After our forced exile to Mexico from the Pacific Crest Trail last year, we spent a month in Merida, Yucatan, learning Spanish and visiting the many surrounding ruins.
One of them was the Mayan pre-columbian city of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the picture above is the most prominent structure of the site, the Kukulcán pyramid.
The ruins themselves are pretty spectacular. But the troves of tourists and the even more abundant shops set up along every inch of tree-line really did the atmosphere in for me. We could not go anywhere in the park without someone hollering at us to buy some ‘dies pesos’ souvenir. It really felt more like a Mayan Disneyland than an awesome, ancient ruin. Though, it is the second most visited site in Mexico so one should not be surprised at that. Plus, there are many more equally spectacular and less crowded ruins in Mexico.
I guess I have a weakness for the silence of old stones . I’ve had the chance a couple of times in my life to find myself in ancient sites such as that one without a soul in view and they are to this day some of my most cherished memories. Best way to feel like a real life Indiana Johns or Lara Croft.