With an overnight stay to beat the crowds, we were able to take in the sound and light show ‘Noches de Kukulkán’ on the Thursday evening, and an early breakfast on Friday morning would give us a good head start on the organised tours.

The Mayaland Hotel offers a selection of fixed price breakfast menus, and I opted for the Mexican including ‘huevos rancheros’ (eggs sunny side up with a tomato sauce, served on tortillas) at $300MXN (about £12). Breakfast finished, we headed for quite a unique hotel feature, their private entrance and ticket office for the Chichén Itzá site.

View of the Mayaland Bungalows
View of the Mayaland Bungalows

Admission to the site had rather annoyingly gone up in price overnight. Last night we clocked the noticeboards at the entrance displaying $259 (£11) per person. Today the boards had inexplicably changed to $481 (£19) per person. I double checked our official admission tickets when printed, and they did indeed show the new figure, ruling out any local scam which I had initially suspected.

Having had a sneak preview of some of the most important ruins last night during the sound & light show, today felt more familiar to us. But the site is far more extensive than our first visit would suggest, and it took us a good few hours to walk around all of the ruins, examining in more detail the things we missed last night, and exploring further afield to the more distant ruins.

 

The Temple of Kukulcán
The Temple of Kukulcán

Our visit concluded, we were able to return through the private exit to our hotel, to enjoy a few more hours around the hotel pool before heading back to the main entrance to pick up our 16.30 ADO service back to Cancún. ADO tickets Chichén Itzá to Cancún 228 pesos (about £9) each. Because of the one hour time zone difference which I hadn’t allowed for, we eventually arrived back in Cancún at around 8pm local time.

The pool at Mayaland
The pool at Mayaland

A rather bizarre moment this evening, after we left the ADO bus station to catch a local bus back to the hotel zone. As we waited at the bus stop, I could hear the thump thump thump of a REALLY loud car audio system approaching. I gave my best disapproving stare to the young lad driving a sporty hatchback, but when he drove past us the music didn’t follow. It got even louder as our R1 bus immediately behind him pulled up at the stop and opened its doors. We were surprised to discover that the young driver had modified his own bus, with a soundstream amp complete with colour changing lights bolted to the inside wall, a huge bass speaker at the back of the bus, and a couple of quite substantial speakers in the front corners. One of our more exhilarating journeys!

Tomorrow, we’re off to the nearby resort of Playa del Carmen, and a boat trip to the Isla de Cozumel.