter what you like to do, there is something nearby within a quick drive or even walk if you are willing to do so under the heat of the sun. Also, don’t forget to pick up a souvenir or two on your trip.
While it can be hard to find unique souvenirs, it can be well worth it and help you treasure the trip for years to come.