2. Chichen Itza
A easy day-trip from Cancun are the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. It is a fascinating place of towering pyramids, gigantic temples, intricately carved columns and an array of “do or die” sports fields. The most famous site here is the Castillo Pyramid which consists of four sides containing 365 steps, 52 panels and 18 terraces. This structure built for cosmological symbolism is accessed by a narrow stairway which is a focal point of the complex. Interesting things to see here are the Sacred Cenote, The Temple of Warriors and The Temple of a Thousand Columns. Check out the relief carvings that line the Chichen Itza ball court depicting the rules of the games played here. Winning captains were rewarded by beheadings!