best Chichen Itza tours

This guide runs through some of the best Chichen Itza tours. It’s got all sorts, from deluxe private tours led by local archaeologists to family-fun trips that involve swims in underground rivers!

Get ready to be stunned by the towering temples and pyramids of Chichen Itza. This is one of the greatest Maya sites known to man. Hidden deep in the jungles of the Yucatan, it remained unknown until only recently. But, these days, it’s a UNESCO-tagged relic of the pre-Columbian era.

And it’s open to visitors hitting the beach resorts of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya, not to mention travelers based in vibrant Merida town.

Chichen Itza Tours From Cancun

1 – Chichen Itza, Valladolid, & Cenote Swim w/ Lunch Buffet

Chichen Itza, Valladolid, & Cenote Swim w Lunch Buffet

Start things rolling by delving into the wonderland of stepped pyramids and haunting temples that is the Chichen Itza Archaeological Zone. You’ll be greeted to this Yucatan jewel by the iconic rises of buildings like El Castillo, complete with serpent-wreathed staircases, and the colossal Temple of the Warriors, hiding behind a phalanx of ancient columns.

After touring the UNESCO spot, it’s straight to a cenote (a natural sinkhole filled with spring water) to cool off. A jaunt to Valladolid is thrown in for good measure, to add Baroque cathedral spires and museums of Mexican folk art into the mix.

2 – Early Access to Chichen Itza with a Private Archaeologist from Cancun

Early Access to Chichen Itza with a Private Archaeologist

Rise and shine! An early start is required for this skip-the-crowds tour of the greatest Mayan wonder in the Yucatan. Before the sun is even kissing the sugary sands of Cancun, you’ll be whizzing through the verdant jungles towards the pyramids and temples. The upshot? You should catch the whole UNESCO complex almost empty.

What’s more, you’ll have a qualified archaeologist for a guide. That means gaining unique insights into the rich histories of Mayan culture, the unique architecture of the imposing shrines, and the tantalizing digs that are still on-going at the site.

3 – Chichen Itzá, Ik Kil and Coba Small Group Tour

Chichen Itzá, Ik Kil and Coba Small Group Tour

Make new travel pals and explore some serious thunderbolts of Mexican history, all by choosing this small-group tour to Chichen Itza from Cancun. Of course, it involves walkthroughs of wonders like the Kukulcan Pyramid and the Great Ballcourt – the chart toppers of Chichen Itza itself.

But there’s more. Throw in refreshing dips in glimmering underwater caves (known locally as cenotes) that were once sacred to the Maya. Throw in a jaunt to more off-the-beaten-track Coba, another archaeological site where you can still climb the ancient temples. Throw in enthralling talks on sacrificial rituals and pre-Columbian gods.

4 – Chichen Itza, Hubiku and Ek’Balam Tour from Cancun

Chichen Itza, Hubiku and Ek'Balam Tour

After leaving behind the swanky hotels of Cancun, you’ll delve into the vine-strewn jungles in the heart of the Yucatan, on a trail that ancient Maya once trod to find their sacred city in the palms. When you arrive at Chichen Itza itself, a dedicated guide is at hand to help you understand all the complexities of the site. They’ll explain the unique geometric architecture of the Kukulkan Pyramid, and the mystical secrets of the Popol Vuh text that informed Maya culture.

The day is punctuated by a cooling dip in a cenote. But then it’s onto lesser-known Ek’Balam – another enthralling archaeology site, where lichen-spotted tombs rise from the Mexican forests.

5 – Tickets for Chichén Itzá: Skip The Line

Tickets for Chichén Itzá Skip The Line

Don’t waste time waiting in line! This skip-the-queue ticket helps you get stuck into the great temples and cryptic structures of Chichen Itza faster than you can say ‘Kukulkan’. It’s a no-frills option for those who simply want to tour this amazing UNESCO site at their own pace. All that’s included is the ticket itself, the government tax addition, and priority entrance.

Then, you’ll be free to gawp at the Ball Court, imagine human decapitations next to the Cenote of Sacrifice, and snap shots of the soaring El Castillo temple.

6 – Chichen Itza: Morning Tour from Cancun

Chichen Itza Morning Tour

Be sure to set the alarm clock for this one! The Morning Tour is all about hitting Chichen Itza from Cancun to watch the sunrise glow orange and ochre across the Yucatan skies as it lights up the mighty rock terraces of Kukulkan Pyramid and illuminates the Great Plaza.

Getting in early isn’t just for the stunning views, though. It’s also a sure way to beat the crowds. A guide is included to boot, so there should be loads of time for you to quiz an expert on the rise of the Maya between 600 and 1200 AD.

7 – Cancun Combo Tour: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor and Chichen Itza

Cancun Combo Tour Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor and Chichen Itza

You can tailor-make the tour that suits you using this creative combo option. The package includes access to two attractions, along with a bilingual guide for the day. The rest is your choice.

Will you go for the classic Chichen Itza walk-through, under the Great Plaza and through the majestic Ball Court? Perhaps you prefer the adrenaline-pumping ziplines and rafting of Xplor Park? Maybe you’d like to relax in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Xel-Ha aqua land? Or are you drawn to expeditions through underground rivers in the acclaimed Xcaret attraction?

8 – Chichen Itza Light and Sound Show with Cenote Chukum

Chichen Itza Light and Sound Show with Cenote Chukum

Chichen Itza really comes alive in this creative tour. You’ll see the temples like everyone else by day, topping off your trip with dips in tropical cenotes. But then you get re-enter the site after sundown, to gasp as laser shows dance across the chiseled rocks of the Kukulcan Pyramid, casting shadows and spinning with starlight and bursts of color.

Between your two visits to Chichen Itza, there’s oodles of R&R on offer in the nearby Mayaland Resort. It’s a deluxe establishment, where you’ll be treated to a buffet lunch and get access to the sumptuous swimming pools.

9 – Exclusive Early Access to Chichen Itza & Early Access to Tulum Ruins

Exclusive Early Access to Chichen Itza & Early Access to Tulum Ruins

There’s no need to rush your explorations of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is why this unique offering lets you spread two awesome tours over two whole days. It’s an early start for each, beginning with the eye-watering ruins of Chichen Itza. There, you’ll beat the crowds to it with a trained archaeologist guide, see the mighty main temple, and learn loads about Mayan civilization.

You’ll be back in the comfort of your hotel in time for the afternoon sunbathing session. But then the buck passes to Tulum for the second part of the package. That includes visions of clifftop temples and white-sand Caribbean beaches.

10 – Chichen Itza, Coba and Ik-Kil Cenote: Private Tour from Cancun

Chichen Itza, Coba and Ik-Kil Cenote Private Tour

With tales of Mayan astrology, human sacrifice, and great serpent gods to get through, you might want to dispense of as many distractions as you can. Cue this private tour. It’s tailor-made just for you and your travel crew. You’ll get the services of an in-the-know guide throughout, with options to undertake the trip in a whole range of different languages.

The highlights are many, too, whether that’s swimming in the turquoise waters of the jungle-shrouded Ik Kil cenote or discovering the more off-beat ancient ruins in the complex of Coba.

11 – Chichen Itza, Xcaret and Xel-Ha 3 Tours Combo Package

Chichen Itza, Xcaret and Xel-Ha 3 Tours Combo Package

Transport yourself back more than 1,200 years by joining this whirlwind combo tour of the Yucatan’s most impressive pre-Columbian sites. Things begin in Chichen Itza itself. There, a dedicated guide can reveal the long-lost secrets of the hulking serpent’s temple and the intriguing Observatory of El Caracol.

Then you move to the sprawling complex of Xcaret. It’s part ecotourism hotspot, part Mayan wonder, combining underground rivers with ancient dance shows.

Finally, Xel-Ha tops off the bill. This one’s all about getting wet in crystal-clear lagoons, swimming with tropical fish, and snorkeling through the old Mayan stomping grounds of Quintana Roo.

12 – Yucatan Overview: Chichen Itza and Uxmal 2-Day Tour from Cancun

Yucatan Overview Chichen Itza and Uxmal 2-Day Tour

History, history and more history – that’s the recipe for this enthralling tour of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a real window onto the cultures and whims of the Mayan world, offering up-close adventures in two of the region’s top archaeological sites. Of course, Chichen Itza is one.

There, you’ll go temple to temple, learning the significance of all the buildings in the UNESCO complex. Then comes Uxmal, which is where you’ll also spend the night. Mighty structures like the Pyramid of the Magician and the carved Governor’s Palace will all be explained as day two gets a-rolling.

13 – Combo Xcaret Basic and Chichen Itza plus swim at cenote and lunch

Combo Xcaret Basic and Chichen Itza plus swim at cenote and lunch

48 hours of fun-filled adventure for the whole crew is what’s on the table for those who book this combo package. Each day, you’ll be picked up at your hotel in Cancun.

Your first outing will be to the mysterious Maya city of Chichen Itza. Informative lectures on the bus on the way in will help you understand it all, but probably won’t prepare you for the sheer audacity of structures like Kukulcan Pyramid.

Day two is all about delving into the green jungles and the shimmering lagoons of the Caribbean coast. They spread out in the amusement park of Xcaret, where pink flamingos occupy the enclosures and Mexican craft museums await culture vultures.

14 – Combo: Catamaran to Isla Mujeres & Chichen Itza , with Cenote Swim and Lunch

Combo Catamaran to Isla Mujeres & Chichen Itza , with Cenote Swim and Lunch

Two days could mean two adventures of a totally different kind in the wild lands of the Mexican Caribbean. Yessir, how does a fusion of tropical coral reefs and misty jungles filled with ancient temples sound? Well, that’s precisely what this tour packs in.

You’ll find yourself whizzing across the turquoise sea on a catamaran to the gorgeous Isla Mujeres, home to kaleidoscopes of tropical fish and blinding-white beaches. And you’ll also get to check out Chichen Itza’s mind-boggling ruins. They’ve stood for more than 1,400 years in the heart of the Yucatan forests!

Chichen Itza Tours From Merida

15 – Chichen Itza Deluxe with Buffet Lunch & Cenote from Merida

Chichen Itza Deluxe with Buffet Lunch & Cenote from Merida

If you’re based in the buzzing capital of the Yucatan, there’s a tour that offers a sumptuous Mexican lunch, a soothing dip in a jungle-fringed sinkhole, and a trip to the greatest wonder the region has to offer: Chichen Itza. That’s all rolled into a single excursion, complete with a certified guide and entry to most attractions (passes to Chichen Itza are extra).

Mornings start with visions of the curious Temple of the Jaguars and the great pyramid that stands at the heart of the famous UNESCO site. From there, you’ll head to Cenote Tsukan for swims in wild underground rivers. And there’s a meal in the deluxe Hotel Mayaland to break up the day.

16 – From Merida: Open The Gate To Chichen Itza

From Merida Open The Gate To Chichen Itza

Beat the queues like never before by booking your access to a private entrance to the majestic ancient wonders of Chichen Itza. There’s no joining the crowds at the main ticket booths here. Instead, you can waltz straight into the grand plazas of the old Maya, to snap selfies in front of the Kukulcan Pyramid and the frieze fronted La Iglesia shrines.

Luxury really is the name of the game, what with transport in Mercedes cars and complimentary use of a hotel hospitality suite for the day.

17 – Chichen Itza Elite Private Tour

Chichen Itza Elite Private Tour

You can feel like a VIP guest of the Mayans themselves by choosing this fully private departure from Merida. Air-conditioned vehicles chaperone you straight to the gates of Chichen Itza.

Then, it’s into the midst of the amazing complex in the company of your qualified history guide. Tales of human sacrifices, astrological portents, snake gods, and architectural innovations will flow as you navigate the age-old Ball Court and the soaring platforms of the Great Plaza.

The day wraps up with lunch and a visit to the stunning cenote of Ik Kil.

18 – Chichén Itzá With Light And Sound Show From Merida

Chichén Itzá With Light And Sound Show From Merida

The Pyramid of Kukulkan is the piece de resistance of Chichen Itza. It’s a striking wonder at any time, but its majestic facades are given a whole new lease of life during this nighttime light and laser show.

After touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site that surrounds the main temple, you’ll be seated to watch 25 minutes of audio and visual displays projected straight onto the landmark. You’ll learn the secrets of Mayan religion and tradition, and see a totally different side to this Yucatan monument than most tourists.

Chichen Itza Tours from Playa del Carmen

19 – Chichén Itzá with Hubiku Cenote & Valladolid from Playa del Carmen

Chichén Itzá with Hubiku Cenote & Valladolid from Playa del Carmen

Leave behind the busy beaches of Playa del Carmen to immerse yourself in the Mayan history of Chichen Itza. This tour starts from Playa del Carmen with a pickup at your hotel. After visiting the pyramids, you will enjoy a refreshing swim in Hubiku Cenote and a full buffet lunch. In the afternoon, you will discover the colonial city of Valladolid.

20 – VIP Chichen Itza Private Tour from Playa del Carmen

VIP Chichen Itza Private Tour from Playa del CarmenYou will probably visit the Yucatan just once in your lifetime. Enjoy a full experience by taking a private tour. The tour includes the visits to multiple sites with an expert guide who will be accompanying you all day. He will show you the magnificence of Chichen Itza transporting you back in the Mayan history.

Moreover, the tour includes a lunch buffet, a swim in Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman, and a guided visit to Valladolid’s historical center. Note that all entrance tickets and fees are included in the price.

21 – Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Cenote Hubiku Tour from Playa del Carmen

Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Cenote Hubiku Tour from Playa del Carmen

Chichen Itza is not the only Mayan site available in Yucatan. Take this tour leaving from Playa del Carmen to visit both Chichen Itza and Ek’ Balam. A guide will introduce you to the pre-Colombian history. Moreover, the tour includes admission to Cenote Hubiku and the opportunity to swim in this underground lake.

Chichen Itza Tours from Tulum

22 – Chichen Itza Day Trip from Tulum Including Cenote and Lunch

Chichen Itza Day Trip from Tulum Including Cenote and Lunch

If Tulum is the base for your holiday, you will probably be interested in joining a Chichen Itza tour from Tulum. Start your journey by heading to Suytun Cenote, where you can swim in the sacred pool. Enjoy lunch and then continue to Chichen Itza. Your guide will make sure you will enjoy the archeological site as much as possible. Before returning to Tulum, you will stop briefly in the colonial city of Valladolid for a short visit to the center.

Joseph Francis has journeyed from the Italian Alps to Mexico's colonial towns, from New Zealand's snow-capped mountains to Morocco's bustling medinas. His passion for travel has led him to write thousands of articles, capturing the essence of destinations like Greece, Bali, and Eastern Europe. With a penchant for adventure, surf, and ski travel, Joseph's firsthand experiences and vivid storytelling transport readers to the heart of each locale. His work has graced major outlets like Business Insider and The Culture Trip, and he's collaborated with global accommodation providers in the travel sector.