Chichén Itzá is a monumental archaeological site, remarkable for both its size and scope. The ruins include impressive palaces, temples, and altars, as well as the largest-known ball court  in the Maya world.
One of the most widely recognized (and heavily visited) ruins in the world, Chichén Itzá was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The Maya calendar places great significance on the year 2012 and countries throughout the Mundo Maya are planning a yearlong uplifting of Maya culture with events and ceremonies at various Maya archaeological sites.
To learn about what is planned for 2012 at Chichén Itzá, please visit the Chichén Itzá in 2012 page from our Maya 2012 travel guide .
There's a small museum (8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) in the visitor services area. It is curiously small for a site as important and oft-visited as this one, but it’s worth visiting nonetheless. An air-conditioned auditorium nearby shows films (circa 1971, apparently) on Chichén Itzá and other sites.
The grounds are open daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is US$9 per person, plus US$3 to bring a video camera. The fee includes entrance to the ruins, plus the sound and light show , presented nightly at 7 p.m. in the winter (October–April) and at 8 p.m. in the summer (May–September); hold onto your ticket. There is no discount if you don’t wish to go to the sound and light show, but there is a show-only price (US$3). You can go to show the night before you visit the ruins, but be sure to buy a US$5 partial entrance—not the US$3 show-only ticket—and keep your stub for credit the next morning. Just tell the ticket seller your plan, and he’ll sell you the right ticket.
Guides can be hired at the entrance according to fixed and clearly marked prices: US$35 for a 1.5- or two-hour tour in Spanish, US$42 in English, French, Italian, or German. Prices are per group, which can include up to eight people. Tips are customary and not included in the price.
The visitor center also has restrooms, ATM, luggage storage, a café, bookstore, gift shop, and information center.