Visiting the 7 Wonders of the Modern World: Chichen Itza

A Modern Wonder....

-Danielle Breshears, Staff Writer 


Of course you have heard of the 7 Wonders of the World, you know, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Babylon Hanging Gardens, all those well-known ancient heritage sites, but have you heard about the 7 wonders of the modern world? No? Well, you're in luck! (And if yes, you're still in luck).

In 2007, 7 new world wonders were named, the new list taking into account what society deems as an extremely important modern-day heritage site. Of course, though the sites may thrive in today's modern tourism society, that doesn't mean that they don't have their fair share of seriously impressive history behind them.

Here's what made the list:

Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The Great Wall, China
Machu Picchu, Peru
Petra, Jordan
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India.

While we can't take you all the way around the world in one trip, we can certainly offer an outing to one of the 7 wonders, Chichen Itza!

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited world wonders in the western hemisphere, the ancient thriving Maya city today one of the most popular ruins sites in the entire world.

Ancient Mayan pyramid, Kukulcan Temple at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

Ancient Mayan pyramid, Kukulcan Temple at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

The main feature of the site is El Castillo, the ancient castle with many known names (Temple of Kukulcan, Structure 5B18, The Castle). This Mesoamerican step-pyramid sits in the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site, within the Mexican state of Yucatan.

El Castillo was built between the 9th and 12th centuries by a local pre-Columbian Maya civilization. As a tribute to the god Kukulkan, the Yucatec Maya Feathered Serpent Deity, this served as one of the most important religious, political, and economic centers for several hundred years. Kukulkan was closely related to Quetzalcoatl, one of the most well-known Aztec gods.

The step-pyramid itself is made up of square terraces with stairs up every 4 sides, leading to the top temple. There are serpent statues on the north balustrade, the structures creating quite the show each spring and fall equinoxes. During these times the triangular shadows on the northwest side make it appear as if a serpent is crawling down the pyramid, a happening that creates quite the gathering each year.

There are 91 steps on each side of the temple, the steps adding up to 365, as in the number of days in the Haab calendar. The entire structure is 79 feet high, the temple adding an additional 20 feet. The base is 181 feet across, making this grand structure one of the largest ruins left in the modern world.

There are also other ruins scattered about such as the Temple of 1000 Columns, Great Ball Court (the largest ritual ball court in the Mayan world), and Tzompantli.

So how can your group tour the ruins?

We will help you plan your entire Chichen Itza experience, from the take-off in the states to the transportation from the ruins to your hotel in Mexico. We will take into consideration your group size, group needs, and time to dedicate to the trip and make a sample itinerary customized just for you.

Here are a few of the onsite tours we will choose from once you are there:

Entertainment Plus, Yucatreks, and Chichen Itza with Jerry. Each tour, while vastly variant in price, will give you the same basic overall experience: Roundtrip transportation to and from the hotel, Yucatan lunch buffet, guided tour of the ruins, and shopping stopover in the village of Valladolid. Some tours even come with the additional option to add in a cenote swim!

What are you waiting for, let's explore Chichen Itza today!