Chichen Itza - the Jewel in the Crown of the Yucatan
A first sighting of the Chichen Itza pyramids inspires awe. No wonder it's one of the seven wonders of the modern world. But you won't catch a glimpse as you enter the parking lot, crowded with tour buses and SUVs, even though you expect to.
With towering El Castillo so prominent in so many photos, you think you'll spy that lofty temple peaking over the top of the entrance walls. But it's impossible to get a look at that ethereal pyramid until you walk past the turnstile and at least 500 yards into the park.
You pass through a grove of young shade trees and a gauntlet of Maya artisans selling their handicrafts. Then and only then do you see the grandeur that is Chichen Itza. And wow! What a sight it is.