How To Find Yourself Essentially ALONE
Chichen Itza is one of the seven wonders of the world so it’s no wonder that 1.2 million people visit this site every year. I want to share with you how we (accidentally) stumbled on a rare moment where we were essentially the only ones in the park!
We were staying in Playa del Carmen and got a late start to the day. We left Playa del Carmen at noon with two goals in mind, visit Valladolid and see Chichen Itza! We made it to Valladolid about two hours later and ate a lunch and did some sightseeing and then decided to head to Chichen Itza. I decided I would call to ask about parking but found out during the call that they stopped letting guests in at 4:30pm! I was devastated! I was really looking forward to seeing this beautiful site and because of the lack of planning (which is unlike me), we were going to miss it. I kept pressing the guy in Spanish about if there was any way that we could get into the park. He mentioned that there was a special session on Sunday evenings that ran from 5:00pm-6:30pm. It did cost a couple extra bucks but we agreed that it would be worth it if we could at least get in the park.
That turned out to be one of the best decisions that we made on that trip. We bought our tickets and waited for the day crowd to file out of the park. In total, there were probably about 15 people that were there. And once you got into the park everyone was so spread out that it seemed like you were there alone. I have tried to research this after-hours session but have not been able to find much about it. All that I could find were posts stating to avoid going on Sundays because Mexican citizens can enter in free and because it is a weekend it is inherently busier. However, from our experience, this after-hours entrance was perfect for us. Also, something else to note was that all during the day it was raining so I have wondered if that may have scared off some people as well? If you have a way with rain dances I suggest you do that the morning of your trip;)
I had researched interesting facts about the site before entering which brought more meaning to the stunning temples and buildings that were all around me. The sun was going down, with it brought the perfect temperature for walking around. All of the day vendors had packed up which meant no one was trying to get us to buy souvenirs. You could say it was a magical evening walking around this ancient city asking myself what stories those walls had if they could talk.
I’m not telling you to blindly trust me and show up at this time on a Sunday evening but it is worth calling them and asking about this special entrance and the times that it runs. The take away from this experience is that sometimes unexpected, fantastic moments happen without needing to be planned. Happy exploring!
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