Chichén Itzá ruins
No trip to the Yucatán Peninsula would be complete without stopping by Chichén Itzá. The towering pyramid of El Castillo is just one part of what would have been a sophisticated religious, astronomical and urban centre for the Mayan Empire from A.D. 750 to 1200. El Castillo is a brilliant entry-point into understanding more about Maya astronomy (spot the 365 steps on the temple itself, one for each day of the year). Be sure to book in a guide to this World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – there is so much to take in.