As the sun sets over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the 1,500-year-old ruins at Chichen Itza are brought to life with a spectacular light and sound show centered on the main pyramid of Kukulcan. Here’s what you need to know about catching the show.
When to Go
The illumination of the Chichen Itza pyramid takes place nightly. During summer, the 15-minute show begins at 8:45 p.m., with entrance to the site starting at 8 p.m. In winter, the show takes place an hour earlier, at 7:45 p.m. Visitors who arrive right when the gates open will have some time to see the main ruins at night, including Kukulcan (El Castillo), before taking their seats for the show.
How to Go
While it’s possible to visit the ruins to see the light show independently, one of the most convenient options is a guided tour that includes hotel pickup in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Make the most of your time in the area by booking a tour that allows you to see the ruins by day and by night, with other perks such as an archaeologist guide or luxury transport to and from the ancient Mayan city.
Things to Know
- No flash photography is permitted during the Chichen Itza light show.
- Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk over uneven surfaces.
- Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the archaeological site opens for the evening performance.
- Some tours include roundtrip transportation from Cancun and Playa del Carmen hotels to the site.
- A day-and-night combo tour offers the most comprehensive Chichen Itza experience.