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Will Mexico´s Archaeological Sites Ban Selfie Sticks?

Selfie stick

We are all aware of what a selfie stick is by now, aren´t we? This device that was meant to elongue one´s arm, is connected via bluetooth to our smartphone so automatically snaps a photo of ourselves and our party anywehere is both a symbol of photography democracy (since you now skip the part of asking a complete stranger to take a picture of you) and of narcissim for those who live (or die) just for selfies.

Selfie stick

The selfie stick was created as an extension of the human arm to take photos.


Since its invention many years have passed and it wasn´t until asian tourist, always with state of the art technology in their hands, started snapping photos during their holidays that we took notice, that was a while back and by Christmas time 2014 selfie sticks were the N. 1 present in North America.

Although some think of it as a genius solution for lonely travelers, some others think this device is obnoxious and to that extend many countries which huge tourist attractions started to study the “selfie stick mania” and take measures of wether it was ok to allow it or not. Such is the case of France where the sticks are banned from the iconic Palace of Versailles, the United States banned them from the mayorithy of the Smithsonian museums as well as most museums all over the country.

Selfie Colosseum

Out of the Colosseum is ok to have it but not inside this 2,000 year old building.

Most recently Rome´s Colloseum, which stands as the second most visited archaeological site in the world, took measures and banned it as well citing “danger” to the structure and tourists. The narrow spaces of the 2,000 years old monument filled with these sticks can become dangerous for its 16,000 daily visitors.

Teotihuacan with a selfie stick

Teotihuacan site from a selfie stick point of view.
Photo: _cotesitamj_ on Instagram


Meanwhile in Mexico, no one has really said anything about this, regardless that Teotihuacan is the third most visited archaeological site in the world (only behind the Giza Pyramids in Egypt and the Colosseum) receiving an average of 6,350 visitors every day, there are people taking photos everywhere and that includes selfies while climbing the enormous Pyramid of the Sun, the device does indeed seem kind of dangerous.

On the other hand and closer to the caribbean, archaeological sites like Chichen Itzá which receives a very respectful 6,000 visitors every day on average, where pyramid climbing is not allowed having your selfie made with the device makes total sense to take advantage of the vast areas surrounding Kukulkan Pyramid.

The Castle selfie stick

Get the whole action behind you in Chichen Itza.
Photo: nastya_ods on Instagram.


In less touristy archaeological sites like Coba we wouldn´t recommend stopping in the middle of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid to snap a shot of yourself because, well, the 120 steps have sharp edges and you will be about 12 stories high so it can be challenging to say the least and sort of stupid if we want to be hard on you.

That is why is no surprise to see solo and group photos in any of our social media feeds with the characteristic stick acompanied with numerous hashtags regarding where the picture was taken as well as the mobile device or phone that was used for it creating a torrent of images from different angles and points of view, some more interesting than others but still centered in this “theme”.

Since Mexico has not said a word of wether to ban selfie sticks or not from its many museums and archaeological sites our best guess is that they consider this device safe for you and for their cultural heritage, so its up to the visitors to use common sense when snapping their best shots.

So, selfie sticks, is it a yay or a nay for you?