Exploring the Mayan/ Toltec ruins of the Yucatan is a real treat, but don’t wander out unprepared.
SUN SCREEN During the hot summer season the complex of Chichen Itza is battered by the sun, with precious few places seek shade. So applying before you hit the ruins isn’t enough, bring some SPF to re-apply.
WALKING SHOES I guess you could saunter around stubbing your toes on bits of crumbled temple, but why would you want to? I was especially shocked at Coba, where after a heavy rain the ground is slick and muddy, at how many tourists decided to hit the ruins with flip flops on.
Some of the structures you can scamper around on, and at Coba you can actually climb to the top of the tallest Mayan pyramid in Mexico, some bring sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots.
INSECT REPELLENT While generally insects were not a problem, in sites that are in denser forest cover the mosquitoes can attack, especially if you have wandered off the path to do your business! So always have a little container of repellent in your day bag.
WATER Fill your water bottle or camel back with clean water before you hit any Mayan site. The water inside will be at least double what you will pay at the gas station coming into town and if it is 100 degrees with 100% humidity you will be thankful you came prepared.
SNACKS Why get reamed at the concession stand for shitty, truck stop nachos when you can bring snacks from a grocery store or mini mart. Take a few moments to make a sandwich before hand or bring in a Cup Noodle to be eaten cold and save your money for real food after you are done exploring.
Sites like Chichen Itza will fills with thousands of day-trippers before noon so try and get there in the morning. If the rows of trinket hawkers are still setting up their stands than you have done well.
RENT A CAR Even for a day renting a car can be an affordable adventure. Considering many tours to Chichen Itza from hostels and hotels can be 40-50 dollars, renting a car is almost cheaper. This also saves you the hassle of stopping at several sanctioned souvenir emporiums along the way and gives you complete control over your time.
Also, there is no sense driving past all the small towns and coconut stands that hugs the roads on your way in land, plot your own course and take your time getting there and away.
BRING AN EXTRA BATTERY You are going to be gone all day and will doubtless see hundreds of potential pictures and moments to vlog about. Don’t cut yourself short; make sure your camera is charged and you have an extra battery. Real ninjas bring extra memory cards and tripods too.