Home ACTIVITIES Witness the Fall Equinox Awaken the 10-Story Serpent That Slithers down Chichen Itza
Witness the Fall Equinox Awaken the 10-Story Serpent That Slithers down Chichen Itza
(Last Updated On: September 12, 2018)

Witness the Fall Equinox Awaken the 10-Story Serpent That Slithers down Chichen Itza


One of the most monumental moments of the year is almost upon us, the fall equinox.

What Is an Equinox and Why Is It so Special?

An equinox is a fleeting moment in which the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun’s disk.

This spectacular phenomenon only happens twice a year, once in the Spring, and once in Autumn.

During the equinox, the length of night and day are approximately equal all over the world.

The word ‘equinox’ is derived from the Latin aequinoctiumaequus (equal) and nox (genitive noctis) (night).


What Does It Have to Do with Chichen Itza?

If you have are yet to visit Chichen Itza, it’s beneficial to give you some context before delving straight in.

Amongst all of the archeological treasures here in Mexico, Chichén Itzá is easily the most famous and well-preserved site.

However, it’s not just a bunch of ruins crawling with tourists, this lost jungle city houses fascinating secrets that span centuries and entire civilizations. If you want to read up on some of these intriguing facts, read our blog about 6 little-known secrets about Chichen Itza. 


It was a large pre-Columbian city, inhabited by many people.  Despite popular belief, the city wasn’t just built by the Maya People,  another indigenous Mexican group called The Toltecs also had a major influence on the cities development.

The Toltecs arrived at Chichén Itza around the 10th century and were integral in developing the Central Zone of the site. Which means when you visit this incredible Wonder Of The World, you’ll have the pleasure of witnessing many architectural styles.


As you roam the grounds of Chichen Itza the mystery and magic of this place will permeate every fiber of your being.

You’ll notice many carvings and stone figures in the shape of a snake. This isn’t just any snake, this is Kulkulkhan.


Kulkulkhan (/kuːkuːlˈkän/) (“Plumed Serpent“, “Feathered Serpent“) is the name of a Maya snake deity.

Although the presence of Kukulkhan can be felt all year round he comes to life twice a year during the spring and fall equinoxes at Chichen Itza. He’s been making an appearance for over 1000 years, with no special effects involved.

The Mayans Were Astronomical Geniuses

Staggeringly, the ancient Mayans who built and inhabited Chichen Itza had an extremely developed understanding of astronomy and science.

If you consider the kinds of technology available and accessible to these people back then, it’s hard to believe they built something so incredibly impressive all by themselves.

As you can imagine, all kinds of weird and wonderful theories have been discussed over the years and the debate continues, even today. However, we would love to hear your thoughts, be sure to leave them in the comments section on Facebook. 

Chichen Itza before it was cleaned and restored.

Perhaps the most notable structure is El Castillo.

El Castillo is an intriguing structure, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkan, or Quetzalcoatl, the 80-foot stone pyramid is a physical depiction of the Mayan calendar.

This particular structure is the largest in the ancient city. It consists of a series of square terraces with stairways up each four sides to the temple on top. Each side has 91 steps, which, when added together and including the platform at the top, produces a total of 365 steps (which is equal to the number of days in a year).

The full extent of its brilliance reveals itself during the Spring and Autumn equinox.

When the Snake Awakens

During the equinox in the late after the sun strikes off the northwest corner of the pyramid and cast a series of triangular shadows against the northwest balustrade, creating the illusion of a feathered serpent “crawling” down the pyramid.

It’s an unbelievable and fleeting moment.

It makes you wonder whether it is a result of purposeful design.

As the sun sets, the snake seemingly slithers down the steps to join a stone serpent head that sits at the base of the great staircase.

Coincidence? I think not.

Take a look at this picture. What do you see?

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Snake Shadow Dates

So, when can you witness this spectacular phenomenon for yourself?

Dates for fall equinox 2018:


  • Wednesday 19th
  • Thursday 20th – Recommended
  • Friday 21st

Purchasing and Prices

If you book with us at PlayaDelCarmen.Com you can save 15%!

An expert guide will journey with you as you go back in time to help you discover the ancient wonders of this amazing city.

Round trip transportation is included in the price, so you can sit back and relax your comfortable coach ride as you make your way to Chichen Itza and back.

Not only that, you’ll also have time to explore one of the most beautiful cenotes in all of Mexico.


For me, there is nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in one of these sacred freshwaters havens.

The prices for the tour are as follows: 

  • Adults = $75
  • Children = $51

What are you waiting for? Book NOW!

To ensure you get the most out of your day, don’t forget to read our top tips before embarking on this epic adventure of a lifetime.

During the Fall Equinox Dates 2018:

If you are planning on booking your excursion on any of the dates listed above please note:

  • All excursions will be returning an hour later than normal.
  •  The itinerary is reversed to enjoy the Equinox effect.

Enjoy a sneak peek of what to expect in the video below. This is nothing compared to the real thing.

Time Lapse Video of the Snake:

Pretty special, right?

Time to tick this one off the bucket list.

This is a once in lifetime kind of event, so don’t miss out!

What do you want to look back on when you’re old and gray, a life of monotony or a life of adventures and excitement?

Interested in Booking?

If you don’t want to miss out on this incredible phenomenon book your tickets for Chichen Itza online NOW before it’s too late and receive 15% discount.

Alternatively, if you prefer to speak to someone over the phone call us on our toll-free number +1 888-537-9797


Email us as at customercare@playadelcarmen.com

If you do make it to this incredible event we would love to hear about your experience, share your pictures with us on Facebook.


Sarah Barlow Sarah is a travel enthusiast from England, who swapped the rainy clouds of Manchester for beachside bliss in Playa Del Carmen. If she’s not salsa dancing by the shore, you’ll find her soaking up the sun in one of her favorite rooftop party pools. Sarah is the content and social media manager here at PlayaDelCarmen.com


  1. We are traveling to PDC in July. I really want to experience Chichen Itza, but am concerned about traveling out of the resort areas with all of the travel warnings. In your opinion, is it safe to travel to Chichen Itza now?

    1. Hola Jennifer, even though the travel warnings have been completely lifted now, I completely understand your concerns. When you book the tour through us we can guarantee your absolute safety. You will travel in private transport and be led by your expert guidance every step of the way. It’s an extremely enjoyable day. Read more about it here…https://www.playadelcarmen.com/activities/chichen-itza. Let me know if you need anything else or any assistance with the booking. 🙂

    1. Hey Andres, thank you for reaching out and for your interest. I will have of our expert Travel Planners reach out to you to begin discussing this tour with you. If you have any questions in the meantime be sure to send them to sarah@playadelcarmen.com

  2. 3 of us adults planning to see the serpent on March 21, 2019. Need info on 8 to 10 day Cancun vacation packages with air from Houston, Tx. Flights from here to Houston run about $56.00

    1. Hey Andres! How exciting! What a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity. It really is magical to behold. I will have one of our expert travel planners reach out to you and get back to you with a quote. She will be able to seek out the best deal, get you all the perks your entitled to, and make planning a lot easier and stress-free. Paradise awaits my friend… in the meantime if you have questions whatsoever be sure to pop them over to customercare@playadelcarmen.com


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