Chichen Itza is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization located in the northern center of the Yucatan Peninsula, present-day Mexico. Chichen Itza was a major regional center in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Eearly Postclassic period.
Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan temple city, served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Its various structures - the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, and the Playing Field of the Prisoners – can still be seen today and are demonstrative of an extraordinary commitment to architectural space and composition. The pyramid itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all Mayan temples.
Chichen-Itza is the most visited archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula. Many tourists add a day trip to their vacation to travel to the site, located approximately two hours away from Cancun and two and a half hours from Merida. The site's main attractions include El Castillo, or the Pyramid of the Serpent God Kukulkan, a magnificent pyramid topped by a temple, to which thousands of people from all over the globe flock every spring and fall equinox to witness a shadow depicting the god slither down it. Visitors can also explore the sacbes, white limestone pathways used by the ancient Mayans.
The Mayan city of Chichen Itza,located in the Mexican state of Yucatan, was chosen as one of the "Seven New Wonders of the World" by approximately 100 million people around the globe, who cast their ballots by phone and Internet. "The selection of Chichen Itza is recognition of the extremely vast and ancient historical and cultural heritage of Mexico, of which very few countries in the world can boast," said Francisco Lopez Mena, director of Mexico's Tourism Promotion Council