Dzibilchaltún to Remain Closed for Spring Equinox

During the Equinox, the sun passes directly through the Temple of the Seven Dolls entrance, creating an impressive effect attracting large numbers of visitors. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The Maya archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún will not open its gates to visitors in time for the spring equinox. 

The news comes after previous reassurances from the INAH that the site would be open to the public in time for the March 19 astronomical event.

Dzibilchaltún has now been closed for just over a month as archaeological research and improvements to its infrastructure are underway.

Among the work currently underway in Dzibilchaltún is redesigning the site’s museum. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

“Our work is taking longer than we initially hoped, so in the interest of safety, we have decided to keep the site closed until we have wrapped up,” said Yucatán’s INAH director, Anna Goycoolea Artís.

Dzibilchaltún is the second most visited archeological site in Yucatán during the equinox, with first place going to the world-famous Chichén Itzá.

At Chichén Itzá, the phenomenon on display features a shadow cast down El Castillo’s pyramid, creating the illusion that the famed feathered serpent has come to life. 

Video: Dzibilchaltún as you’ve never seen it before

Every year, roughly 20,000 people show up to observe the phenomena, which many claim is charged with healing power. 

“Coming to Chichén Itzá for this event is invigorating. There is no denying the ancients understood things that we are just starting to understand,” said Allan Robbinson of Oregon during the celestial event in 2019. 

Chichén Itzá is accessible via the Tren Maya from cities including Mérida and Cancún, though the route has been criticized for stopping too far away from the site and requiring a transfer via a bus. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The major downside of viewing the equinox at Chichén Itzá, other than the crowds, is that viewing the illusion of the descending feather serpent is reliant on clear weather.

Other popular locations to view the equinox include Chen Hó Archaeological Park in Mérida and the ruins of Teotihuacán in México State. 

Though much less well known, the spring equinox can also be viewed at the archaeological site of Oxkintok, where the sun passes directly through the city’s ancient entrance archway at the break of dawn.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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