The sound and light show the “Noches de Kukulcán” will continue to be free through August, but after that — prepare to pay the price of admission.
The elaborate, high-tech show at Chichén Itzá was never meant to be free, but INAH and local authorities could never agree on the cost and how to split revenue. So for a year and a half, tickets have been given out gratis.
In the first five months of this year about 23,000 tourists have visited the spectacle, in which the famed pyramid is illuminated with a high-definition light show set to music.
Readers may sense some déjà vu at this point.
Last November, the tourist bureau Cultur announced the show would stop being free sometime in January 2016.
About 75 miles from Mérida, Chichén Itzá’s ruins — built by the indigenous Maya — are over 1,500 years old. The Kukulcán pyramid, also known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the country’s most visited tourist sites and is among the new Seven Wonders of the World, determined in 2007.
Money on the table
In December 2014, the sound and light show was updated with high-definition images and bombastic sound. The government said tickets to the show would be free until June 30, 2015. But then the offer was extended several times.
It’s not totally free to witness the extravaganza. The audience does pay to enter the grounds at Chichén Itza. Domestic visitors pay 145 pesos; 216 pesos for everyone else. Admission to the archeological site is free for children under 13, seniors with a valid INAPAM card, and for Mexican nationals on Sundays. Parking is 22 pesos.