Staying overnight in Chichen Itza - worth it?
I'm planning a family trip to the Yucatan for next February and before I book everything, I was wondering if anyone had feedback on the sound/light show at Chichen Itza. It sounds kind of cheesy to me and I'm wondering if it's worth all the hassle of checking out of our hotel to spend the night in the Hotel Mayaland or similar (family of four - two young kids).
I figured I would just rent a car and leave early from our resort, see Chichen Itza and Ek Balam, then head back before dark.
Definitely spend at least one night in Piste, near the ruins, so you can get there early. The crowds can become overwhelming by mid-morning, when the tour buses from Cancun arrive. Get there the moment the park opens your first morning. If you'd like a second day (not necessary, if you ask me), Valladolid is really pleasant town a bit further from Chichen Itza.
You didn't say where your resort it, but I'm assuming it's near Cancun or Playa del Carmen. You really don't need to bother renting a car. Rental in Cancun is expensive, and there are heavy tolls on the cuota from Cancun to Merida. Buses are extremely comfortable, cheap, and allow you to skip the tolls. There are stops at Valladolid and Piste, near the park entrance, on the buses heading to Merida.
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