While we visited the "Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia" in Mexico DF, we were very lucky to run into a group of students from the university, who were on a field trip with their professor, Hendrik. A Polish guy who simply was a great expert regarding the old cultures in Mexico. We moved along the group from 1 pm. to 7 pm. and it, by accident, made our whole trip much more exiting. In the end anbout 60 people were following him and his students, as it was very very intersting.
One of the most surprising facts he delivered this afternoon, was about "El Castillo" at Chichen Itza. To make it short: The pyramid is not original, as it is the result of the interpretation of the american archaeologist, who was in charge of the excavation in the XX century. It is his work, and not the Maya's.
It made us look at the attraction from a different angel, and the "magic" faded away...!!
Anyway it is a nice "piece of art" - and we went during equinox, on the 22. of March, which was a bonus. The snake is becoming more and more clear at the end of the day, and at 5.15 pm. it was in zenit. If you do research before you go to the ruins, you will know that you can't climb the pyramid - so don't be surprised.
For my taste Chichen Itza is a nice site, which unfortunately is being ruined, on daily basis, by all those annoying salesmen, who want to sell all their "art". It should be prohibited for them to destroy the area in this way, as there are facilities outiside the entrence made specially for them. To us it gave the atmosphere a great push in the wrong direction - all though we of course knew they were there.
Chichen Itza is not the best site to experience ruins, and now after we have visited many others, it is not even close to be in top 5.
IF you want to go - then arrive early and be ready at the gate at 8 am. Then you will have about 2 hours before all the "tour-turists" arrive. Of course if you want to see the "snake" during equinox, then you have to be there in the afternoon.
The sound and light-show in the evening is absolutely recommendable. It is better than in Uxmal.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC