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Chichen Itza

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Set in the heart of the Yucatán peninsula, mid-way between the city of Mérida and the eastern Caribbean Coast, Chichén Itzá is one of the most important Maya centres in the region. It was named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007, and despite the site having become enormously popular with tourists, the giant Kukulkan pyramid remains an awe-inspiring sight. The temples at Chichén Itzá are larger than those at other Yucatán archaeological sites as the city was conquered around 900AD by the Toltecs, a culture known for demonstrating their might and power through imposing structures. The principal remains at Chichén Itzá include the Temple of the Warriors, the Grand Ball Court, The Nunnery and The Observatory, each of which features carvings of Maya, Aztec and Toltec gods and cosmology. As the only nearby water sources are underground sink holes, or cenotes, many temples have depictions of the Maya rain deity Chaac. The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá can be visited in around two and a half hours.