Our trip to Chichén Itzá began with a Buffett Breakfast at the JW Marriott Cancun. After breakfast, we were picked up promptly at 8:30 to go to the Cancun Airport for our charter flight. Instead of a 3+ hour drive to Chichén Itzá, we would be flying and landing 5 minutes from the site. We were dropped off at the FBO, local terminal and met Captain Francisco, our Pilot and who is also the tour company owner. He was super polite and informative, showing us the doppler weather screen and explains how our flight would go. Before departing, I still had to pay for the tour. In over 10 years of traveling, I have never had a credit card be declined/locked for fraud. Today was the day. And of course I only brought one with me. I had to spend the next 20 minutes calling the credit card company’s fraud department. I successfully got it unlocked and the payment was successful. We made our way out to the plane after meeting the co-pilot Raul.

We walked the tarmac passing some super expensive and awesome private jets. We headed toward the back and got in our Cessna 310, twin engine plane. After some preflight checks by the pilots, we were taxiing down the runway for takeoff.  And now, problem number two. We began to accelerate down the runway when the pilot realized his door was not fully latched. He repeatedly tried to slam the door shut as the co-pilot accelerated down the runway. This did not work and the take-off was aborted. After we exited the main runway, he was able to fix the door and taxi all the way back to start over. Finally, we were in the air.

After about 7 minutes or so, problem 3! I noticed the pilots focusing on a particular gauge in the plane. It was the Engine number 2 Oil pressure and temperature gauge. It was showing the Cylinder Head Temperature rising very high in comparison to the other engine. They would tap on the gauge, they would adjust various rpms and fuel flows. The gauge needle would sometimes jump around. At this point, I was less concerned. Once I saw the needle jumping around, I figured it was a problem with the actual gauge and not the engine. As we approached the landing strip, we got a good view of the Temple from the plane.

Temple of Kulkulkan view from plane
Chichén Itzá Temple of Kulkulkan

When we landed, Captain Francisco asked how the flight was. I said it was fine, but was there an issue with the temps? He confirmed my thoughts and said it was likely the gauge and he would be having maintenance replace/repair it.

Arrival to Chichén Itzá Airport

Upon arrival, Chichén Itzá airport had two planes, us and one other flight. The airport was empty with no staff in sight. We made our way to the van which was waiting for us. We headed to the entry at Chichén Itzá where our guide Monica was waiting for us.

For the next 2 hours, Monica led us around the ancient Mayan city explaining the history to the area and the structures. The most famous is the Temple of Kulkulcan, which was the temple to the god Kulkulcan, the feathered serpent god. We had previously visited Lamanai, the Mayan ruins in Belize, and thought those structures were tall. This temple was huge in comparison.

Temple of Kulkulkan
Temple of Kulkulkan

As we walked around, we found shade wherever we could. The temperatures were HOT, nearly 100 degrees, and it was very sunny with few places to hide. We would look at a structure, then Monica would take us to the shade to talk about it.

After we viewed the Cenote, we bought a bottle of water and headed to the exit.


We jumped in the air conditioned van and made our way to lunch at Pueblo Maya, where Captain Francisco was waiting for us. We stopped at one of the local restaurants, which looked small from the roadside, but opened up to a very large area inside the fencing. Captain explained that we had a buffet lunch and two drinks each included in the tour.

After lunch, our tour was supposed to take us to Ik Kil, a cenote nearby where we could swim. We didn’t really feel like swimming with a ton of people, so asked to head back to the airport and head back to Cancun. That is the nice thing about private tours, you get to do what you want. We jumped in the plane and off we went back to Cancun. An hour later at about 3pm, we were on our fantastic balcony staring at the ocean.

Photos from my trip to the Mexico in 2023