Tourist Faces Backlash for Dancing on Historic Mayan Pyramid in Mexico

by Craig Garrett
Temple of Kukulcán (El Castillo), Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico - stock photo

A group of people in Mexico doused a female tourist with water and demanded she be arrested after she climbed and danced on a Mayan pyramid. On Monday, an unidentified Spanish woman caused anger when she ignored the rules and climbed on top of the Mayan Temple of Kukulcán in Chichén Itzá. The temple had been named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World by UNESCO in 2007.

After reaching the top, she thrust her hips and waved her arms in celebration. A large group of tourists who were observing her wild antics from the ground began jeering loudly. Some of them called the disrespectful visitor an “idiot” in Spanish, among other names.

“Jail, jail, jail,” and “lock her up” echoed throughout the temple room. Meanwhile, the blonde woman in red tights and blue T-shirt ducked inside the Mayan pyramid. She quickly descended its 365 steps. However, she was met by officials of Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) at the bottom. An infuriated mob was also waiting.

In viral videos circulating on TikTok and Twitter, irate onlookers are seen dousing the tourist with water from plastic bottles. They also call her “stupid.” The tourist has been nicknamed “Lady Chichén Itzá” after the Mayan pyramid she was visiting when the incident occurred.

@monigee61904 The mayan ancestors will handle her 😂 #chichenitza #fyp #vacaciones #pendejadas #pyramids #wonderoftheworld #AmazonSavingSpree ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

The New York Post reported that an unnamed woman was arrested and given a fine for climbing the world heritage site which has been closed to visitors since 2006. The preventative measure is in place to protect it from being destroyed, worn down, or have graffiti.

Walking onto the Mayan Pyramid’s steps has been prohibited since 2006

Depending on the severity of damage, penalties for destroying a protected site in Mexico can range from $2,500 to over $5,000. On Monday, the National Institute of Anthropology and History stated that the temple – also known as El Castillo – has not been damaged.

The Temple of Kukulcán, also referred to as El Templo, is the primary Mesoamerican step-pyramid located in the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site. This grand temple building is formally designated by archaeologists as Structure 5B18. It dominates above all else at this great location.

The Maya civilization constructed the building sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries AD. The building served as a temple to Kukulcán, the Yucatec Maya Feathered Serpent deity. Kukulcán is closely related to Quetzalcoatl, a Postclassic period deity known to the Aztecs and other central Mexican cultures. The substructure likely was constructed several centuries earlier for the same purpose.

Starting in 2006, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) began to restrict public access to various monuments at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. While people can still visit these structures, they can no longer climb on them or enter their chambers. This change came about after a climber fell to her death from one of the monuments.