Chichen Itza Facts: The Maya name "Chichen Itza" means " at the edge of the Itza's well." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge", and ch'e'en, meaning "well." Itz� is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that dominated the northern peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico prior to the Spanish Conquest. It is believed that "Itza" derives from the Maya itz, meaning "magic," and (h)�, meaning "water;" Itz� means: "Water Magicians." Archaeologists today believe that this majestic Mayan city rose as a prominent power towards the end of the Mayan Early Classic Period (600 AD) and current scholastic data places Chichen Itza's fall around AD 1000. Chichen Itza was a major economic power in the northern Mayan region during its apogee. The city's impressive architecture and urban design still marvels visitors and has won Chichen Itza to be included in the new list of the seven wonders of the world, and is one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. Read more about the Maya temples and achitectural facts of Chichen Itza here.
Chichen Itza Geological Facts and Wonders:
Chichen Itza Cenotes: The ancient city of Chichen Itza is located in Northern Yucatan, an arid region where underground fresh water ways run through it rather than rivers; such waterways form natural skink holes called cenotes in Spanish. There are two open cenotes in Chichen Itza's archaeological zone, the most famous is the Sacred Cenote, north of the Kukulkan Pyramid. Edward H. Thompson dredged El Cenote Sagrado, 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery, etc.
Chichen Itza's Wildlife - Flora and Fauna:
Chichen Itza Fauna: embraces those travelers that overnight at Hacienda Chichen to fully enjoy all Chichen Itza has to offer, including incredible bird-watching and fauna sightseeing as you stroll the lush jungle like gardens of Hacienda Chichen and Yaxkin Spa. Bring a pair of bins to take a good look of various mammals, birds, reptiles, and many truly unique insects, specially butterflies.
Chichen Itza Flora is a fascinating feast of life, colors, and aromas; specially at Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa's vast Mayan Jungle Reserve, where guests can enjoy guided Mayan Botanical Tours, Bird-watching Tours, and sacred Mayan ceremonies to fully experience the Mayan cultural heritage of Yucatan's Maya people. Visit Yucatan Adventure Eco-Travel Guide to get detailed information about Chichen Itza's flora and the Green Awareness Conservation efforts of Hacienda Chichen.
Chichen Itza's Urban Design: The urban design found in Chich�n Itza is highly impressive and well planned with many Mayan Temples grouped in a series of architectonic sets. The four well known set of Mayan pyramids and temples in Chichen Itza; three are open to the public:
The Great North Platform, which includes Kukulkan Pyramid, known in
Spanish as El Castillo; plus the Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court.
The Ossario Group, which includes the Ossario pyramid,the Xtoloc temple,
and the cenote of the Xtoloc.
The Central Group, which includes the Observatory or El Caracol, the group
of Las Monjas and La Iglesia, plus the lovely Mayan temple of Akab Dzib.
Old Chichen or Chichen Viejo is located at the far south en of Chichen Itza urban design. The area is not opened to the public. Among the Mayan temples found within Old Chichen are the Group of Initial Series and the Lintels.
Great Ball Court is also within the Great North Platform series of Mayan temples in Chichen Itza. It is known as El Juego de Pelota in Spanish; there are several smaller Ball Courts in this archaeological site but the Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, is the most impressive and larger in ancient Mesoamerica, measuring 166 X 68 meters in length and two long 12 meter high walls holding the two stone carved ball rings representing the feather serpent.
Kukulkan Pyramid also known as El Castillo dominates the Great North Platform Series; this Mayan temple is in harmony with the Mayan Solar Calendar in its numeric set of steps, platforms, and geometric design. The Kukulkan Pyramid is a masterpiece of ancient Mayan Cosmovision, the pyramid has a ground plan of square terraces with central stairways decorated with two feather serpents tails up and their heads resting at the ground. Only two of the four sides of Mayan temple have been restored by Mayan archaeologists. the north side of the pyramid is where the amazing "light and shadow" coming of Kukulkan (symbolized by the feather serpents) descends during an equinox sunrise and sunset each year. Yaxkin Spa offers guests a holistic Mayan experience: KukulKan Ceremony based on ancient Mayan Cosmovision.
Temple of the Warriors and the Group of the Thousand Columns The archeological expedition and restoration of these building was conducted by the Carnegie Institute from 1925-1928, with Earl H. Morris as one of the key members of the restoration. Chichen Itza's Temple of the Warriors features sculpted feather serpent columns at its top platform framing an impressive sculpture of the Chac Mool used in ancient times as an altar for sacrifices; the temples has an inner chamber covered with painted stucco Mayan frescos (not opened to the public nowadays). The Group of the Thousand Columns connects with the Main Market complex, both part of the Great North Platfom series which has many other Mayan temples and platforms for visitors to enjoy during their visit to Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
The Ossario is a mid-size step-style pyramid within the Ossario Group complex of Mayan temples found just south of the Kukulkan pyramid series. In the late 1800s Edward H. Thompson excavated the Ossario pyramid and its cave in the late 1800s and found jade, pottery, human bones, and ancient Mayan artifacts.
The Observatory temple or El Caracol is located in Chichen Itza's Central Group; a fascinating Mayan temple shaped similar to a modern Observatory structure. The central cone building features doors and windows are aligned to various astronomical events and for the observation of the stars and planets movement; Mayan astronomers had a detailed understanding of Venus, the Sun, and the Moon as they traverses the heavens.
Las Monjas is one of the most notable Mayan temple structures at Chichen Itza. Las Monjas complex represents the Terminal Classic buildings constructed in the Puuc architectural style within Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
Old Chichen Complex or Chichen Viejo is only opened to archaeologists and is located inside the Hacienda Chichen private Mayan Jungle Reserve in the south region of Chichen Itza. The past ten years, Dr. Merle Greene has dedicated many summers to work recording many of the Mayan stone-carvings in these Mayan temples; a lovely collection of her original "rubbings" can be seen by the Hacienda Chichen guests at the hotel's Merle Greene's Museum.
Important Places to Visit near Hacienda Chichen and Yaxkin Spa:
Chichen Itza, of course is known now for the impressive Kukulkan Mayan Temple, an ancient Mayan pyramid that became part of the 2007 Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient Mayan city has been the most famous of all Mayan archaeological zones in Yucatan, Mexico. Today, Chichen Itza offers many Mayan eco-cultural traditions.
Thus, we recommend travelers to stay at least two night in our eco-friendly resort to explore and enjoy the various eco-cultural activities this great region offers, including the nightly Light and Sound Show at Chichen Itza after a short "siesta" in your room or cottage terrace over viewing our Maya Jungle gardens; do visit our private Merle Greene Museum and Yaxkin Spa unique Mayan Natural Cave, where guests enjoy the purification ancient Mayan ceremonial mysticism at this original natural holistic sweat-bath and cleansing Zumpul-che ceremony, within Hacienda Chichen's ritual garden.
As a guest at Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa, you have the unique opportunity to enjoy natural purification Spa treatments rooted in Mayan holistic healing traditions as you discover our Mayan Cultural traditions, and explore many fascinating ancient Mayan temples and ruins in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
SPRING 2013 EQUINOX: March 21, 2013 at 10AM the Mayan J-Men Senior Healers and Shamans will celebrate their Spring Equinox Mayan Ceremony at Hacienda Chichen's Sacred Mayan Ceremonial Site, participation is "free", for further information view Yucatan Adventure's Mayan Ceremonies and Rituals Calendar after the open to the public free Mayan Equinox Ceremony, J-Men Mayan Healer and J-Men (Shaman) will be offering the Zumpul-che mystical rituals and Mayan Holistic Purification Ceremonies (3 sessions) to small groups of participants, for further information, booking, and price per person registration, click here.