PhotoSecrets Chichén Itzá

A Photographer’s Guide

Best classic places spots hotspots sites sights views photo locations to photograph for photography with maps postcard photos cool beautiful pictures

A Photographer’s Guide
Andrew Hudson


Northwest view of El CastilloFcb981/Wikipedia

Chichén Itzá

29 views to photograph
Serpent head on Platform of Eagles and JaguarsShinya Suzuki/Flickr
Two serpent heads and El CastilloGameoflight/Wikipedia
Chac Mool at Chichén ItzáAK Arnold/Flickr
El Castillo from the Great BallcourtMariordo/Wikipedia
La IglesiaSybz/Wikipedia
Platform of Eagles and JaguarsMarco Soave/Wikipedia
Serpent head at El CastilloPaul Simpson/Flickr
Serpent on Temple of the WarriorsPascal/Flickr
Chac Mool by Platform of Eagles and JaguarsRaymundo1972/Wikipedia
Chac Mool with Temple of the WarriorsBjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikipedia
Group of the Thousand ColumnsUspn/Wikipedia
Sacred CenoteSalhedine/Wikipedia
Serpent at spring equinox on El CastilloAtsz56/Wikipedia
Stone Ring in Great Ball Court at Chichen ItzaKåre Thor Olsen/Wikipedia
Jaguar Throne of El CastilloHjpd/Wikipedia
Serpent head in Great BallcourtAdam Jones, Ph D/Wikipedia
Grand Ballcourt from El CastilloAndré Möller/Wikipedia
Platform of VenusAltairisfar/Wikipedia
Temple of TablesMaasaak/Wikipedia
Temple of the WarriorsViatka/Wikipedia


Map of Chichén Itzá

Map of Main area

Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico: plan of the ruins


About PhotoSecrets



A great travel photo­graph requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photo­graphers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”

There are countless books that can help you with photo­graphic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to essentially re-invent the wheel.

In my career as a professional travel photo­grapher, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photo­graphing instead of wandering about. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photo­graph on assignment.

PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”

About Bob Krist

Bob Krist has photo­graphed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/­Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photo­grapher of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.

For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photo­grapher magazine as “the best book about travel photo­graphy we’ve ever read.”

The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photo­graphy, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photo­graphs.

PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic views, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Flick through, enjoy the photos, and see which places inspire you. Get comp­osition ideas, lighting tips, and a brief history. It’ll be like traveling with a location scout and a pro-photo­grapher by your side.

The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. If you have any ides for improvements, please send me an email at

Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!

About Andrew Hudson

Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.

Andrew has published 15 nationally-distributed photo­graphy books. He has photo­graphed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photo­graphy, Where, and Woman’s World.

Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.


At a Glance

Name:Chichén Itzá (Mayan for “At the mouth of the well of the Itza”)
What:Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula
Icon:El Castillo, a step pyramid
Culture:Maya civilization
Time:600 AD to 1200 AD
Fame:One of the New Seven Wonders of the World
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Far:1113 km (692 miles) from Mexico City
Address:Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico
GPS:20°40′58.44″N 88°34′7.14″WE
Notes:One of the largest Maya cities. All the rivers in Yucatán run underground and the ancient city is located by two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round.

Chichen Itza Chichén Itzá, tchee-TCHEN eet-SA, often with the emphasis reversed in English to CHEE-chen EET-suh; from Chi’ch’èen Ìitsha’ “at the mouth of the well of the Itza people”) was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico.

Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic period (c. AD 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.

Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.

The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán.

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.4 million tourists visit the ruins every year.




More Info

More information will be available from:

  • App (coming sometime)
  • ebook (coming sometime)
  • Printed book (coming sometime)