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How to Get From Valladolid to Chichen Itza: prices and info [2022]

Wondering how to get from Valladolid to Chichen Itza? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, I’ll talk about all the different transportation options from Valladolid to Chichen Itza, as well as tips for what to see while you’re there and make the most of your time.

If you are looking for information on how to do a day trip or overnight to Chichen Itza from a different city, I’ve got you covered as well!

Chichen Itza Castillo - Kululcan temple - Valladolid to Chichen Itza

What is Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza was a sacred Mayan city in the 5th century A.D.

The ruins offer a fascinating insight into an incredibly advanced, ruthless, and fascinating society.

The peoples of Chichen Itza were astronomers, mathematicians, engineers, and devout worshippers of a pantheon of gods.

They discovered the concept of zero, used an accurate solar calendar, and sacrificed to the demons of the underworld.

The pyramids and temples are intricately carved with symbols that tell more of the story behind the stones. Visiting Chichén Itzá will be an adventure into another era.

You’ll learn about jaguars, rain gods, portals to the underworld, and the feathered serpent god Kukulcan. 

No wonder it was voted one of the new seven wonders of the world and receives over two million visitors each year.

Chichen Itza Serpent head

Do I need travel insurance in Mexico? Yes, you do! I can never stress enough what a lifesaver it can be in unexpected situations. Although I hope I never need it, it gives me peace of mind to know that whatever happens I am covered. I have been using  Safety Wing and I find it quite fair, covering a lot for its pricing level. Depending on your needs or you can compare different insurance companies on this useful site, TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER. Make sure you read carefully what’s included before making the purchase. If you are undecided yet you can read my post on the best travel insurance for Mexico for more clarity.

How to get from Valladolid to Chichen Itza

There are several ways to get from Valladolid to Chichen Itza. I am sharing them all in the next sections so that you can choose the one that suits you best!

1. Valladolid to Chichen Itza by tour

One of the great things about going to Chichén Itzá from Valladolid is that many of the tours get an early start.

This means you’ll beat the tours coming from the Riviera Maya and have longer to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Taking a tour is one of the best ways to see Chichen if you don’t have your own transportation.

Be sure to check the itinerary ahead of time, and see whether the entry fees are included, cancellation policies, etc. I wouldn’t want you to have any unpleasant surprises!

Many tours include hotel pickup, an expert guide, a guided tour of the ancient city, and some extra side trips (such as to a nearby mayan cenote)

Cenote Yokdzonot
Yokdzonot Cenote

Top-Rated Tours to Chichen Itza from Valladolid

Check out these great tours of Chichen Itza leaving from Valladolid

► Chichen Itzá, Yokdzonot Cenote & Izamal

This is a wonderful tour of Chichen Itza that also includes a trip to Yokdzonot Cenote and the magical town of Izamal.

The group tour starts with pickup from your hotel in Valladolid (or the main plaza) and transportation to the Mayan ruins.

You’ll spend about one and a half hours touring the city with a multilingual guide. After a fascinating tour, you’ll have about an hour of free time to enjoy the ruins at your own pace. 

Izamal Yellow town

Your next stop is to Yokdzonot Cenote for a refreshing swim. You’ll also eat lunch prepared by local Mayan women. Last of all, you’ll visit Izamal.

This enchanting city is painted all yellow. While you’re there, you’ll see more ancient Mayan ruins, and check out the handicraft scene.

This tour includes all entrance fees, lunch, bottled water, certified multilingual guide at Chichen Itza, taxes, and transportation in a vehicle with air conditioning. It’s one of the best deals I’ve found.


► Private Chichen Itzá Tour, Cenote, and Gastronomic Experience

Chichen Itza Mil Columnas
Chichen Itza one thousands columns

If you’d rather not be part of a group tour, you can opt for a private tour instead. This private Chichen Itza tour leaves from Valladolid.

Just like the option above, it includes a 90-minute guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.

You’ll get about 40-minutes of free time, before traveling on to a cenote of your choice.

Next, you’ll enjoy an incredible buffet lunch of all the best foods from the Yucatán Peninsula, including cochinita pibil, tamales, and creamy flan.

You’ll eat lunch at a Melipona bee sanctuary. These local bees have no stinger, so don’t worry, they can’t harm you. They produce a unique light and citrusy honey. Delicious!

This tour includes lunch, bottled water, transportation, taxes and fees, and the entrance ticket to Chichén Itzá and the Cenote.


► Private Chichen Itza Tour, Cenote, Gastronomic Experience & Ek Balam

Ek Balam
Ek Balam

This Valladolid tour to Chichen has a very similar itinerary to the previous tour, with one important addition. You’ll get to visit the fascinating ruins of Ek Balam in addition to Chichén Itzá.

This private tour DOES NOT include the entrance fees to Ek Balam and Chichen Itza. It DOES include lunch and entrance to the cenote.

Make sure you figure on that extra cost.

Bottled water, transportation, and taxes are also included in the price of the tour.


Valladolid to Chichen Itza by bus

One of the great things about visiting Chichen Itza from Valladolid is the convenience! To get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid, you may go on a local bus, or an ADO bus.

🚌 Going from Valladolid to Chichen Itza by Local Bus 🚌

There are many local buses, known as “colectivos” that leave from Valladolid to Chichen Itza all day long. This seems to be the best way to get to Chichen Itza early in the morning, and is probably the cheapest option as well.

Some of the earliest colectivo buses leave at 7 a.m. I recommend going on the earliest ones so that you can get to Chichén Itzá and buy tickets well before it opens.

They leave right from the ADO bus station as well, on the road by the main entrance. Just ask drivers which one is going to Chichen-itza.

Valladolid sign
Valladolid Plaza Sisal

🚐 Going from Valladolid to Chichen Itza by ADO bus 🚐

If you don’t feel comfortable taking a colectivo, you can also take the respected ADO buses.

These coach buses are a very comfortable and secure option for traveling all over the Yucatán peninsula.

ADO bus tickets from Valladolid to Chichen Itza cost $142 MXN.

The ADO buses only leave Valladolid around 11:30 am, though, which means you won’t get to Chichén Itzá until 12:15 pm.

This is the worst time of day for the heat. It also will probably be more crowded at this late hour.

But if you don’t mind the heat and flocks of people, you’ll still have four hours or so to enjoy a fascinating tour of the Mayan site. (you can hire a tour guide at the entrance for around 40 USD)

Another option is to spend a night or two near Chichen Itza and move around by local taxis.

The first day, you could go swimming in Ik Kil Cenote and watch the night show at Chichen Itza (buy your tickets as soon as you arrive).

Then the next day you could get into the ruins early for a half-day or full-day visit.

Then you can either head back to Valladolid, or check out some of the other cenotes in the area and eat a delicious meal of Yucatan cuisine.

VALLADOLID MAIN ROAD
Valladolid Calzada de los Frailes

Getting back to Valladolid by Bus

Colectivos to Valladolid leave Chichen Itza approximately every hour. Look for one that says “Cancún” in the window, as they stop in Valladolid on the way.

Alternatively, you can take an ADO bus back to Valladolid

ADO Bus Schedules from Chichen to Valladolid:

  • 9:10 a.m.
  • 11:25 a.m.
  • 13:55 p.m.
  • 16:00 p.m.
Chichen Itza Observatorio and vendors
Chichen Itza Observatorio

Valladolid to Chichen Itza by car rental

It isn’t possible to rent a car in Valladolid, however if you are first coming from the Riviera Maya, Mérida, or another large city, you can choose to rent a car for multiple days.

Read also: Renting a Car in Tulum

That will give you the freedom to explore Valladolid at your leisure, spend as long as you want at Chichen Itza, and not feel rushed or constrained by a tour.

Renting a car is my favorite way to get to Chichen Itza and every where in the Yucatan Peninsula. It gives me the freedom to beat the crowds, escape from the heat, and explore hidden gems. 

Parking is 80 MXN at Chichen Itza, but you can park right in front of the entrance if you get there early.

And I also cover information on renting a car and driving in Mexico in other posts. Check them out!


Car rental

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Car Rental to Chichen Itza Costs

  • A car rental from the Riviera Maya or Cancun costs 60 to 80 USD per day
  • Gas costs between 20 to 40 USD per tank 
  • Toll fees budget for about 686 MXN (35 USD) return trip – although you could always choose to return to Tulum on local roads. The slower pace can be fun, and you might encounter hidden gems you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
Car in Yucatan
Driving in Yucatan

How to get from Valladolid to Chichen Itza: FAQ

How much does Chichen Itza archaeological site cost?

Entrance tickets to Chichen Itza cost:

  • Adults: $533 MXN per person
  • Children (3-12): $80 MXN per person
  • Mexican Citizens: $237 MXN per person
  • Locals (Yucatan ID): $80 MXN per person

Hire a tour guide for about 40 USD (totally worth it if you aren’t going with a tour!!!)

Kukulcan Night Experience: $600 MXN (This is a light and sound show projected onto the Pyramid of Kukulcan. You can buy tickets starting at 3 pm every day)

CHICHEN STRUCTURES

When is the best time to visit Chichen Itza?

The weather is nicest from November to April, in Chichen Itza, though expect it to be hot and muggy year-round.

Can you visit Chichen Itza from Valladolid?

Yes! The Spanish colonial city of Valladolid is a great jumping-off point to visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, especially since it’s only 45-minutes away.

It’s worth spending a couple of nights in this lovely city before or after you visit Chichen. But you probably know that already!

There are so many things to do in Valladolid, including incredible hidden cenotes and other Mayan ruins.

Can you climb the pyramids at Chichen Itza?

No! You can’t climb the pyramids at Chichen Itza. This tourist site can get up to 8,000 visitors a day, which amounts to a lot of damage, wear, and tear on the temples.

Chichen Itza temple

Can you swim in the cenote at Chichen Itza?

Nope! The Sacred Cenote (Cenote Sagrado) at Chichen Itza is not good for swimming. They are dark algae green color, are full of plant matter, and probably still have some human remains floating in the depths.

Which cenotes should I visit along the way?

There are many of these water-filled sinkholes around Chichén Itzá and Valladolid City.

After an early morning exploring the main tourist site, enjoy nearby Ik Kil, Yokdzonot or Xcajum. If you want a buffet lunch after your swim, Xcajum is the best place to go.

And of course, you should also enjoy the many wonderful cenotes right in Valladolid! Don’t miss Zaci, San Lorenzo Oxman, or Suytun cenotes.

Mot Mot Bird in the Sacred Cenote
Mot Mot Bird in Chichen Itza Cenote

Top buildings to see in Chichen Itza

Whether you are only planning to make a quick stop at Chichen Itza, or plan to spend a full day exploring this ancient city, don’t miss these important monuments.

Kukulcan pyramid

No trip to Chichen Itza would be complete without seeing the Pyramid of Kukulcan, also known as El Castillo. This four-sided temple is a masterpiece of Mayan architecture.

It is one of the tallest structures in the Mayan world. Each side has 91 steps leading to a rectangular temple at the top.

There are 364 steps total, one for each day of the year. On either side of the stairs are long balustrades carved to resemble the feathered serpent Kukulcan.

During the spring and fall equinox, light falls in a rugged band, highlighting the balustrade and illuminating the body of the snake as it slithers towards the underworld.

Your expert guide can tell you more interesting facts when you’re there in person!

Chichen Itza Observatorio
Observatorio

The Observatory

The Observatory also called “El Caracol” or “The Snail” is another of Chichen Itza’s most famous landmarks.

Unlike most buildings constructed by the Maya people, the Observatory is circular. Archaeologists believe that Mayan astronomers used this building to observe the heavens.

They were highly advanced in this science and could predict solar and lunar eclipses and the movement of various planets.

The Temple of the Warriors

This temple is also very impressive. It could even be called the temple of the jaguars because it is covered in carvings of jaguars devouring human hearts.

There are also many warriors carved into the columns, and a sculpted man wearing a helmet. Don’t miss it!

Chichen Itza ball court
Ball Court

The Great Ball Court

Another fascinating thing to see is the Ball Court. This is the court where the ancient Maya played a ritualistic game that may have represented the battle between day and night.

Although the rules of the game are cloaked in mystery, we do know that the game involved bouncing a pure rubber ball off the hips and thighs.

This ballgame court is the largest in Mesoamerica!

Chichen Itza receives the most visitors in December and January. If you’d prefer to avoid crowds, try to visit in the shoulder seasons of November, February, or March.

Chichen Itza Sacred Cenote
Chichen Itza Sacred Cenote

What to take when visiting Chichen Itza

The most important thing to prepare for is the heat and sun exposure! Although you can walk on flip-flops I would recommend gym shoes or hiking ones.

Here’s my list of what you should take to the Mayan ruins.

Light wicking clothing

Comfortable walking shoes

Sunscreen

Hat, sunglasses, or even an umbrella

Refillable water bottle

Bathing Suit

Camera/Phone (but no tripods)

Insect repellant (remember to shower it off when you go visit a cenote, before getting in the water)

✅ Mexican Pesos to pay all entrance fees

✅ Passport with immigration card – nowadays immigration officers are doing random checks and stopping busses along the road checking if you are here with a valid permit whether it’s a tourist or resident. So make sure you don’t lose your immigr

Note: Professional photographers need special permits to take pictures/use their high-tech equipment in Chichen Itza.

Chichen Columns

Valladolid to Chichen Itza: final thoughts

Now that you know all the options for how to get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid! Don’t forget to spend some time in this beautiful city before or after spending time at one of the new wonders of the world!

✨ Mexico Travel Planning Guide ✨

👉 Do I need travel insurance to travel to Mexico?

I would do it if I were you. You never know what can happen and know that no matter what, you will be covered with any expenses will give you peace of mind, and make your travel worry-free. You can check out SafetyWing which I have used and find it affordable and comprehensive and also Travel Insurance Master which is great because you can insert all your information and what kind of insurance you need and their system will pull out the best insurance for your need.

🚰 Can I drink tap water in Mexico?

No, you can’t! Maybe in some areas or in some homes where they have installed water filters but to be on the safe side, I would say, never drink tap water in Mexico. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it up where you find available potable water sources. Most of the hotels have those.

🚗 Is it safe to drive in Mexico?

The short answer is: depending on where you are. Although in general if you stick to the main roads and don’t drive at night you should probably be safe. In lesser tourist areas you should probably check the local news to stay up to date. Driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is easy everywhere, even at night, although I would still avoid it. I usually use Discover Cars because the site offers the options to compare prices among different car rentals and you can add their own full coverage.

Read more on my guide on Renting a car in Mexico.

📱 Will my phone work in Mexico?

It will probably work, especially if you have a European or US phone, but your roaming rates may be to the stars (check with your SIM provider). Even if have an affordable international rate, you will be much better off by buying a Mexican SIM Card. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and it will keep you connected with your friends, family, and, more important, google Maps so you will never get lost!

🤕 Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now?

The short answer is, yes it is. However, there are parts of Mexico that are indeed troubled and you should avoid for now, and others that are super safe and easy to travel around.

Regardless of where you are you should always use some common sense rules such as, never flaunting expensive clothing, accessories, electronics, or money and keeping a low profile.

Read more on my detailed guide on safety in Mexico. If you are traveling to a specific destination I have got you covered as well:

💉 Do I need any vaccine to travel to Mexico?

No, there is no vaccine requirement (of any kind) to travel to Mexico

🇲🇽 Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

If you are coming from the US or Europe you don’t need a VISA to enter Mexico. Once you get in you need to fill out a form that you need to keep with you until you leave. If you don’t have it you will pay a fine.

Although the tourist visa for US and European travelers used to be 6 months long which you could easily renew by leaving the country for a couple of days and going back, nowadays they have been stricter. You may be asked how you would sustain your living and other similar questions. Sometimes they even ask you to show your credit cards.

It seems odd but they can do that. If you intend to stay longer than a usual couple of weeks’ vacation time, just be honest and explain your plans. If you are not from the US, check this site to see if you need a visa

💸 Where do I find the best travel deals for Mexico? 💸

A trip to Mexico can be expensive if you love to travel with all the comforts (like I do). There are a few tricks that will help you find the best deals. Here are my tips:

👉 DON’T travel in the high season, which is Holy week, Christmas and winter in general, and August.
👉 Book months in advance to find early booking discounts
👉 Use aggregators such as Discover Cars to find price comparisons and VRBO for vacation rentals!
👉 Look for packages flights+hotels on Expedia or Skyscanner as usually, that’s where the best deals are.
👉 Check on Booking.com or Hotels.com for hotel deals

Happy travels!!