Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points: Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Mar 3, 2022

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Editors note: This is a new series showing you how to experience the seven wonders of the world using miles and points. As only one of the original seven wonders of the world from the second century is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza), we are using the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World.


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichén Itzá is one of the most well known archaeological sites in the Americas. This ruined, pre-Colombian city is located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is estimated to have been built around 550 A.D. It was thought to once operate as the ceremonial centre of the ancient civilisation.

The site was overgrown with jungle for centuries, but archaeologists discovered the ruins and cleared enough space in the 19th and early 20th century that you can now visit this wonder. The El Castillo (also known as the Temple of Kukulcan) is the most famous attraction at Chichén Itzá.

Located roughly the same distance from the popular Mexican tourist areas of both Cancun and Tulum, it is a fairly easy day trip with a drive of around two hours each way. You can organise a group tour, or else there is plenty of parking if you wish to drive yourself.

The best times to visit are either as soon as the gates open, or after 3 pm as the sun is starting to set and the crowds have started to disperse. Allow two to three hours for your visit.

Related: 6 alternate options to famous, crowded ancient ruins

You will need to pay MXN$533 for adults (£19) and MXN$80 (£3) for children aged between three and twelve to enter – its a good idea to bring cash to pay with. The site is open from 8 am to 5 pm, seven days per week. During the pandemic capacity is limited to 3,000 people per day, and last entry is at 4 pm so you might want to get there as early as possible to make sure you can make it in.

Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking around the site. There are cenotes on the site but the water quality is not suitable for swimming in.

Related: 7 tips for avoiding crowds at the world’s most popular tourist sites

If you’ve ever wanted to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, here’s how to visit the Chichén Itzá using miles and points.

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Souvenirs of Mayan crafts for sale in Chichen Itza, Mexico. Photo by by Marc Guitard / Getty

How to get there

Chichén Itzá is located around two hours drive from Cancun International Airport (CUN). This airport is well serviced by a number of European airlines, including British Airways who fly from London Gatwick (LGW) to Cancun.

To fly with British Airways you will need to redeem the following, one way, per person:

  • 16,250 Avios off-peak / 25,000 Avios peak + £175 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller economy
  • 32,000 Avios off-peak / 50,000 Avios peak + £330.05 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller Plus premium economy
  • 62,500 Avios off-peak / 75,000 Avios peak + £475.05 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Club World business class

Related: The best British Airways World Traveller Plus (premium economy) seats

Virgin Atlantic does not currently fly to Cancun however you can redeem Virgin Points on their partner airlines Air France, via Paris (CDG), KLM via Amsterdam (AMS) and Delta Air Lines via all of their U.S. hubs.

The book with points the co-pay may vary slightly but you can expect to pay around, one way, per person on Air France or KLM:

  • 15,000 Virgin Points + £225 in fees, taxes and surcharges in economy
  • 39,000 Virgin Points + £300 in fees, taxes and surcharges in premium economy
  • 77,000 Virgin Points + £401 in fees, taxes and surcharges in business class

You can expect to pay more Virgin Points if you are travelling with Delta as the two legs will be priced separately.

If you have Star Alliance miles you can fly from the United Kingdom to Cancun on Air Canada (via various Canadian hubs), Austrian via Vienna (VIE), Lufthansa via Frankfurt (FRA), TAP Portugal via Lisbon (LIS), Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (IST) and United via all of their U.S. hubs.

(Photo courtesy of Air Canada)

Related: 13 of the most beautiful villages and small towns in Mexico

Where to stay

With both Cancun and Tulum around a two hour drive from the site, there is a large range of hotel options in both these locations to redeem your points and miles. Here are some of our favourites.

  • The Ritz-Carlton Cancun a five-star member of Marriott Bonvoy with cash rates from £258 per night or 50,000 Bonvoy points per standard night as a Category 6 property.
  • The Andaz Mayakoba is one of TPG’s favourite hotels in Mexico. Cash rates start from a pricey £375 per night but this five star resort is an excellent use of Word of Hyatt points, at 25,000 points per night.
  • The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is a five-star member of Marriott Bonvoy with cash rates from £213 per night or 50,000 Bonvoy points per standard night as a Category 6 property.
  • The Canopy by Hilton La Isla is a five-star Hilton Honors property. Cash rates are from £103 per night, or 42,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
  • The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun is a newly renovated all-inclusive five star World of Hyatt property with cash rates from £245 or 25,000 points per night.
  • The Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya is a five-star member of Hilton Honors with cash rates from £418 per night or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
  • The Intercontinental Presidente Cancun Resort is a four star resort, part of IHG Rewards. Cash rates start at £94 per night or 30,000 IHG Rewards points.

Related: One of my favorite resort stays in 40 years: The Andaz Mayakoba in Mexico

Andaz Mayakoba (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points:

Featured image by Marco Bottigelli / Getty

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