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Chichen Itza (pronounced /tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/;[1] from Yucatec MayaChi'ch'èen Ìitsha',[2] "At the mouth of the well of the Itza") is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the Yucatán state, present-day Mexico.

Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called “Mexicanized” and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern 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.

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, INAH). The land under the monuments, however, is privately-owned by the Barbachano family.

Official site: 
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/483

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Back in Oct. 2003, I made a trip to Cancun & the Yucatan Peninsula from Toronto. It was just for a couple of days since I had never been to Mexico and others have talked about safety concern in Mexico City. I figure I'd be pretty safe in Cancun and its resort areas. So, here I came, Mexico! However, lazing around beaches was never my favorite pasttime although I did go a couple in the world. I tend to go further and upon discovering a World Heritage Site nearby and after exploring the area …
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