It should be fairly easy to get there. Highway 180 runs east to west across the top of the peninsula from Merida over to Cancun.

Chichen Itza is right in the middle – a 90-minute drive from either location. If you’re near a hotel, they will definitely have information about conducted tours to Chichen Itza.

You could also rent a car with any of the companies that operate in Cancun such as Budget, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty and Hertz.

To rent a car you must be 25 years old, have a valid driver’s licence and a major credit card. You may have one problem though – all the road signs are in Spanish.

The road from Cancun to Chichen Itza may be cut through dense jungle, but it is not without signs of life. On one stretch, tree barks are being slashed in a herring-bone pattern to produce gum for North Americans to chew.

Vultures the size of small dogs fly over for a closer look. Spotted pigs amble across your path. And there are the Mayas, those colorful inhabitants of this Yucatan peninsula whose ancestors first came here around 250 A.D.

On the roadside their homes are usually cool earth-floor huts made from bamboo poles lashed together with vines. But some are stone with thatched roofs and flowers around their front doors, such as you’d expect from sixteenth-century Britain.

Anyone free of bus and coach timetables should come to Chichen Itza in the early morning. It is easier to understand then before the sun begins to scorch and the tour buses arrive.