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Chichen Itza lights up in HD

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El Castillo, which dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site, is lit with a series of lights that depict its story.
El Castillo, which dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site, is lit with a series of lights that depict its story.

Chichen Itza’s Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo, is glowing brighter than ever, and with more vivid imagery and storytelling, thanks to a new 60 million peso “Nights of Kukulkan” show that debuted Wednesday.

The centerpiece of one of the seven wonders of the modern world is illuminated with computer-generated special effects animations from seven HD projectors. The show explains the culture of the Mayan civilization, narrated with a voice broadcast over a quadraphonic sound system.

Besides the sound and light show, a night tour leads visitors through nine Mayan buildings, including the ball court and the temple of the jaguar throne.

The night tour at the archaeological site starts at the main entrance and around the main archaeological monuments, lasting about 45 minutes. Afterwards, there are seats from which you can enjoy the 25-minute presentation.

A previous show there had broken down after equipment failure made presentations impossible. Critically, the show reportedly does nothing to damage the iconic site. “The new system is a hundred times more technically feasible and less damaging for the archaeological site,” the designer said during its construction.

Chichen Itza was designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 1988. “The sacred site is one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatán peninsula,” Unesco says. Visited annually by 1.2 million people, Chichen Itza is the second most visited archaeological zone in Mexico, after Teotihuacan.

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