Chichen Itza Entrance Fee + Everything You Need To Know 2024

A pyramid in a grassy field with chichen itza in the background.

I visited Chichen Itza in the summer and paid $38 USD or $643 Mexican Pesos to enter. I took a tour bus there that included other things like swimming in Cenote Ik Kil, visiting the town of Izamal, and lunch. Tours do not include the Chichen Itza entrance fee and you must pay that upon arrival.

I know you want to make the most of your time at Chichen Itza. With so much to see and absorb, it’s important to have a plan. So I’ve put together some valuable insights to help you out. I cover the basics, history, how to get there, and the best tours to take. Plus I also share tips on how to optimize your visit.

Like being prepared for sudden rainfall! During my visit, rain started pouring down, and we all huddled under a vendor’s tent. I was standing squished with strangers but a cute ceramic cat statue on the vendor’s table caught my eye. It reminded me of my kitty back home so I purchased it.

The rain stopped just as quickly as it started, but that little kitty statue sits on my desk and reminds me of my time at Chichen Itza. I want you to have the best time when exploring the archaeological site so let’s get into everything you need to know when visiting Chichen Itza!

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A woman in a red dress standing in front of a pyramid in chichen itza, mexico.

Before Going Know These…

Chichen Itza Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Chichen Itza is $95 Mexican pesos (approximately $6 USD) and an additional fee for foreign visitors of $548 Mexican pesos (approximately $32 USD). This fee is put in place by the Yucatán Fiscal Administration Agency (AAFY). You can purchase your tickets at the Archaeological Zone ticket office once you arrive. This makes the total Chichen Itza entrance fee $643 Mexican Pesos or $38 USD.

These prices may vary, so it’s advisable to check the latest prices before your visit. There might be additional fees for activities such as using video cameras or tripods. Visitors are also reminded to bring proper identification for security purposes.

Chichen Itza Hours of Operation

Chichen Itza is typically open to visitors every day from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, with the last entry into the zone being 4 pm. It is advisable to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds and make the most of your visit. 

History Of Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is an ancient city in Yucatan, Mexico that was built by the Mayan civilization over a thousand years ago. One of the most famous structures there is called El Castillo, which is a giant pyramid that was used for religious ceremonies.

The city is famous for some dark things like human sacrifices where they would toss people into the nearby cenote. Yikes! But it wasn’t all doom and gloom because they also had awesome events like markets and games held there. Can you imagine shopping for cool stuff while your friends are getting sacrificed?

It is speculated that the city was abandoned due to drought, exhausted soils, and the collapse of the Mayan Civilization. The site then was re-discovered in 1841 by John L. Stephens an American explorer.

Climbing the Pyramid

In the past, visitors were allowed to climb the Pyramid, also known as El Castillo, to reach the top. However, to ensure the preservation of the site and the safety of visitors, in 2008 the government put a stop to climbing the Pyramid.

This measure was implemented to protect the ancient structure from potential damage caused by large numbers of climbers. Nevertheless, you can still appreciate the Pyramid’s beauty and explore the surrounding areas.

A stone structure with a snake head.

How To Get To Chichen Itza

The Best Tours To Chichen Itza!

I dedicated time to researching the best tours to Chichen Itza from nearby major cities. I considered the activities offered versus the price of the tour and the distance from the city. I also read the reviews and I carefully selected the perfect options. I personally took the Merida tour and absolutely loved it and would recommend it to everyone! These are my top picks below!

From Merida:

This amazing tour shuttles you from your hotel in Merida to Chichen Itza, then pausing by the refreshing Cenote Ik Kil for a dip. Stopping to have an all-you-can-eat Mexican lunch before heading into the yellow city of Izamal to explore its Convent.

From Cancun/ Playa Del Carmen:

This 5-star tour transports you to Chichen Itza, then the beautiful town of Valladolid, and then to swim in a nearby cenote. Included is a delicious Mexican lunch buffet and they will pick you up from your hotel in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Riviera Maya.

From Tulum:

This small group tour guides you from your hotel in Tulum to the incredible Chichen Itza. It makes a stop at a cenote where you can swim, relax, and listen to the birds chirping. Then you’ll be having a buffet lunch in downtown Valladolid where you can explore after.

Bus To Chichen Itza

Getting to Chichen Itza via the public bus is a convenient and affordable option for travelers. Here is some quick info on each major City in the region.

  • Cancun is approximately a 2-hour direct ADO bus ride to Chichen Itza.
  • Merida is approximately a 2-hour direct ADO bus to Chichen Itza.
  • Playa Del Carmen is approximately a 3-hour direct ADO bus to Chichen Itza.
  • Tulum is approximately a 2-hour direct ADO bus from Chichen Itza.


A travel tip is that most buses to Chichen Itza run only two to three times a day. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive at the ADO bus terminal at least 30 minutes before departure time to secure your ticket. The tickets can also be purchased online in advance. Here is where you will be getting off at once at Chichen Itza.

One thing to keep in mind is that public buses in Mexico tend to get crowded, especially during peak tourist season. It is advisable to keep your belongings close and be mindful of your surroundings while traveling on the public bus.

Overall, taking the public bus to Chichen Itza is a budget-friendly option that provides easy access to this ancient wonder. Just make sure to plan your trip accordingly and arrive early at the ADO bus terminal to avoid any inconvenience.

Car To Chichen Itza

You can visit Chichen Itza with the help of Rentalcars.com, you can easily find and book a rental car that suits your needs and budget. It’s important to note that most rental cars in Mexico require additional insurance coverage, so travelers should make sure to check this with their chosen rental company.

Additionally, it’s advised to familiarize oneself with local traffic laws and road conditions before embarking on the journey to Chichen Itza. In Mexico, they drive on the right side of the road and the average speed limit is 70–90 km/h (43–56 mph) on rural two-lane roads.

Experiencing the Equinox Phenomenon

Checking out Chichen Itza during the spring or fall equinox is truly an incredible experience. As the sun begins to set, the shadows cast by the pyramid create an interesting illusion, resembling a graceful serpent slowly slithering down the steps of the pyramid. This stunning sight adds an indescribable touch to your experience and will leave you captivated by its wonder and awe.

Fun Facts And Tips About Chichen Itza!

  • The Pyramid in Chichen Itza is specifically dedicated to the deity Kukulcan, also known as the Feathered Serpent. You can see many statues of serpents around the site.
  • El Castillo has 91 steps on each of its four sides, adding up to 364 steps. When you include the platform on top it makes a total of 365 steps, corresponding to the number of days in the solar year.
  • Bring boots and an umbrella when visiting during the wet season as parts of the site can get muddy.
  • Head to the East and South sides of the pyramid to get the best photos!
  • During the equinoxes, the play of sunlight and shadow creates the illusion of a descending serpent slithering down the staircase of the Pyramid, symbolizing Kukulcan’s descent from the heavens.
  • Chichen Itza was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 and was later declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
  • The site boasts other remarkable structures, such as the Temple of the Warriors, the Great Ball Court, the Sacred Cenote, and the Observatory, each with its own unique historical and cultural significance.
A stone pyramid with a stone head on top with chichen itza in the background.

My Opinion- Is Chichen Itza Worth Visiting?

In short, the answer is yes, Chichen Itza is definitely worth visiting in Yucatan. However, I believe that it is best enjoyed if you make a day out of it and also visit other nearby places. One downside to visiting Chichen Itza it is quite far from major cities, so it may require some extra time and effort to get there.

Additionally, the weather in this region can be very uncomfortable due to it being so hot and humid. When in the moment it makes you second guess your decision for traveling into the jungle.

Despite these factors, there are many pros to visiting Chichen Itza. Firstly, it is a truly stunning site to see and explore. As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it offers a unique opportunity to check off a bucket list item. Plus, being able to experience the history of this ancient Mayan city in person is truly special.

Another advantage of visiting Chichen Itza is that it allows you to escape from busy cities and immerse yourself in rural life. This can be a refreshing change of pace for those who are staying in places like Cancun, Merida, Tulum, or Playa Del Carmen.

Overall, while there may be some challenges in reaching and exploring Chichen Itza, I believe that the beauty and significance of this site make it well worth the effort. So if you do decide to visit this incredible wonder of the world, don’t forget to also take some time to explore other nearby places.

Beyond The Site

While exploring Chichen Itza is a must-do activity, there are also plenty of other interesting places to check out nearby.

Cenote Ik Kil is located just a short drive from Chichen Itza. This stunning natural wonder is a deep, crystal-clear cenote surrounded by lush greenery and cascading vines. You can swim in the refreshing waters and admire the unique rock formations that line the walls.

Another nearby town worth visiting is Valladolid, known for its charming colonial architecture and vibrant street art scene. Here, you can take a stroll through the colorful streets, sample local delicacies at one of the many restaurants, or visit historic landmarks such as the San Servacio Cathedral.

A short drive from Valladolid is Izamal, also known as the “Yellow Town” due to its bright yellow buildings. This quaint town offers a glimpse into traditional Yucatecan life. You can explore the streets by horse-drawn carriage or take a leisurely walk to discover hidden gems such as artisanal shops and local markets.

With so much to see and do outside of Chichen Itza, you will have no shortage of adventures to embark on during your stay in this fascinating part of Mexico.

FAQs

Does Chichen Itza accept USD?

Yes, Chichen Itza accepts USD as a form of payment. This makes it convenient for tourists visiting the iconic archaeological site in Mexico. Visitors can easily pay for entrance fees, souvenirs (at the gift shop), and other expenses without the need for currency exchange.

However, when shopping with the local vendors set up around the site Mexican Pesos may be the preferred payment method. Therefore, it is advisable to have a mix of both currencies when visiting Chichen Itza to ensure smooth transactions.

When is the best time to go to Chichen Itza?

The best time to visit Chichen Itza is early in the morning, before the heat of the day and the arrival of tour buses. This allows you to fully enjoy the site in a pleasant and less crowded environment.

How long is needed at Chichen Itza?

When visiting Chichen Itza, I recommend allocating around 2 to 3 hours for exploring the site. This timeframe allows visitors to fully immerse your self in the rich history and architectural wonders of this ancient Mayan city.

You can take your time to wander through the ruins, admire the intricate stone carvings, and soak in the fascinating atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Plus do some gift shopping and speak with the locals.

Final Thoughts-

Remember, the entrance fee to Chichen Itza is $38 for foreigners. To reach this iconic destination, various transportation options are available. But I recommend considering taking tours that go to Chichen Itza, You can explore other nearby attractions. I can vet that cenote Ik Kil and the charming town of Izamal are great stops that you’ll love.

Before you leave here is how much I paid for my trip to Yucatan and my 4-day itinerary for the state that you can read next!

Happy exploring!

Kaylee Janell's signature

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A comprehensive guide to exploring the wonders of Chichen Itza, including essential information on entrance fees.

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and Booking.com to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer.

Booking.com is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!

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