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Piste - Chichen Itza Mexico
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You will quickly get the feeling that you can park anywhere you want. Do not. What can happen is that the police can and sometimes do take your license plates or even impound the vehicle. If it is a rental you have to pay and go through all the hassles of sorting the mess out which can totally ruin 2 days of your trip and cost you money for nothing but aggravation.


The Tale Of
The Newsboy

Once upon a time there was a little newsboy who was very, very poor and he only sold old newspapers because he didn't have enough money for new ones.

People didn't by his newspapers because they were all so out of date, and they wanted new newspapers.

So the little newsboy never sold any, and every day he accumulated more and more old newspapers.

What the little newsboy did was put up a paper recycling plant, and he became a millionaire, bought out all the newspaper businesses and the news agencies, prohibited publishing current news, and thus obliged people to read only news of the past.

In the papers on sale today, for example, you'd read that the Zapatistas are about to arrive in Mexico City and that they'll meet with the Villistas there.

You can't quite make out the date, but it seems to either 1914 or 1997.



The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is Riviera Maya. The English use is either Maya Riviera or Mayan Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.

Buckle Up!

Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.


Piste is a small town located 2 km away from Chichen Itza ruins. There are hotels and Mexican restaurants here as well as stores and a number of craft market vendors. Piste tends to be the location many backpackers use to stay at while visiting Chichen Itza. There is camping in Piste but expect everything to be a little more expensive than say Palenque or San Cristobal.

There are NO bank machines in Piste. There is a bank machine at Chichen Itza. There is also no colectivo from the ruins to Piste so you either have to walk or take a taxi [taxi one way is $3.00 US].

There are some beautiful hotels in the area and the premiere choice is the Mayaland Hotel, which is located right in Chichen Itza ruins.

It is a short walk from town to the ruins. Every time we go to time it we stop to talk to people then we forget what we were doing and loose track of the time. We figure it is like a 10-15 minute walk.


It is well known among the Maya that Ushmals reside at old Mayan ruin sites. Ushmals are like trolls or ferries. They are mischievious creatures who delight in scaring people. If they take a liking to you they will follow you for days and some will even go home with you to see where you live and play tricks on you at home.

It is generally thought that they come out at night and by sleeping at a Mayan ruin site you are placing yourself right in their territory.

Ushmals move really fast and are hard to see. They are like cats that will hide behind and under things. They can sneak into your head when you are asleep or very relaxed [meditative mode].


Mayan Riviera Hotels For current Chichen Itza hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see: Chichen Itza Hotels*

  * Includes Piste.
  Cancun Airport to Chichen Itza Transfer Information*
  * VIP Transfer only.


There is camping at The Piramide Inn.

The Piramide Inn is located approximately 1 kilometer [about a half mile] from the Chichen Itza ruins at the entrance to the Mexican National Archaeological Zone.


Piste is located 157 km [97 miles] from Cancun and 120 km [74 miles] from Merida.

If you are flying into Cancun or staying somewhere on the Mayan Riviera and wish to go to Piste you can get a bus anywhere from Tulum to Playa del Carmen which will travel via Cancun to Piste.

From Cancun airport you transfer to the Cancun bus terminal which is a 45 - 60 minute ride from the airport. From the bus station you travel directly to Piste if there is an available bus. Depending on what time you get to the bus station you may have to wait.

From Merida you catch a first or second/third class bus which will take you to Piste.

The bus stop in Piste is in Piste town so if you are camping you have to walk or take a taxi to the campground and if you are staying at Mayaland Hotel you will have to take a taxi as well.

Mayaland Hotel provides bus service between the hotel and Merida and Cancun.

To check bus schedules click here.

If you are driving to Piste from Cancun take either Hwy 180 or the Carretera de cuota [Toll Highway]. There are signs all the way there to guide you and both highways are in excellent condition. The toll highway is the best and fastest route. Maps tend not to show both highways but they are close to each other.

If you are driving from Tulum - Playa del Carmen then it is advisable not to take the Coba jungle route as you will probably get lost and waste valuable time. It is better to stick to Hwy 307 to Cancun then across.

There are gas stations if you take the main highways. If you go through the jungle then you have to wait until you hit a town with a gas station.

If you are driving from Progreso then we suggest you have a compass and what ever maps you can find and just head south until you hit Hwy 18 go east. You can stick to main highways here but it is faster to drive through the jungle from Progreso.



Chichen Itza is the most visited and by far the most famous of all Mayan archeology sites. Tour buses pull into Chichen Itza every day of the year bringing in loads of tourists. It really is a must-see kind of thing.

There are numerous web sites on the Internet with information about Chichen Itza, the temples/pyramids, the great ballcourt, the observatory, cenotes and so much more. We have limited the information that we provide in this web site for Chichen Itza to travel information. In our Mayan Ruins section we provide information on maps, guides and tips.


Ek Balam
A good Mayan ruin site in the area is Ek Balam, which you can visit in a day trip by bus via Valladolid, which is located 40 km from Piste. To get to Ek Balam from the Valladolid bus station we recommend you take a taxi right from that point and save yourself the aggravation of the walk/collectivo route. It is way faster and worth the money.

The Grutas (Caves) De Balankanch
Natural caves close to Chichen Itza with a botanical garden. The Maya, during hurricanes and wars, used these caves.

Old Chichen Itza
This is an older part of Chichen Itza, which has been partially excavated and is NOT open to the public [at this time].

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In Mexico they speak: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.

90% of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.

Mexico Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Mexico has a population of: 100,349,766 (July 2000 est.)

There is 61,000 sq km of irrigated land. (1993 est.)

Mexico's natural resources are: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

There is 9,330 km of coastline.

The life expectancy is: male 68.47 years, female 74.66 years. (2000 est.)

The geographic coordinates are: 23 00 N, 102 00 W

Mexico had 38.6 million people in the labor force in 1999.

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