Excursion to Chichen Itza and Ik-kil (Saturday, November 16)
Recommended attire: Light sportswear, bathing suite, towel, walking shoes, hat, camera and sun tan lotion
We expect to arrive at Chichen Itza around 10:00. The visit will start with a guided tour, commenting the history of the Maya civilization and the various buildings such as the Temple of the Warriors, the Observatory, the Castle, the Thousand-Columns, the sacrificial well, the Tzompantli, and many others. After the explanations the tour guide will give you free time at will to visit the archaeological site, so you can take pictures, climb the main temple El Castillo and more.
There are two styles in the architecture of Chichen Itza. The first period (500 - 700 A.D.) is authentically Maya, the second (950 - 1200) shows Toltec influence. One of the best web sites on Chichen Itza is this one. Photos of Chichen Itza can be found on many other web sites, such as this, this and the Science museum of Minnesota. Some show the snake as it appears on the great pyramid during the equinox, in just one photo or a time-series.
After the visit of Chichen Itza, we will have a buffet lunch at only 5 minutes from Chichen Itza. After the lunch you can relax or enjoy a jump in the fresh water of one of the most important and impressive natural wells ("cenote") in the Yucatan Peninsula: Ik-kil, which in Mayan language means "The place of the four winds". This well is 38 meters wide and 28 meters depth and at the bottom is a delicious, calm and transparent blue water. You can reach the bottom by normal stairs (very accessible). At the bottom there is a platform for swimmers.
You can find here some photos of the Ik-kil cenote. The Cenotes were special to the Maya for their religious and social significance.
I also recommend the following web pages on archaeoastronomy and the Mayas:
maya astronomy a very nice page by Michiel Berger, Amsterdam
the maya calendar
the maya calendar and the lunar glyphs
More on Chichen Itza and Archeoastronomy
General Tourist Information
The following links have not been checked for the claims they
make, and not even for their usefulness.
Explore at your own risk ...