Man Becomes The Third Tourist In 6 Months To Illegally Climb Chichén Itzá
A man just became the third tourist in six months to climb up the ancient Maya Temple of Kukulcán pyramid at Chichén Itzá, and we have questions. The Maya archaelogical site‘s rules clearly state that the pyramid is off-limits, so why do visitors continue to climb to the top anyway?
Back in November 2022, a woman made headlines for climbing to the pyramid’s top and dancing — all the while the crowd shouted “lock her up” and “jail.” Then, just three months ago, a Polish man climbed up El Castillo to take photos… but was hit with a stick when he got down. Still, that’s nothing in comparison to what the gods could do — no word yet on how their curse is going. Why do visitors continue to disrespect the Maya ruins and risk damaging them? No idea, but the latest perpetrator shows it might be an alarming trend.
The latest man to climb up the Temple of Kukulcán was met by an angry crowd
As you can see in the video that’s circulating social media, a man in a white t-shirt and blue shorts climbed the Chichén Itzá pyramid all the way to the top. He actually went inside, which seems like something the gods would not like (just saying!). The person filming the video says, “They’re going to throw tons of stuff at him,” referencing how other Chichén Itzá climbers have been hit by water bottles and sticks. However, this tourist got off relatively easy.
According to journalist Sofía García Guzmán’s tweet about the incident, the tourist in question is a 34-year-old man named Javier, who may be from Mérida. Meanwhile, the video she posted shows exactly what happened when he got down — and as you could expect, the crowd was furious.
As seen in the video, other angry tourists began to crowd around the pyramid as the perpetrator came down. A security guard waited for him at the bottom steps, but went much easier on him than other visitors. You can hear people yelling, “pend*jo,” “animal,” “que ch*ngón,” and one person even throws water at him. An unnamed woman attempts to defend him from security, but is ignored. By the end, the man leaves with several security guards.
So what happened after the security guards caught him?
As per The Yucatán Times, the tourist was detained by security, but there’s no word yet on whether he was fined. The official fine for violating Chichén Itzá’s rules ranges from 5,000 to 50,000 pesos, which is roughly $276 to $2767 USD. So yes, he probably did have to pay.
Still, interestingly enough, this rule wasn’t always in place. In fact, the government made it illegal to climb the Temple of Kukulcán pyramid as late as 2008. This is why many people still remember visiting Chichén Itzá before then and being able to climb the Maya ruins. For one, look at this photograph from 1974:
However, the Federal Law on Archaeological, Artistic, and Historic Monuments put the rule in place for a reason— to preserve Chichén Itzá ruins for years to come.
And yes, that man might have a Maya curse on him now.