Published on September 27th, 2013 | by Paz3
Visiting Chichen Itza with kids
Traveling with kids is way different than traveling solo or as a couple. Kids bring in a whole mix of hmmm shall we call them adventures. I always worry about traveling to maybe dangerous places with our little guy. Why? Well he is “all boy” as one grandma put it. He has zero fear, likes to hit his head on things, jumps before looking, runs really fast (not sure I can catch him), still doesn’t communicate his needs 100%, and oh did I mention that he is just 3.5. Living in Mexico means that of course we will visit pyramids, but since he tried to jump off the Sun Pyramid in Teotihuacan last year I get was a bit nervous visiting Chichen Itza with kids, or I should say my 3.5 yr old dare devil.
We decided to drive to Chichen Itza, which was the best decision. If you missed the pictures from our drive, please check them out.
Getting into Chichen Itza was a bit confusing. First they only accept cash, which you should kind of expect in Mexico. Second you have to pay your entry twice. Yes, twice. One payment is for the state government and one for the federal. Seriously!! It is good to know that other government systems don’t get along either. We paid for parking since we had a rental car and all, it was a total of 22 pesos for parking, worth the proximity to the building.
Once we finally paid our two entry fees and we were in! Yes, finally we were here and ready to explore.
Zeek and the kids in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen-Itza which known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new seven wonders of the world elected in 2007.
Now my turn in front of the “Castle”. We rarely get pictures of all the four of us!
One of the reasons we decided to travel was for pictures like this! Here you see our budding 6 yr old showing her best as she is a born performer. Then you have our “all boy” staring at us in a gaze just waiting to jump next. If he were a bit older he might be telling me to knock off all the pictures, or get a faster camera that can keep up with him. It’s not his fault my camera is so slow. I can hear it now. Both of them standing in front of one of the seven wonders of the world just being themselves. I love it!!
The serpent’s head you see behind them is the head of a roughly 37 yards long serpent body that creeps down the pyramid. It is believed to be a symbolic descent of Kukulkan (which means feathered serpent).
Then it started to pour and I mean POUR!! The gods knew we were there and wanted to water us. It was lightening and raining hard. We found shelter under a tree and then one of the vendors invited us under his umbrella as the lighting was VERY CLOSE! We were in danger of the tree falling on us. Good to know. We spent about 25 minutes under the umbrella waiting.
The vendor was speaking with two Brazilian couples. I thought hmmm this vendor in Chichen Itza speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Mayan. I listened while we walked around and most of them did. Interesting how street vendors spoke four languages. I was very impressed to say the least and it gave me yet another perspective on language learning.
Then the rain died down and we ventured out of our nice vendors umbrella.
Abe was soaked almost as soon as it had started raining because well he is Abe. I love this because he is so in his element. As I looked around the ruins I saw a group of “men” probably in their mid -twenties they looked European jumping in the puddles having the same excitement and enjoyment my 3.5 yr old was. I hope that one day Abe comes back here again with some buddies and jumps in puddles. They gave me a glimpse of him in 18 years and it made my heart smile! Being here with him the first time he jumped in puddles in Chichen Itza is more than I could have asked for.
The tour groups in the back getting the low-down on Chichen Itza. I never recommend tour groups if you are traveling with kids because although they give you great information, they don’t allow for you and your family to take the extra breaks you need or stop and get a snack, or more importantly run around the pyramids. Another thing, many of the tour groups kept moving through the lightening and pouring rain. I am guessing they had a tight schedule and couldn’t take time to take cover. Hmmm another big check against tour groups.
Oh ya and there were some crazy cool and old ruins all over the place!
Did I mention that it rained. Shortly after this picture the umbrella broke. I don’t think it was actually working. One thing about rain is that it is hard to take pictures.
By this time the kids were…how should I put it? Soaked!! Zeek and I walked around discussing architecture, history, the possibility of aliens helping the Mayan (favorite of my moms) and of course laughing at people who were still trying to stay dry.
You just have to know when to give it up sometimes.
Favorite of the entire day!!!
As we were on our way out. Abe and Lupita were running through the rain and puddles as Abe does a face dive into a large puddle. I watched as I was trying to one last picture of Zeek. It was hilarious. Vendors that were standing on the side even started laughing. I glanced over as I heard they laughter and smiled. It was hilarious. Abe of course got up no problem, he most definitely enjoyed the dirty puddle water hitting his head. We left before he could turn the grass of Chichen Itza into a slip-in-slide.
We made one pit stop at the bathroom and left. We didn’t see all of the pyramids, or enjoy the cenote, but we had an awesome time!!
I had towels and dry clothes in the car because well I know my family and we dried and changed in the car. One good thing about traveling together is that you are used to doing everything together. So a quick clothing change in the car didn’t phase anyone. Granted my kids are 6 & 3 so I am sure this will get more difficult as they get older.
Traveling with kids isn’t easy, it isn’t always fun. There are times when all you want is time alone, or a t.v. with 100 channels for them to veg out to, or someone you trust so you can have a night out. But then you have one of these days that makes all of it worth it.
I hope that when Abe is 20 something jumping in puddles in some far off place with some buddies he remembers that he was here first with his mama.