AAA Editor Notes
Old Chichén (Chichén Viejo) is about a 15-minute walk down a dirt path that begins southwest of the Nunnery. A sincere interest in archeology and a local guide are both recommended for a trek to this area of little-restored buildings, which is mosquito-infested (wear plenty of insect repellent) and overgrown with jungle scrub. Avoid exploring during the June-through-September rainy season, when the narrow pathways can become difficult to navigate.
The barely uncovered buildings feature masks of Chac and gargoyle-like creatures carved along cornices. The Date Group of ruins includes the House of the Phalli, so named for some well-endowed sculptures carved into the walls of one room. The earliest date discovered in Chichén Itzá—the equivalent of A.D. 879—is carved into a lintel supported by columns; the rest of what was once a pyramid no longer remains.