How to get to Chichen Itza
The Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins in Mexico have been named one of the new 7 wonders of the world, and quite rightly so. We visited the ancient Mayan ruins site recently and can safely say you will not be disappointed. If you find yourself wondering how to get to Chichen Itza then you’ve come to the right place.
Since you’re reading this blog you’re probably planning to visit Chichen Itza yourself which is AWESOME!! So we decided to put together this quick guide to explain to you the 5 different ways that you can get to Chichen Itza from any of the surrounding towns or cities.
How to get to Chichen Itza – 5 different ways
Luckily Chichen Itza is very well connected and pretty easy to get to from most of the surrounding areas. Here are the 5 different ways you can access the ruins;
1 – How to get to Chichen Itza By Rental Car
Renting a car in Mexico is most people’s preferred method of transport. It is affordable, safe and the best way to be able to see and do everything you want to. By renting a car it will be easy to get to Chichen Itza no matter where you are coming from.
Some of the more common destinations nearby are;
- Valladolid – 40 kilometres away – 45 minutes drive
- Tulum – 150 kilometres away – 2 hours drive
- Merida – 120 kilometres away – 1.5 hours drive
- Playa del Carmen – 185 kilometres away – 3 hours drive
- Cancun – 223 kilometres away – 4 hours drive
If this option sounds like the one for you then I highly recommend using Discover Cars to search and compare the best prices and get the best deal.
If you are keen to know more about renting a car in Mexico, the laws and safety tips then check out our post on this here.
Parking at Chichen Itza costs $80 Mex Pesos and a heads up that first thing in the morning when the site opens there can be quite a long queue to get into the car park.
2 – How to get to Chichen Itza By Public Bus
We used the Public ADO buses to do most of our travelling around Mexico. They are fast, reliable and comfortable.
You can check their schedules and book tickets ahead of time through this website. I recommend booking at least a day in advance to avoid missing out as they can sometimes sell out.
You can get the ADO bus from Tulum, Play Del Carmen, Merida and more locations.
3 – How to get to Chichen Itza By Private Taxi
Another way to get to Chichen Itza is to take a Taxi or private driver from pretty much anywhere. This will be the most expensive option but if you get yourself a driver for the day then you can ask them to take you to other places you want to go on the way back, such as Cenotes.
If you choose to use this option I would recommend speaking to your accommodation and asking them to arrange a trusted driver for you.
4 – How to get to Chichen Itza with a Group or Tour
Perhaps one of the most stress-free ways to get to Chichen Itza is to take a tour and let them do all the work for you. It is good to know that you do not have to have a guide to enter the ruins but they are great if you love to learn more about the places you are visiting.
There are so many options out there for different guided and group tours that it can be a little overwhelming trying to pick one. That’s why we went ahead and did the research for you and found the perfect one!
This tour picks up from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and anywhere else along the way. The best part is it also includes lunch and a visit to a cenote afterwards.
5 – How to get to Chichen Itza by Hireing a scooter
We hired a scooter for $400 Mexican pesos ($23 USD) for the day and drove ourselves there from Valladolid. This way is ideal if you’re a confident scooter driver as you get full freedom over when you arrive and leave.
We hired our scooter from Ko’ok Balak rentals. The guys here were super friendly and more than happy to give you any advice on the places you want to visit.
It’s around 45 minutes by scooter, approximately 40km in pretty much a straight line. Just follow the signs for ‘Merida’ until you see signs for Chichen Itza.
TOP TIP*** Once you get to the entrance, before going into the car park, check in the trees to the right. You will see a load of scooters and bikes and you can effectively park in the bushes for FREE!!
Why Visit Chichen Itza?
The impressive site of Chichen Itza is home to what was one of the BIGGEST Maya cities to have existed! The incredibly well-preserved pyramid structure is a sight to behold and considering it is believed to be over 1500 years old, that’s pretty impressive.
If you’re a history buff or just generally find very old structures pretty cool then you really can’t pass up the opportunity to visit Chichen Itza if you’re in the Yucatan region.
Now, I’m no Tour Guide or Historian but reading up on the history of the site is fascinating. If you want to know more information on the ruins before you visit then I recommend reading up on them here.
Where to stay when visiting Chichen Itza?
The best place to stay is in the town of Valladolid.
Valladolid is super easy to get to from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum by bus or Taxi. We recommend using the bus company ADO as they have the most frequent, affordable and comfortable options.
Valladolid is also far more affordable than its nearby coastal towns, so that’s an added bonus. Check out our 3 day itinerary for Valladolid.
From the town centre of Valladolid, Chichen Itza Mayan ruins are only a 45-minute ride away by scooter and even faster by taxi or bus.
How To Get To Chichen Itza FAQs
We have covered the 5 different ways to get to Chichen Itza but there are a few more questions that are frequently asked when it comes to visiting these Mayan Ruins.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Chichen Itza Mayan ruins is definitely first thing in the morning. When there are fewer crowds and it is not as hot. The site opens at 8 am and most scooter rentals open at 7 am to give you plenty of time to arrive on time.
The best months of the year to visit are during November – April to avoid the rainy season and get the best of the weather.
How long do you need to visit Chichen Itza?
We recommend arriving at 8 am and spending the morning exploring the grounds. 4 hours will be plenty of time so you still have the afternoon for extra adventures.
How much does it cost to enter?
With it being one of the 7 new wonders of the world, it is no wonder that this isn’t one of the cheapest places to visit, but trust us, it is worth it! An entrance ticket will set tourists back around $590 Mexican pesos ($32 USD).
There is an additional fee ($3 USD) if you have a GoPro camera so keep this in mind.
NOTE – if you plan to pay by card it will be 2 separate payments at separate windows due to government taxes.
Should you go on a tour of Chichen Itza?
This hugely depends on you as a person and what you prefer. We can however tell you that the site of Chichen Itza isn’t big enough to get lost or need help deciding which parts to visit, you can see it all in one go.
We personally chose to go on our own to have full control over timings and how long we got to spend everywhere and go at our own pace but the flip side is we didn’t get any of the expert knowledge that would come from having a guide.
So know that you don’t have to have a guide to visit Chichen Itza and you can have a really great experience without one like we did. However, they will only add more value for you so if you do decide you would like to know more there were plenty of local guides at the entrance offering their services.
How To Get To Chichen Itza – Final Thoughts
So there you have it. Everything you could possibly need to know in order to plan a great day out to the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins in Mexico.
Hopefully, we have answered the question of how to get to Chichen Itza for you and we hope you enjoy this World Wonder as much as we did!