Chichen Itza Pyramid, Mexico
Known as El Castillo, or to some as the Temple of Kukulcan, a foreboding step pyramid dominates at Chichen Itza, a sprawling complex of Mayan ruins located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Believed to date back to 600 AD, this is an ancient place of great historical and archeological importance, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place that those with preservation in mind are determined to protect at all costs from those keen to catch a glimpse.
Ownership debates have long raged, but although the land here was in private hands until 2010, Chichen Itza is under federal control these days and those who visit with plans to climb El Castillo’s famed steps receive short shrift. Tourists do visit — and in great numbers too — but if you’re planning to join them, you must follow instructions and not be tempted to seek access to the restricted areas here. Walk around, but never attempt to climb on or venture inside as this is an absolute no-no.