The Hidden Entrance To Chichen Itza They Don’t Tell You About
Things are not always what they appear to be at Chichen Itza.
The Yucatan penisula’s most popular archaeological site holds many secrets…
Secrets that will be revealed to you and explained in detail when traveling with a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate tour leader who is happy to share extensive research with you.
And If you are looking for just that then you’ve come to the right place because we happen to know someone. (Hint, hint)
Many of these secrets scattered throughout Chichen Itza are hidden in plain sight (if you know where to look).
For example, the general entrance located to the WEST (or chik’in in the Yucatec Maya language) of the archaeological site’s central plaza used by most tourists to gain access to the vast complex is NOT the original entrance.
When you are entering Chichen Itza from the public parking lot using the public entrance you will have a marvelous view of the Maya’s most famous and recognizable landmark, El Castillo aka Temple of Kukulkan but its neither the original entrance used by the ancient maya used nor is it the entrance experience intended for initiates by the ancient architects of Chiclen Itza.
What You Should Know About Entering Chichen Itza
- The WEST is neither the traditional nor symbolic entrance for the ancient Maya. In fact it is thought to be the direction you go when your temporal existence has expired.
- We know the original entrance is in the South. I point out evidence in-the-field during our annual Mysteries of the Maya tour.
- Adept Expeditions pay homage to the indigenous tradition during our symbolist ours by using the hidden private entrance once used by the Maya themselves.
- And it pays off because we not only to follow footsteps of the original initaites but we manage to get some killer money-shots in front of the iconic pyramid.
Symbolism of the Four Directions in the Maya World View and Why We Don’t Enter From The West
In the Maya languages, the terms for ‘West’ are not generally built on the ‘enter’ or ‘entrance’ metaphor but rather ‘descend’ or ‘to become dark’. In fact, many ancient civilizations across the world view the ‘West’ as symbolic for the end of a cycle based on the setting sun.
It is not uncommon for indigenous traditions to attribute the ‘West’ to darkness, death or transition among other symbolic correspondances.
For the ancient Maya, the four directions figure prominently in their world view as indicated in the glyphs below. Here, have a look for yourself:
The ancient Maya of the Yucatan penisula relied on their adept shaman (hmen) who were not only healers attuned to mother earth and astronomers of the naked eye but who were also ancient architects that understood time, measure and the movement of celestial bodies.
These enlightened adepts were the master builders behind the Mayan civilization and they laid out their traditional homes according to the four-way divisions expressed symbolically in their rituals.
They Maya hmen would initiate the traditional ch’a chaak ceremony by bending two flexiable branches into arches over the table that serve the as their altar. Then the two wooden arches are anchored at opposing corners of the table, crossing in the middle of the celestial dome.
We look at several traditional Maya homes during our annual Mysteries of the Maya community and study trip. If you would like to experience this tour you can get updates and receive an early-bird discount rates by joining our email list.
The Classic Maya glyph (T552) that represents ‘sky’ in sky-bands reflects this symbolic construction of the sky, and it is notable that the “crossed bands” of a common sky glyph are occasionally marked with a sign that resembles the semantic sign for ‘wood’. Further, it is interesting to consider the numerology in that the four-way divisions are illustrious in the cognitive systems of the mesoamerican masters of time and measure.
Why the officials at Chichen Itza chose to position the entrance gate in the West instis beyond me as the ideal location of the ancient Maya would not be the West.
In fact, we know the sacred site of Chichen Itza was designed to be experienced by entering from the SOUTH, as evidenced by the ancient Mayan arch discovered there, an common recurring theme you’ll find at the entrance of the Mayan ruins.
According to indigenous teachings the connecting sacbe (white road) extending from this arch was the path of the initiate of the Kukulkan degree.
The teachings maintain that Kukulkan, symbolized by the plumed serpent, represents a degree of consciousness. Initiates would go on to receive the temple teachings only after entering Chichen Itza from the original entrance located in the southern part of the complex. We invite you to walk this way…
How To See Chichen Itza Without The Crowds
We pay homage to the original tradition during our annual community adventure & study trip: The Mysteries of the Maya tour, where if you are a guest, you’ll be treated to this ancient experience by entering from the south through a private entrance. This is the original entrance for the ancient Maya and they way it should be experienced.
Aside from emulating the ancient experience, as part of the Adept Expeditions tour you’ll the enjoy modern benefits as well…
As the tour buses come rolling in, the long lines start to pile up at the public gate. So by taking the private entrance into Chichen Itza our group beats the crowds thus saving time. This now enables us to arrive early enough to take selfies in front of the Kukulkan pyramid – without droves of tourists photobombing in the back ground of your picture.
Here’s an example from our 2017 Mysteries of the Maya tour: two members of our group are enjoying the iconic El Castillo money-shot everyone wants to get just as the sun is rising above Kukulkan’s Pyramid.
The pyramid itself is more of an ancient Maya calendarical device. Each side of the pyramid is divided in half by the staircase creating 18 different terraces that commemorate the 18 months of the Maya Haab-solar cycle calendar.
There are four staircases (one on each side), with 91 steps on each – when added together along with the apex platform comes 365, the number of days in the year. As if that wasn’t enough on the spring and autumnal equinoxes each year the sunlight produces a natural light show (See my previous blog for more on the Secret Teachings of the Maya Ballcourt at Chichen Itza where special emphasis is placed on the secrets of light and sound).
We discuss all this and more during The Mysteries of the Maya study trip – a Symbolist tour unlike any other:
Pro Tip for Intrepid Travelers:
We would love for you to join one of our tours but if you decide to go at it alone you can still take the path to the private entrance and gain access to Chichen Itza. The original entrance, where you can see the traditional Mayan arch and walk the path of the initiates of the Kukulkan degree, can be accessed from the Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows. We recommend this hotel but it’s not mandatory that you stay in order to purchase the private entrance ticket. This is one of Chichen Itza’s best kept secrets, a real hidden gem.