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Tourists boo rule-breaker who climbed Chichén Itzá’s famous Kukulkán pyramid

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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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Tourists misbehaving is no rarity at Chichén Itzá, Mexico’s most-visited archaeological site. Photo: Courtesy

When a woman illegally climbed Chichén Itzá’s famous Kukulkán pyramid over the weekend, other tourists showed their displeasure.

The tourist had been yelling obscenities near the entrance to the famous archaeological site, according to witnesses.

When other tourists noticed what the woman was doing, a large group gathered near the temple’s base and started to yell at her to come down.

Avoid Scams, Hazards and Crowds at Chichén Itzá.

The woman made her way to the top of the pyramid before beginning her descent, where authorities were waiting. She was then detained and taken to the nearby town of Pisté for questioning. 

The name and nationality of the woman are yet to be released, but witnesses mentioned that she was blond and spoke good Spanish. 

Earlier: Chichén Itzá stray dogs to be cleared out

Several spectators yelled things like “jail jail jail” and “idiot,” though the woman seemed relatively unphased.

According to Mexican law, the tourist faces a fine of 100,000 pesos or roughly US$5,000.  

A similar scene unfolded last year when an intoxicated woman climbed the same pyramid with equally expensive results. Witnesses did not think the more recent rule-breaker was drunk.

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

Though several other famous Mayan ruins in Mexico, such as Uxmal and Edzná, have similar rules, it is still possible to climb enormous pyramids at sites like Calakmul and Becán

Kukulkán Pyramid’s steps were free to climb before regulations prohibited tourists from doing so. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
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