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How to plan a visit to Chichen Itza from Cancun

Access to the Ultimate Guide to visit Chichen Itza from Cancun. Chichen Itza is the most important city of the Mayan Culture in Mexico and is located in the Yucatan peninsula. The name literally means: “At the mouth of the well of the Itza,” Located 75 miles east of Merida.

The capital of the Mayan World covers approximately six square miles where hundreds of buildings once stood. The best-known construction is Kukulkan’s Pyramid, a square-based, stepped pyramid about 75 feet tall. 

So if you visit Mexico and specifically the area of Yucatan, you do not want to miss one of the World’s new seven wonders of the World. 

But if you’re looking to visit on your own, and you don’t want to be one of the thousands of other tourists, in this article you will find most of the information you need to plan a visit to Chichen Itza from Cancun

The Perfect itinerary to visit Chichen Itza 

Since we do not know your type of travel constraints or possibilities you might have, we will show you what we believe could be the best itinerary to plan a visit to Chichen Itza from Cancun. 

There are many tours out there with very good intentions. Still, it is impossible to have the best result when planning for hundreds of participants simultaneously. 

So, if you have the chance to do it on your own, this is what we could recommend you to do. Also, you need to consider that this place is “far away” from Cancun, so our recommendation will be to wake up early. 

We hope this guide to visit Chichen Itza from Cancun helps you to discover one of the new seven wonders of the world.

The perfect schedule to visit Chichen Itza from Cancun.

  • 6:00 am – Departure from your Hotel in Cancun 
  • 7:30 am – Coffe Stop 
  • 8:30 am – Arrival at Chichen Itza and Guided tour
  • 11:00 am – Departure to Cenote and swim 
  • 12:30 pm – Departure to Valladolid and Lunch 
  • 14:00 pm – Visit Valladolid and drive back to Cancun
  • 17:00 pm – Arrive at your Hotel in Cancun

If you do this, you will avoid the masses. You will always be in advance of all the tourist companies and travelers that will arrive simultaneously at all the attractions. 

Here are some of my favorite tips for creating your own Chichen Itza tour from Cancun.

So, how to get to Chichen Itza from Cancun?

The Archeological site is about 196 km from Cancun Airport or a 3-hour drive from Cancun. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and therefore one of the busiest. 

Getting to know your way before can save you money and disappointment.

1. From Cancun to Chichen Itza by Tour

There are a few different ways to get there. Still, the most popular is a guided tour that includes transportation and a few hours of guided exploration. This is also the most economical way. 

For instance, if you take our tour to Chichen Itza, it cost just USD 69 per person, and the tour includes:

  • Transportation round trip
  • A professional Tour Guide 
  • Entrance to one Cenote
  • Buffet meal 
  • Shortstop guided in Valladolid 
  • and most importantly, we do not take you to tourist traps

So we have had made the math, and taking a tour is more convenient if you are a party of fewer than 6 persons. 

2. From Cancun to Chichen Itza by Private Tour

In case you are a Family of 5 – 6 participants or more, you might consider taking a private tour to Chichen Itza. The extra investment is not much, but the benefits are. 

Some of the Benefits to take a private Tour are:

  • When you take an organized tour, you have to consider that the tourist companies will pick up most of the participants at the hotel, and this could take time. This is not necessarily bad since you give some of your time to reduce the trip’s cost. 
  • You can choose your schedule if you take a private tour. 
  • The Tour company could recommend places you can go that are not that comun for tour companies. Most of the tours you will see out there are planed quasi in the same way since the most convenient way for big groups. 

3. From Cancun to Chichen Itza by Car

The other way is to rent a car in Cancún. The highway 180 D is in perfect condition and is a straight line until Piste Town’s deviation. From the deviation drive 20 minutes to Chichen Archeological Zone. 

If you choose to Rent a Car and drive independently, I recommend you be there as early as possible. The early you arrive, the more chance you have to see the Archeological Area without many tourists. Chichen Itza usually receives +10,000 visitors a day. Consider $410 pesos ($21 USD) for the toll road. 

4. From Cancun to Chichen Itza by Bus

In the past, the commercial buses ADO used to have a bus running to Chichen Itza once a day. The Bus departed every day at 8:45 am and back from Chichen Itza at 4:30 pm. But I guess due to the restrictions of travel and COVID, I can not find this option anymore. 

I will make a note and come back in the future to update this post.

5. From Cancun to Chichen Itza by Air 

If you are adventurous enough and not restricted by budget, this could be a great option to visit Chichen Itza. There is one company called Fly Tours that offers private plane and share basis tours from Cancun.

You should consider this option to save time since the flight is around 50 minutes flight and they include transportation and a guided visit to the ruins. 

The cons of this option are that you won’t see the area’s surroundings like beautiful cenotes, local culture, try the local gastronomy and visit Valladolid. 

Cost of Chichen Itza

There are two entrance fees that you need to consider. The regular entrance fee and the government’s special taxes will require to pay according to the type of visitant you are. 

  1. The general acces is $80 Pesos ($20 USD aprox.)
  2. Taxes for Mexican Citizens are $ 130 Pesos ($ 7.5 USD), and taxes for international visitors are $ 417 Pesos ($ 21 USD)

The best source of information will be the Offical website of the INAH, where you find the recent updates. Due to health and travel restrictions, we strongly recommend you to check it before you go. 

There are other extra costs you might consider.

Due to COVID restrictions, all groups above 10 persons need to be accompanied by a tour guide. If you are traveling alone and you are more than 10 persons, you can hire a local guide at the entrance. The cost is around $50 USD, including taxes. 

Another cost you need to consider is if you would like to take photos or video. For reasons that I don’t understand is prohibited to make professional videos and professional pictures inside Chichen Itza. Therefore you need to pay for permits. Drones are prohibited. 

The permits’ cost could vary according to what you would like to do. Still, they can range from $600 USD for professional video and $250 USD for professional Cameras. Drones are prohibited. 

Opening Time

Open hours in Chichen Itza are from 8 am to 5 pm. 

The last access is at 4 pm.

Organized tours are permitted to visit the Archeological Zone from 11 am to 5 pm.

Pictures and Video in Chichen Itza 

As we mentioned before, professional pictures and videos are restricted, and you need to pay for a permit. 

You can arrange this permit at the entrance of the Archeological Zone. Consider at least 1 hour to explain what you will like to do and get the license. You can always contact the administration office to explain in advance. 

Traveling in Mexico with your camera could be uncomfortable since, at every Archeological Zone, the local administration will consider if your camera is professional or not. 

If you can smuggle your camera inside and consider taking pictures with your camera, you could get a fine. Photos and videos with your mobile phone are Ok. 

Other tips to plan your visit to Chichen Itza 

The aim of his article is to explain how to plan a visit to Chichen Itza. We recommend you to read our articles on Top things to do in Chichen Itza and What to do in Chichen Itza’s with Kids to get to know the area better. 

But we didn’t want you to left aside some extra tips for you to plan to visit Chichen Itza from Cancun

  • Fuel – If you drive, consider tank fuel before you leave Cancun. The closest Station will be 130 km from Cancun on the same highway or Valladolid, 160 km from Cancun.
  • Cash – Overall, in Mexico, you need cash since many places do not accept credit cards, like handicraft shops, street food, tips, etc. 
  • Tips – in Mexico, all we do is about service. It is always appreciated to receive some contribution but is not mandatory. Usually, tips at restaurants are from 10% -20 %, tour guides $3 – $5 USD per person, and Drivers $2 USD per person. This is a recommendation and is not mandatory. 
  • The best place (for us) to buy handcraft will be the Market of Valladolid, prices are the lowest of all the places you will see. But, consider that even if all look the same 🙂 there might be some pieces that you won’t find in the market. So if you like it and you think the price is fair, you should buy it.
  • Bargain Prices – You can bargain prices in some handicraft shops, but in the end, the person who is making the handcraft receives less for their work. If bargaining is a sport for you, our only recommendation will be to buy directly to the person who is doing the craft. In this way, you will benefit directly the family that produces it. 


If you have never been to this site before could a place you might not want to miss. It is a UNESCO site and one of the most visited archaeological sites in the World. And definitely, this guide to visit Chichen Itza will help you to discover it the best way.

There are a few different ways to get there. Still, the most popular is a guided tour that includes pick up at our Hotel, transportation, few hours of guided exploration, and maybe swimming in a Cenote.

This guide to visit Chichen Itza is intended to be general advice for all types of travelers. We hope we have covered most of your doubts. If not, you can contact us.


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