Top Tours to El Castillo, History and Pictures of Chichen
Wanting to visit the Chichén Itzá Pyramid? From experience, it helps tremendously to learn about its history, understand its symbolism and learn about the top tours to the temple of Kukulcán.
History of El Castillo
When Spaniards arrived at the Chichén Itzá Pyramid they called it El Castillo or The Castle.
This pyramid was the place of worship of the plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl. This serpent was the same god the Toltecs introduced under the name Kukulcán when the Itzaes invaded the ancient city in the 10th century.
The Maya built this pyramid over an earlier structure, the Temple of Kukulcán, which inside has the Jaguar Throne of this god adorned with jade stones and painted in red.
Symbolism of the Chichen Itza Pyramid
El Castillo has a strong relationship to one of the mayor practices of this ancient civilization, astronomy.
El Castillo like many call it is strongly related to the yearly calendar, which the Maya mastered.
At midday the shadow that covers the northeast angle of the pyramid reflects on the stairway showing a series of triangles that form a snake. This snake ends at the sculpted heads of Kukulcán at the bottom of the pyramid.
Each side of the pyramid had 91 steps and with the platform at the top there are 365 steps, one for each day of the year.
The new pyramid has nine terraces on each side of the stairways, 18 on each face, which represent the months in the Mayan solar calendar, the Haab.
An amazing show you should see is when Kukulcán, the feathered serpent appears when the Spring and Fall equinox happen.
When the Chichén Itzá pyramid was open for climbing, tourists were able to see a great view of the site and some carvings in the temple on top. Today climbing is prohibited.
Best Chichén Itzá Tours
Two words, Cosmos Tours. Well planned, comfortable transportation and educational.
The best way to decide what suits your needs is to do your research in advance.
Check out some company tours and make sure you know what you want to accomplish. Sounds simple, right? I found that many people don’t realize how crowded, hot and uncomfortable it may be.
We toured the site with a 3 1/2 year old child, and the stroller wasn’t much help. So I strongly recommend you to find Chichén Itzá tour companies that you can book in advance, be comfortable and let them know your needs in advance you they can accommodate you or advise you accordingly.
Best Hotel Deals in Chichén Itzá
Searching for a great deal can leave your head spinning! Look no further, I have here a list of the best Chichén Itzá hotel deals.
Best of all you have the chance to see real reviews, along maps, prices and pictures. Also, if a hotel is not what you are looking for you can check out rentals.
Traveling with our son to see El Castillo was a great experience, even though the terrain was tough for the stroller, the day was hot, and on top of that we carried some food and water for him (water is expensive inside.)
I know he remembers the ruins and specially the pyramid since he recognizes it when he sees it. He still asks me from time to time: “Mami, when are we going back to see the Mexican ruins?” and that for me is priceless.
Pictures by Marcela Hede