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Just 80 miles east of Merida, Chichen-Itza looms above the treetops. With some of the largest and best maintained Mayan ruins in Mexico, Chichen-Itza is actually two cities: one that was ruled by the Mayans from the 6th to 10th centuries, the other that emerged in the 11th century.

El Castillo (The Castle), also known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan, is the principal ruin at Chichen-Itza. It dominates the whole site, displaying a mixture of Toltec and Mayan influences. The Pyramid is actually a calendar with four stairways, each containing 91stairs, plus a superior platform. All these steps add up to 365, the number of days in a year. The view from above is well worth the climb up the stairs - the surrounding temples lie spread out below like an ancient network.

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