It looks like the Yucatan Peninsula's ancient Mayan cities have finally begun to catch up with the modern world. Two of the region's largest archaeological sites, Chichen Itza and Uxmal, have charged two separate entrance fees at each site, meaning that visitors had to wait in two different lines to pay before being allowed access into the ancient cities. The two fees covered:

  • Research and conservation costs of pre-Columbian cities for INAH, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
  • Cultural preservation costs for the State Treasury

Now, Mexico officials say that Chichen Itza and Uxmal will both begin to charge both fees in a single line, increasing efficiency and speeding up the entry process for locals and tourists who wish to explore these popular Mayan ruins.

Today, the archaeological site of Chichen Itza stands as the most internationally famous piece of heritage from Mayan history due to its beautifully preserved structures, large city size and fascinating astronomical characteristics relating to the Mayan calendar. Dating back nearly 2,000 years, it receives about 1.2 million tourists every single year, especially during the Spring Equinox when thousands of travelers spend the day around El Castillo pyramid to see a shadow in the shape of a serpent slither down the main stairs.

Chichen Itza Mayan city 

The ancient city of Uxmal holds less fame than Chichen Itza, but many travelers claim it's a better site to visit. Its main attraction is the immense Magician's Pyramid at 115 feet tall, unique in the Mayan world due to its steep staircase and rounded design. Visitors are drawn to Uxmal for its eye-catching architecture and elaborate carvings, creating a beautiful place for a day exploring the jungles of Yucatan, Mexico.

Uxmal ancient Mayan city 

The changes to the entry process at Chichen Itza and Uxmal are most welcome as Mexico strives to become a more efficient travel destination.



Laura Winfree


Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at and Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!