8 Amazing Facts about Chichen Itza

#1 There are 13 ball courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza. The Great Ball Court is by far the most impressive. It is the largest and best preserved ball court ever found in Mesoamerica.

#2 The region around Chichen Itza has no rivers or streams. Several natural sinkholes, called cenotes. provide access to underground rivers however and were the only source of water for the Itza people.

#3 Many cenotes are scattered across the Yucatán peninsula, but the sacred cenote of Chichén Itzá was by far the most important to the Maya. In fact, Chichén Itzá translates to “At the mouth of the well of the Itza.

#4 It is suggested that the El Caracol structure was an ancient Mayan observatory that provided a way for the Itza people to observe changes in the sky. From the top of the building they could view the sky above the vegetation without any obstruction.

#5 Each of the El Castillo pyramid’s four sides has 91 steps. When added together and including the temple platform of the temple as the final step, it produces a total of 365 steps. This equals the number of days in a Maya calendar year (as well as our own Julian year).

#6 In 2007, the El Castillo pyramid was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after a worldwide vote.

#7 In the late afternoon during the Spring and Autumn equinoxes the northwest corner of the El Castillo pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase.

#8 An estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the Chichen Itza ruins every year.