Chichen Itza was my first exposure to Mayan culture. Built starting in A.D. 600, this area is felt to have been one of the mythical great cities referred to in Mesoamerican literature.

This ancient Mayan city covers an area of at least 1.9 square miles and showcases architectural styles including those of the Puuc and Chenes of the Northern Yucatan Peninsula. The buildings are assembled in architectonic sets. The first of these is the Great Northern Platform, which I had the opportunity to photograph early before throngs of people descended upon this immensely popular tourist attraction. The monuments here include El Castillo, the Temple of Warriors, and the Great Ball Court.