Latin America’s most famous pre-Colombian ruin, the temple complex of Chichen Itza lies 75 miles east of Merida and is the most popular Mayan site on the Yucatan Peninsula. Recognised as one of the new “Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007, it dates back to 400AD and rose to the height of its power during the Late Classic and Terminal Period (600-900AD). In total, the site covers over 5 square kilometres and comprises of a vast ceremonial complex of pyramids, temples, sculptures and raised platforms not forgetting of course the iconic Ball Court, the largest in the Americas. Today, it is Mexico’s most visited site and popular with large day groups, yet stay a night close to the ruins and you can head off and explore the lesser known pyramids. Most famous of all, the Kukulkan Pyramid contains 365 steps, one for each day of the year and come Spring and Autumn equinoxes, casts the shadow of a plumed snake (the serpent god Kukulkan) which appears to descend the central staircase.