hichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The large pre-Colombian Mayan archeological site of Chichen Itza in the north central part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was prominent for four centuries from about 600 AD. Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza is the second most-visited of all of Mexico’s archeological sites, being a convenient day trip from the popular Caribbean seaside resort city of Cancun. Itza is a tribal name, and it is thought that ‘Chichen Itza’ means ‘at the mouth of the well of the Itza.
Although there are no aboveground rivers in the interior of the arid northern Yucatan, underground rivers do exist. In fact, two large sinkholes at the Chichen Itza site probably provided year-round access to water for the local population. Gold, jade and the remains of sacrificed humans have been found in the most well-known of these sinkholes the Well of Sacrifice.
By Ted Cookson (Egypt’s most widely-traveled travel agent, Ted has been to every country in the world)