Chichen Itza: Views From
the Top of El Castillo
The Yucatan, Mexico
They had the right idea, sitting down to relax and
enjoy the view after a tough climb.  From this angle it
is all jungle.  But atop El Castillo is a great location
to see the other famous structures at Chichen Itza.
The Platform of Venus looks innocent, but it was one of several
sites at Chichen Itza where human sacrifices took place.
The Temple of the Warriors is the tiered structure, closed for
repairs on this day.  It is intertwined with the Group of the
Thousand Columns and the Temple of Chac-Mool.  Chac-Mool
is the best known Mayan god, who reclines in a place of honor
above the stairway far below.  He had a taste for blood, and
appears two pages ahead in the human sacrifice section.     
Although Chichen Itza had 8 ball courts, it is the
main ball court, perfectly preserved, which I
introduce with this view from El Castillo.  The Maya
were devoted to athletic encounters on these fields,
and gave new meaning to the term "sudden death".
Note: Climbing El Castillo Was Banned After My Visit
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip to Central
America and Mexico by clicking on:
Mayavision