One of the seven World Wonders
While the Mayan were mostly rural, they had urban ceremonial centers such as Chichen Itza, Pelanque, Uxmal and others.
This archeological site was voted one of the 7 (modern) wonders of the world in 2007. The pyramid, observatory, and ball-court are highlights of this great Mayan site.
Pyramid of Kukulkan
The design of this Mayan pyramid is all about time.
365 steps represent the 365 days of a year
The stairways divide into eighteen segments, representing the eighteen months of the Mayan calendar
The pyramid's orientation marks the solstices and equinoxes
Oriented to the sunrise at summer solstice and the sunset at winter solstice
The event everyone waits to see... is the serpent revealed at both the spring and autumn equinox. The serpent is created by tail-shaped-shadow (created by the terraced corner) that joins up to a stone serpent's head at the base of the pyramid. This is the serpent Kukulcan. This happens on the West side of the North face of the pyramid.
Mathematics and astronomy were definite strong points of the ancient Maya.
The Mayan calendar, in particular, is well known for it's precise time-keeping and predictions of celestial events to come. And it is famous for ending on an exact date of the year 2012, precipitating a deluge of you-tube videos on the end of the world. The Mayan did not necessarily mean 2012 would be the end of the world, but the end of a cycle. Their calendar is all about cycles.
Could you get a rubber ball through this hoop using only your hip? Well that's the aim of this game. This the largest of the ball courts of ancient Mesoamerica.
The court is 166 x 68 meters and 12 meters high
Mouth of the Well of the Itza
The name Chichen Itza means 'Mouth of the Well of the Itza'.
The images above are of a cenote very close to the archeological site.
There are other cenote nearby, all incredibly beautiful. At this one you may go for a swim. I did and I recommend it. The water is unusually dense.