Chichen Itza - Enchantment of Water
The Chichen Itza complex is one of the most spectacular Maya archeological sites to visit while in the Yucatan!
The complex is quite extensive and most areas can be visited. I highly advise going with a tour guide as you will likely need transportation to the complex from the hotel zones but also because a tour guide will give you the best overview of the culture, history, and heritage of the Maya.
Chichen Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge", and chʼen or chʼeʼen, meaning "well". Itzá is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance of the northern peninsula. One possible translation for Itza is "enchanter (or enchantment) of the water," from its (itz), "sorcerer", and ha, "water" and it’s no surprise that this is a powerful spot for me as well as many others that visit this sacred site!
Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of the Yucatan in Mexico. The northern Yucatán Peninsula is Karst, and the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are four visible, natural sink holes, called Cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of these cenotes, the "Cenote Segrado" or "Sacred Cenote" (also variously known as the Sacred Well is the most famous.[ In 2015, scientists determined that there is a hidden Cenote under the Temple, which has never been seen by archeologists!
El Templo, known as the Temple of Kukulcán, is a pyramid that dominates the center of the Chichen Itza.
Built by the pre-columbian maya civilization sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries AD, the building served as a temple to the deity Kukulcán, the Yucatec Maya Feathered Serpent deity closely related to Quetzalcoatl.
I can’t begin to accurately share all of the cool facts about Chichen Itza, but I will geek out a bit on this aside from the water connection and Quetzacoatl who is one of my sacred guides.