How to get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid?
Chichen Itza is one of the best day tours from the charming town of Valladolid and an essential stop on any Yucatan itinerary.
Chichen Itza is one of the incredible New Seven Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for its huge importance as the most important monument of the Mayan heritage. And there is no better base for visiting it than Valladolid Mexico, which in addition to Chichen Itza, has a plethora of other exciting things to do and places to visit.
This post is a comprehensive guide full of practical advice and tips for getting to Chichen Itza from Valladolid.
Chichen Itza from Valladolid Summary
|Day Tour||To learn interesting facts||$60+||Book with Viator|
|By Car||For flexibility||$30+||Check Discover Cars|
|By ADO Bus||Afternoon trip||$14+||Use BookaWay|
|By Scooter||Can rent in Valladolid||$24+||Locations|
|By Taxi||Last minute trip||$60+||Location|
Where is Chichen Itza Located?
The New World Wonder Chichen Itza is located 44 km east of Valladolid, just off the main road 180 that connects Valladolid with Merida.
Chichen Itza from Cancun distance | 196 km (2 hours 40 minutes)
Chichen Itza distance from Tulum | 152 km (2 hours 10 minutes)
Chichen Itza from Merida | 119 km (1 hour 30 minutes)
Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen | 181 km (2 hours 30 minutes)
Chichen Itza from Mexico City | 1,430 km (about 18 hours by car)
Valladolid Chichen Itza Route
If you’re staying in one of the hotels in Valladolid, you can get to Chichen Itza in around 45 minutes. The route from Valladolid Mexico to Chichen Itza is super straightforward, basically following the main road no 180 to Merida.
Chichen Itza on a Map
How to Get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid?
How to go to Chichen Itza from Valladolid? Well, there are multiple ways how you can get to Chichen Itza ruins from Valladolid. Read the next sections to discover the pros and cons of each mode of transport.
#1 Chichen Itza Tour from Valladolid
Best for | Learning history & interesting facts about Chichen Itza.
Book | with Viator
One of the best ways of getting to Chichen Itza from Valladolid is on a private tour. This option is particularly recommended for families or groups of friends. If you don’t want to worry about any of the logistics of getting from Valladolid to Chichen Itza and don’t feel comfortable renting a car in Mexico, book one of the Chichen Itza private tours.
The most important piece of advice for visiting Chichen Itza is to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds, and with this private tour with Viator, you can choose the departure time! You will also be able to select a cenote to swim in after the Chichen Itza tour.
Another advantage of Chichen Itza tours from Valladolid is that you will get an experienced local guide that will tell you some of the most interesting Chichen Itza facts. Visiting a World Wonder without understanding anything about it is really not a good idea because the story behind Chichen Itza and its significance in the ancient Maya world are what will make your visit special.
Book this private tour + cenote and lunch here:
If you’re hungry for even more adventure in one day, take a tour that combines Chichen Itza with a visit to Izamal, which is one of the most picturesque Mexican towns!
Book your trip to Valladolid, Izamal & cenote here:
Chichen Itza from Riviera Maya
Chichen Itza from Tulum Tour
Valladolid + Chichen Itza and Cenote Tour
Chichen Itza from Cancun Tour
Private Tour of Chichen Itza + Cenote Saamal + free time in Valladolid
#2 Valladolid to Chichen Itza By Car
Best for | Flexibility & creating your own itinerary
Book | with Discover Cars to avoid scams & hidden costs
Cost | $20 to $60 per day
How to visit Chichen Itza independently? The best way of making your own way to Chichen Itza from Valladolid is by car. Driving in Mexico may sound a little intimidating at first glance, but really the roads in Yucatan are really good and well-marked, similar to what you’re used to back home.
The first thing to know is that at the time of writing this post, there were no car rental shops available in Valladolid, so make sure you rent your car in Cancun, Tulum, Merida or Playa del Carmen. Even if there is one shop open in Valladolid, I wouldn’t count on it, especially during the high season months.
Another thing to be aware of is the common Mexico car rental scams. The most common is the low price advertised online and the hidden costs you get to pay when you show up at the car rental. If you see car rental prices advertised as $5 per day, you should know straight away it’s a scam, and you will end up paying a much higher rate. Another one is when you’re already insured through your credit card or life insurance, but you get asked to purchase another Mexico car insurance.
The best way of avoiding those car rental scams and hidden costs is to book your car in advance through a reputable car comparison website, such as Discover Cars, which can look after you even if you run into a dispute with the local car rental in Cancun.
Book your rental car at the best rate here:
Mexico Car Rental Explained
I normally only advise pre-booking car rental online during the high season, but in the case of Mexico, it is super important that you get your booking through a reputable car rental service such as Discover Cars and opt for full cover.
What’s the cost to rent a car in Cancun?
Cancun car rental prices can vary a lot and will depend on the following factors:
Cancun car rental cost factors:
Age of the driver (under the 30s, pay more)
Driver’s licence origin
Time of the year (higher prices during high season)
Rental duration (the longer you want to hire the car, the lower the cost per day)
The car rental price, including full coverage, which I recommend, can vary from $20 to $60 per day, depending on the above factors. I recommend entering your preferred dates on the Discover Cars website to find out the exact cost based on your profile and preferences.
What’s the age requirement?
If you’re using Discover Cars, the age requirement is 18 years old, but the car rental price for that age is at least three times higher compared to the main driver’s age of 21 years old. Some car rental companies may even charge a little more for drivers aged below 30 years old.
Most car rentals in Cancun require a deposit even if you opt-in for full insurance. The deposit amount depends on the rental duration, but you can expect around $350 for a week of rental. This money is returned in full when you return the car.
You can give them your credit card details for the deposit, and they will freeze the deposit amount instead of taking it. But, if you use your debit card, the money will be taken and refunded within 5-7 days after you return the car. Some rental companies require a credit card specifically to be entered into their system. Your credit card is only charged if you decide to extend your car rental period.
Full cover and why you should get it
Whenever I rent a car abroad, I always go for full coverage to protect myself from extra costs, and I strongly advise you to do the same. The basic cover only protects you from accidents caused by a third party, which is not much protection at all.
The full cover protects your deposit from the deduction for any damages to the car that occurs from your fault, theft, or loss of key, towing fees, damages to wheels and windows and any other admin fees that the rental company may want to charge you.
The full cover costs between $5-$12 extra per day but gives you peace of mind, which is priceless.
Airport pick-up or delivery to your Cancun hotel
Depending on your plans, you can either pick up your rental car at Cancun Aiport or get it delivered to your Cancun hotel.
More Tips for Renting a Car in Mexico
Record the condition of the car
Before you drive away from the rental car shop, take photos of all dents & scratches, and go around the car and record a video. This is a good practice whenever you rent a car abroad, which will protect you from unjust claims against you. Also, make sure you drop off your rented car with plenty of time to spare before your flight in case there is a dispute.
Be aware of extra charges
Here are some common extra charges that a car rental company will apply.
Drop-off at a different location | this is normally the most costly addition to the base rate.
Empty tank fee | search for a gas station near the car drop-off point, and make sure you fuel up before returning your car.
Additional driver | all car rental companies charge for an extra driver, and the cost is normally relatively high.
Rental duration extension | be aware of the daily cost of the extension; some rentals can charge you double for extending the car rental agreement.
Print your car rental agreement & full insurance cover certificate
Make sure you’ve got all documents printed with you, including your car rental agreement showing the total price and how much you’ve already paid, a full cover certificate and some important customer service phone numbers.
You should also carry your passport with you when driving in Mexico.
International Driving Licence
US driving licence is valid in Mexico, and if your driver’s licence comes from another country, make sure you have your international driving licence on you at all times when driving.
Book your rental car at the best rate here:
#3 Chichen Itza from Valladolid with Colectivo Bus
Best for | saving a few bucks & experiencing the local vibe
Bus Stop Location | Colectivo Valladolid Chichen Itza
Cost | 40 MXN ($2)
Another way of getting to Chichen Itza from Valladolid is taking a colectivo. Colectivos are a form of local transport in Mexico, which is privately owned and typically serves very local, short routes such as the Valladolid Chichen Itza route.
The colectivo buses or vans are normally small, fitting about 14 people and often a little tired and aged. There is no set time schedule, and usually, the driver waits to get enough passengers before he leaves to make sure the trip is money worthwhile for him.
I highly recommend going on at least one colectivo, during your Mexico vacation to experience the local vibe! And, if you don’t like it, at least you will appreciate the public transport back home more! 😉 Colectivos are also super cheap, and if you’re on a budget, they are perfect for you!
The Valladolid colectivo to Chichen Itza cost 40 pesos each way, which is just under $2. The trip takes around 45 minutes, and you will get dropped off on the main road, very close to the Chichen Itza entrance. To get a return Chichen Itza to Valladolid colectivo, just come back to the same spot.
If you also want to visit Cenote Ik Kil, ask the colectivo driver to drop you off there. Expect to pay around 20 pesos ($1), and once you finish swimming and enjoying the cenote, go back to the main road where you got dropped off and wait for a colectivo back to Valladolid.
Valladolid to Chichen Itza colectivo buses start at 7 am and leave every 30 minutes. If you decide to take one, make sure you’re there just before 7 am! The colectivo Valladolid Chichen Itza bus stop is situated on road 180, two blocks west of the Valladolid main square. There is a big sign, which should make it easier to find the stop and also a shaded waiting area.
#4 Getting to Chichen Itza from Valladolid by ADO Bus
Best for | afternoon visit to Chichen Itza
ADO Valladolid to Chichen Itza Bus Stop | Location on Goolge
Cost | 140 pesos one way (under $7)
Another way of getting to Chichen Itza is a Chichen Itza ADO bus. ADO buses are modern, reliable and way more comfortable than colectivo buses. They are also very affordable, and I normally would recommend taking the ADO bus, but in this case, not so much.
The reason why ADO bus Valladolid Chichen Itza is not the best is due to its limited timetable on this route. In fact, there is only one time you can take the ADO bus, which is at 11:27 am.
This may actually not be an entirely bad idea because the Chichen Itza Mayan pyramids close at 4:30 pm, which means the archaeological site will start getting empty after midday. Getting this Chichen Itza ADO bus may be a good alternative for those that struggle to wake up early in the morning during their vacation.
You can catch the Chichen Itza to Valladolid return bus from the same spot, where you got dropped off at 4:00 pm.
#5 Chichen Itza Valladolid Route by Motorbike
Best for | single travellers or couples that want some flexibility
Cost | 500 pesos per day ($24)
If you have experience in riding a scooter, you can also get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid by scooter. The road that connects the city with the Chichen Itza ruin is very straightforward, and if you leave early in the morning, it will also be almost empty.
On the way back from Chichen Itza to Valladolid, you will have to share the road with many bus tours, so make sure you’re comfortable with that. The road between Valladolid and Chichen Itza is quite wide, and this shouldn’t be an issue for experienced scooter drivers.
There are many scooter rental shops in Valladolid, located mostly around the city’s main square. I recommend you check the Google reviews before you choose the rental shop. You can also ask for a recommendation at your Valladolid accommodation. We used K’ox Balak, and had a really good experience.
Scooter Rental Valladolid Price
Expect to pay 500 pesos per day for a small scooter. If you want to rent a motorbike for a few days, it is normal to ask for a small discount. Double check that the scooter is in good condition and that the breaks and lights work well. Also, wear a helmet!
Also, make sure you are a confident motorbike rider! Mexico is probably not the best place to ride a scooter for the first time!
Check if your driving licence allows you to ride a scooter and, if so, what size. This will vary depending on your country. I, for example, owe a full UK driving licence, which gives me the right to ride motorbikes and scooters up to 125cc.
Another thing to check is your insurance. Make sure your travel insurance covers you when you have an accident on the scooter. Injuring yourself on a scooter is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions for tourists abroad! Travel insurance typically covers motorbikes up to 125cc, but don’t rely on this information, and verify your own insurance contract.
#6 By Taxi Valladolid to Chichen Itza
Best for | last-minute trip
Cost | 600 – 800 pesos one way ($30 – $40)
Where to hail a taxi? | location
The last way of getting to Chichen Itza from Valladolid is by taxi. If you want to flag a taxi to get to Chichen Itza, the best place to do it is road number 180, which starts at the western side of the city’s main square, and it’s also where colectivos and regular buses have their terminals.
Expect to pay anything from $30 to $40 each way, but the price will depend a lot on your negotiation skills and the mood of the taxi driver.
*Taxi drivers don’t typically use meters, and it’s also a way cheaper to hail a cab from the street in comparison to pre-booking the taxi to get you from your hotel.
Chichen Itza from Valladolid FAQ
How much are Chichen Itza Tickets?
Chichen Itza admission price is 571 pesos, which is $29. This Chichen Itza price consists of two elements – the entrance and a small charge that has to be made in cash, which I think is some kind of governmental fee.
What are Chichen Itza Opening Hours?
The Chichen Itza hours of operation are 8 am to 4:30 pm
How Much Time to Visit Chichen Itza?
Chichen Itza archaeological site is huge, and there is lots to see and learn about! Set aside at least 2-3 hours to be able to visit the entire site and be prepared for a lot of walking.
How to Pronounce Chichen Itza?
So how do you pronounce Chichen Itza, which is an ancient Mayan word?
Chichen Itza pronunciation: chee – chen – it – suh
What is Chichen Itza, and Why Is It Important?
Chichen Itza was a super important Mayan city back in 600 AD that boasted a robust economy and architectural superiority. Today, the Chichen Itza pyramid and the entire site are one of the most important monuments of the Mayan heritage.
Chichen Itza is that it takes its name from the nearby cenote – Sacred Cenote, which was used for sacrificial offerings. Chichen means ‘mouth of the wells’, and Itza refers to the name of a Mayan tribe that lived nearby.
The most famous part of Chichen Itza is the Kulkulan Pyramid (also known as El Castillo), which was a temple devoted to Kulkulan and a giant calendar! The temple has 365 steps representing days in the year and four sides representing four seasons. The pyramid was used to teach things like when to plant seeds and harvest crops.
How much is the Chichen Itza Parking?
The official Chichen Itza parking cost 80 pesos. There are also some unofficial private car parks just off the main road. They will encourage you to park with them, which is fine, but make sure you ask for the price before committing.
Is there an ATM at Chichen Itza?
Although there is an ATM at Chichen Itza, the exchange rate is bad, and you can’t rely on it working 100% of the time. Part of the entrance ticket needs to be paid in cash (pesos only), and that is why I recommend you bring enough cash with you.
Can You Climb Chichen Itza?
No. While climbing Chichen Itza was allowed in the past, this is no longer the case. As you can imagine, the ban on climbing the Chichen Itza Mexico Pyramids is in place to protect these important monuments so that future generations can still enjoy them.
Can You Swim in the Cenote at Chichen Itza?
As you can expect from a UNESCO heritage site, you cannot swim in the Chichen Itza Cenote.
The Sacred Cenote is also known as the ‘well of sacrifice’. The Mayans believed that this cenote was the entrance to the underworld and used it for sacrificial ceremonies.
Archaeologists found gold, pottery, jade and human remains inside the sinkhole and concluded that the Mayans deposited sacrifices in the cenote for the Mayan god of rain – Chaac.
Is there a car rental Valladolid based?
At the time of writing this post, there were no Valladolid Mexico car rental shops available. If you’re heading to Valladolid, and want a car, make sure you rent it in Cancun. You can browse for the best car rental deals on Discover Cars.
More Tips For Visiting Chichen Itza From Valladolid
Come early | For the best experience, and to beat the crowds, arrive at Chichen Itza just before the opening time. In the morning, you will also have the best light for photography, and you will enjoy it more when it’s still not too hot.
Bring cash | As I mentioned earlier, you will need to pay some part of the ticket in cash (pesos only).
Check weather forecast | It may sound obvious, but check the weather forecast for rain before your Chichen Itza day trip!
Protect yourself from sun & heat | Bring sun cream, a hut and plenty of water to stay hydrated. I also like wearing a light long-sleeve shirt to protect myself from undesired tan lines.
Drones, tripods and portable loudspeakers are not allowed | If you have on you any of these objects, you will be required to leave them in a locker provided for no extra charge. I perfectly understand why they don’t want drones at the UNESCO site, but I’m still perplexed about the ban on tripods.
Extra fee for videography | There is an additional fee of 50 pesos ( under $3) for taking videos on professional cameras. This rule is not really enforced, the site is too big, and I actually haven’t seen anyone supervising.