Chichen Itza’s Temple of Kukulcan: Conversing with the gods themselves

kukulcan chichen itza cancun mexico 1

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to start writing about my Mexico adventures, Sara. I know you wanted to hear about my Mexico trip, and especially about seeing the Kukulcan Pyramid. I don’t really have an excuse, aside from general busyness. You know how it goes – vacations are great, but you wonder if they’re worth it when you come return to find a backlog of work.

Also, I kinda sorta misplaced the memory card with all my pictures on it, and almost all the pictures I took on my phone were of food, and not of actual, you know, adventures.

Don’t worry , a food-focused post is definitely in the works! I beg your patience.

This week’s topic is something pretty cool,: I got to visit one of the Seven Wonders of The New World.

Amazing, right?

I took a tour of Chichen Itza, the capital of the Mayan Civilization.  I heard a lot  about the place before I showed up there, from multiple tour guides, guidebooks and hotel recommendations.

“Chichen Itza was one of the richest ancient cultures in the world, the most important and advanced ceremonial and religious center in Mesoamerica.”

It was only two to three hours away from Cancun by bus, but we took a long detour, stopping at a modern Mayan village, and stopping for a traditional Mexican lunch. All in all, I think the day took more than a full 12 hours. Worth it, though, to experience something as cool as this.

The whole experience was enlightening, from several different perspectives. There’s the anthropological perspective – which, both of us being Anthro majors, I’m sure you will be able to appreciate. Seeing the ruins of a great civilization, getting a feel for how they lived and what they considered important enough to center their culture around – it was fascinating.

The area was also interesting from an architectural and theological perspective.


Temple of Kukulcan

“‘The Castle’ or ‘Temple of Kukulcan’ is a magnificent 24 meter high pyramid that is visited twice a year by the Mayan God during the equinox, who manifests himself in the form of a serpent of light and descends from the main stairway.”

The main temple had an awesome little secret. If you stood at a certain section and clapped your hands, the sound reverberated back in a high pitched chirping sound. It only worked when you were positioned just so. National Geographic did a piece on it, if you want to learn more.

“Lubman envisions Mayan priests facing a crowd at Kukulcan and clapping. The pyramid would then “answer” in the voice of the quetzal, a messenger of the Gods.”

How cool is that? I “spoke” to the Mayan gods, and got an answer back from one of their messengers. Can’t say that happens every day. I wish I had taken a video of it, but alas, I forgot. I’ll have to keep these photos as a reminder of this awesome historical site.

P.S. I loved your last post about travel lessons from The Amazing Race. I think we should totally sign up for it next year.  We would beat the pants off the competition!

candice the let's go ladies




  I’m not the only one who thought it was an amazing experience. The Kukulcan Pyramid got a “Certificate of Excellence” from Trip Advisor this year! 

Candice Lee MacAulay

Candice has been to Japan twice and had a blast doing all manner of geeky things. She has now made it her life's mission to visit and chronicle every place on earth with any nerdy or geeky connotations. Sailor Moon? A trip to Tokyo! Doctor Who? Better go to London! Bones? The Smithsonian it is!

  • Sara @ They Call it Gumption

    The anthropology nerd in me is geeking out hardcore over this, Candice!

  • BeyondBlighty

    I’ll be in Cancun in just a few weeks as part of a big Central America trip. I can’t wait to see this!