May 30
Our group,Los Diez, started our journey to Chichen early and met at the bus stop around 6 in the morning. Our host families were gracious enough to get us there that early and on time. We got in the van and met our tour guide, Manuel Cortes Pech. He was a very fun guy with a lot of character. His grandmother was Mayan and he learned many things from her. He told us some things he learned and some traditions he received from her. The group stopped by a service station called an “Isleta” and purchased incredible smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables. We finally arrived at Chichen Itza and walked along a sakbe, a road, that was part of a system of roads the Maya built thoughout the Yucatan Peninsula. We saw many of the ancient ruins of the Maya. The group saw the famous principal pyramid (El Castillo), Temple of the Jaguars (we could still see some of the colors like red and yellow and green inside the temple), Temple of the Warriors [Photo 3], the Tomb of the Great Priest, the Sacred Cenote, the Pok ta Pok ball court (measuring 500 ft long, 120 ft wide, 24ft high) (the seats for the court are concave and invert downward and the court is built in such a way that you could here another person from the other side of the court), Caracol (an observatory) and visited a traditional Mayan house as well. The houses are built in such a way to keep a great circulation of air constantly throughout the house. It was quite a day of walking for the group but everyone enjoyed it. I personally thought it was incredible to have seen all these ruins in books and in videos and now see them in person. It was absolutely incredible. After touring Chichen Itza, we went to a cenote called “Ik Kil” and swam in the cenote. The cenote is 210 ft around, about 70 ft deep to the water and the water is about 140 ft and about 65 ft wide. A few of us were courageous enough to jump of a ledge that was roughly 16 feet high. After swimming, the group had an excellent all-you-can-eat lunch near the cenote and headed back to Cancun, taking an alternative route. We went through a town called Valladolid, and had some incredible ice cream. Eventually Los Diez made it back to our families in Cancun and had great things to tell them about the day.