Tourist held after she illegally climbs Chichén Itzá pyramid

Kukulkán Pyramid, before regulations prohibited tourists from climbing the famous structure. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

A tourist from Tijuana raised the ire of security personnel in Chichén Itzá when she ascended the famous Pyramid of Kukulkán.

According to security at the archaeological site, the woman showed signs of intoxication. Amongst boos and jeers from other tourists, the woman descended the pyramid and was quickly detained by security. She was then taken to Pisté where she faced local authorities.

The woman explained that she had climbed the pyramid as part of a promise to her deceased husband, whose ashes she claimed to be carrying. According to unverified sources on social media, the woman managed to sprinkle his remains atop the pyramid.

This is not the first time that a tourist has illegally climbed the pyramid. During the spring equinox in 2018, a visitor to the site quickly made his way up the structure to “take a selfie” and “absorb energy.”

The pyramid of Kukulkán — also known as “El Castillo” — is the most famous Maya monument in Yucatán, and arguably in the entire Maya world. In 2008, Mexico’s Institute for History and Anthropology (INAH) prohibited all tourists from climbing the structure citing concerns regarding its preservation.

On social media, she earned the hashtag #ladykukulkan.

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.