As I wrote almost 2 years ago, renting a car is the way to get from Cancun to Chichen Itza if you want to keep your own schedule there--and that's how RotLC Jr. and I got there. Our hotel is at the south end of the Cancun Hotel Zone, and it took us about 2 hrs to get there. If you are going with 3 people or more, renting a car will be cheaper than a bus tour. And you definitely want to arrive just before the 10am opening, as that's when the fewest tourbuses are there.
Costs: everything I've read says to take the cuota, the toll road, and from what I've seen of local roads, that advice is correct. It was a well-maintained, almost empty road, the latter probably because of the 280 peso toll (US$22.50) each way. Entrance to Chichen Itza was 110 pesos each, less than US$10. There is an extra charge if you want to take video there (we both did on our pocket cameras without paying the charge), and tripods are not allowed. I'm paying US$120 for the rental car (a Dodge Atos, seemingly built by Hyundai) for 3 days, and over half of that cost is max insurance.
I saw much more of "park" this time than last, and got some new pictures that I think will look impressive. My son took some nicely framed shots, too. Last time I didn't even see "The Market", but this time the two of us had the whole Market to ourselves. It was most impressive.
I took a downloaded map and a Google Earth shot of the park with us so I knew where we were at all times. They were very helpful, ensuring we didn't miss anything. And not having to get back to a tourbus at a given time, we could spend our time wandering and wondering. I'm not sure of which we did more.
Last time I didn't even get to visit the "gift shop" or food stands at the entrance, but today we spent a little time there. An ice cold agua de horchata restored both our attitudes to pleasant, and we laughed at the name of the pizza place there. Can you guess the the name? I'll tell you at the end of the post :) I was surprised that the souvenir prices in the gift shop were at least as good as those of all the local vendors selling their wares inside the park, and those just outside the park entrance (all of 20 meters from the gift shop) were even better.
Given the internet situation here at the hotel I can't upload any pictures of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but rest assured I will when I get home to a high-quality connection. Until then, take a look at these pictures I took 2 years ago. The place hasn't changed too much since then!
Oh, and the name of the pizza place? Itza Pizza!