Cozumel Mayan Ruins Excursion Reviews
I had already been to the Tulum Mayan Ruins and decided to see Chichen Itza, despite its long travel time from the ship because it is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Starting on-board the cruise ship very few directions are given about how you'll get to where you're going. It would be easy to get confused and lost so I've tried to give as much detail as possible.
You show your tickets on the ship to receive a sticker with your group number on it. In our case we were tour group 17. Other groups will be waiting to be called to leave the ship for various other excursions. Once your number is called, you make your way off the ship.
After exiting the ship, you re-board a smaller ferry boat to get to the main land. You'll be on this ship with people going on a variety of other tours. I am pretty resistant to sea sickness and felt okay during the ride, but there were lots of people puking during the 45 minute ride. There are restrooms on the ferry and staff distribute sick bags. If you are prone to motion sickness, take meds BEFORE you get on the ferry so they are working in time for the ride. Meds are for sale on the ship right before you leave for the excursion.
You then look for a person holding a sign with your tour name on it along the street. These signs did not specify "Royal Caribbean" so this is a place where some mix up could occur. You then walk a short distance through the town with your group before being asked for your ticket in order to board a motor coach for a two hours ride to the interior of the Yucatan where the ruins are located. Our guide didn't read the ticket to ensure people were on the right tour and one person did turn up to be in the wrong place, but realized it too late and had to stay with our group. For the ride you are given a brown paper bag with a snack of muffin, banana, chips, juice box. You are told that you will receive a bottle of water, bottle of pop and sandwich later. There are also places to buy drinks, and snacks at the site.
Before exiting the bus you are given a radio so you can hear your tour guide easily. I was glad I had my own earphones with me at this point. You have a chance to visit the restroom before the tour begins. Our tour guides were not impressive at all and spoke in monotone voices making exciting history sound boring. After touring briefly we were given free time to explore on your own. Read up on the site before arriving so that you have context. There are no interpretive signs at the site. You also are not allowed to climb any of the ruins including the well where people used to swim. Bring lots of drinking water (2 bottles each) because it is so hot. Some tour companies gave their groups umbrellas - we were envious because it is just so hot!
We were told if we were even one minute late getting back to the bus we would be left behind so we got back 10 minutes early. During summer months this site is very crowded (I was told) which makes it hard to see everything which is just something to keep in mind.
The transportation process is reversed on the return trip.
Despite some the heat, monotone tour guides, travel time, we would recommend the tour because of the historic value received.
Chitzen Itsa is simply not to be missed. It is an eceptionally long trip and only 1.5 hours of time at the site, but this is mac daddy of Mayan architecture. You are the first to leave the boat and the last to return, so don't plan on any other shoreside activities. It was $125.00, but in my eyes worth it.
While in Cozumel, we went on the Mayan Ruins/city tour, shopped, and ate at Panchos Backyard Restaurant. We started our day with the tour. We enjoyed learning about the culture and seeing the city and surrounding areas. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Mayan culture, since he is a descendant of the Mayan heritage. The tour was okay but a bit lengthy.. A one time experience. While on the tour we visited the beach area. Loved the clear water and the scenic view.
When we returned to town, we met with Anna (our shopping expert) to purchase a ring for my husband. The staff at Diamonds International and Tanzanite International were very helpful, going out of their way for our perfect selection. We also did the jewelry treasure hunt and received many nice "freeby" gifts. We asked where to eat, and we were referred to a Mexican Restaurant (name was not given).
When we went to the restaurant, we realized we were at Pancho's. In 2008 we ate at Pancho's downtown. Our memories were very vivid of the staff and the xylophone players. Our servers were delighted to hear of our past experience and celebrated with us by giving us a round of drinks and joining in our fun. The food is excellent and very authentic. We will return to Pancho's the next time we visit Cozumel. Lasting impression with memories.
Easy for walking.
There is not adequate time to journey by bus and ferry to Chichen Itza. We were promised 2 and 1/2 hours and only had 1 hour and 20 minutes. Major disappointment.
Booked a shore excursion to Chechen Itza, 119 pp, leave at 7:45 am and be back at 4:21 pm, the cruise departed at 4:30 pm. And spent only 1 hour there. Most the time was spent on ferry and bus. The tourguide was selling crafts and books on bus. I would go snorkeling next time.
We visited the Coba Mayan ruins. The only downside was that it took almost two hours to get there and we had a flat on the tour bus on our way home. This cut into some of the shopping time. The Mayan ruins are a must for anyone who is interested in history. Hopefully you are lucky enough to get Lily as your guide. She is amazing.
Do not plan on doing this excursion if you cannot walk well or need help getting around. Maybe check into the Tulum visit as it might be a bit easier to get around.
A MUST SEE!
A very long day. A 45 mins boat trip to the mainland, then a 3 hour coach trip to Chitchen Itza. We had a couple of hours at the Mayan ruins, a very nice lunch included, and then another 3 hour drive back to the ferry and another 45 min trip back to the ship. A good trip but a little long.
In Cozumel, Mexico - we went to see Mayan ruins and did an Island tour. Our tour guide was Nacho and he was really good. We stopped on a small beach and collected rocks. After our excursion, we went shopping. Out of the ports, I think the souvenir shopping near the port was cheapest here.
The only reason this is 5 star instead of 6 is the travel time. Its 1.5 hours each way to get there (45 minute ferry ride and then a 45 minute bus ride). Left no time to really shop anywhere. However, the ruins themselves are AMAZING, and our tour guide, Lily, was so passionate about the history and her country and people. She was a delight.
Great with great guide.Fabulous margaritas.
The excursion was great, our guide was very knowledgeable and I really like seeing the ruins and hearing about their history. A couple of us (there were 4 of us together) went for the longer walk -- it was only hard because it was SO hot! Glad I wore my walking tennis shoes, rocky areas to walk. (We almost burned our clothes when we returned!). We were rather put off by the stores at the terminal in the morning, though, the shop keepers practically grabbed us to come in!
Tulum Express. The excursion was excellent. The tour guide was great. The ferry picked up right by the cruise ship. Everyone should make it a point to visit the Mayan runes. The box lunch provided by RCI was terrible. It was tuna and crackers with water to drink.
We were so excited to see the ruins! Excursion included shopping, lunch and beach break. Don't know what happened but took us over 2 hours to get to ruins and they said because we were late we only had 15 minutes to see ruins. Which was all you really needed but was expecting a hour. Not a great as you would think but can say you saw it. Only had 15 minutes to shop. The beach and lunch ended up being the highlight of excursion. Great authentic Mexican food! Beach was beautiful with a nice small surf!
The Cozumel experience was different for we landed at another part of Cozumel. My son and I decided to go ashore and see what was offered. We booked a parasail experience with an independent operator since. But my son wanted to see the Mayan ruins so we asked to the RC excursion booking agent onshore to sign us up for the next bus, which he did. After an hour long drive we got to the ruins and our guide took us along many places and temple ruins. Of course these ruins were a lot smaller than others I have seen like Tulum and Costa Maya, but still since he had never seen ruins before he liked them. Our guide talked about the mathematical talents of the Mayan, but that did not interest me and a few others .I found out later that he did this because it was a 20 minute walk to one of the other main temples. After we visited the shops and I bought a throw blanket. Then we drove to a beach which had two large coral rock hills that our guide warned us to be careful not to go on as coral is sharp. Since I had walked Aruba coral I decided to ignore the warning and enjoyed some spectacular views of rock water cutouts and beautiful shorelines that reminded of me of the Pacific Coast highway 101 views in California.
It was really hot. While it was informative, i was ready to go back to the cruise after 1 hour. We did the adult tour for the mayan ruins. Our shuttle took us to the mayan ruins first, then to a tequila factory where we got to sample different types of tequila, and lastly visited a Discover Mexico museum site ( this was not worth it). Lunch was provided -- food was just okay. i rather stay on board and eat cruise food.
First we had to get to the mainland. Took a ferry about 25 minutes. We had a very good guide, Carlos. We stopped at a souvenir shop along the way. The facilities were clean. We walked around the ruins. It wasn't too hot or too humid as I was afraid it might be in May.
We book the Mayan ruins tour. We traveled on an air conditioned buss to the ruins site. Margarita was out tour guide. She was very friendly and knowledgeable about the Mayan culture and history. We toured the ruin site, after being bathed in insect repellant. After the rain, the mosquitos will carry you off if your not protected. After the tour, we were allowed a short time of shopping and reboarded the bus. We traveled to the opposite side of the island and stopped at a beautiful beach area. After a few minutes of shopping and photographing the sea, we left and were returned to the pier. The shopping at the Internation Pier was good with several shops near by.
We rented a jeep with a tour guide, maybe 6 jeeps total. Drove all around the island. It was very entertaining. Went to only one Mayan ruin village. The guides were very informative.
- Costa Maya - much nicer port area. Went on the Kohunlich Ruins tour. Well worth the 2 hour bus ride, and a very impressive set of ruins. Well run tour.
We took the shorter (4 hr.) Mayan ruins tour and really enjoyed the small group and great guide. He knows the historical significance, speaks English well, and he really showed us around the entire island. It was HOT! but umbrellas helped, and we stopped at a fabulous seaside-on-the-sand little snack stop and enjoyed the best ceviche and beers of the entire trip/cruise.
Cozumel as beautiful as it always is was a very fun and informative port. The beaches were clean, water impeccable and very knowledgeable tour guide. I will return to Cozumel and take the Scuba helmet diving excursion.
Cozumel was simply amazing. The folks were friendly and outgoing. We traveled via a very nice motor coach to the Tulum Ruins. This trip was very informative and scenic. I will revisit Cozumel again and plan on going diving in the coral reefs.
Our guide was a descendant of the Mayan people and taught us so much about the culture! One of the ruins was the house of the matchmaker and our guide told us about the Mayan marriage and divorce rituals. We also saw the ruins of a temple and we learned about the rituals surrounding birth. It was really interesting. At the end of the tour was a bar and gift shop, where we sampled different flavors of tequila and we could purchase margaritas. It was not a very long tour because it was coupled with a beach break, but it was just the right length to learn a few things.
In Cozumel, we got right on a ferry to PDC, and took a bus ride to the ruins at Tulum. THIS WAS AWESOME. Bus ride was informative, Carlos did a great job explaining their city and the ruins. We broke off from our group once inside, and explored on our own, but loved the entire day. We bought some amazing hand carved masks from the shop right by the taco stand. We also bought our son the cartouche necklace as a souvenir, which he loved. The margaritas at the taco stand are strong! But good. Bring lots of money on this one, as you'll want to buy the picture of you by the ruins, and book- great keepsake- lunch, and handmade items that were unique to this port. Back to Cozumel- it was somewhere that I wish we had more time to shop/explore but our excursion took up most of our day. Would still do again! I wish I would have sampled and purchased a lot more rum cake before getting back on the ship 8)
This was a short tour and not very exciting. There wasn't much to see.
A really interesting day, made all the more interesting by the commentary from our excellent guide whose name was Jesus.
The ruins were such a surprise. Tourists can get right up on top of the ruins - there are no 'keep off' signs as I was expecting.
The ruins were teeming with iguana's and these were also really interesting.
We stopped at a gorgeous beach for 90 minutes before returning to the ship. The water was a beautiful colour and the slope into the sea was gentle.
We booked the Mayan Ruin tour through the ship. Our guide, Juan, was really nice and informative. He was a Mayan descendant. He kept us entertained both directions and was excited to share his culture. Tulum is very very hot, make sure to wear sunscreen and bring a hat. The ruins were really beautiful and it was really cool to see iguanas roaming free everywhere throughout the park. They no longer allow anyone to climb on the ruins, so everything was seen at a distance only but still very cool.
The boat to go to Playa De Carmen was late leaving the dock. Got to Playa De Carmen and got on a bus. About 1/2 hour into the ride we stopped at a rest stop. The tour guide stated that the bathrooms at the ruins were not good so we were stopping here for better bathrooms. Turned out to be a tourist trap for 45 minutes. There was a gift shop there. The bathrooms weren't bad. Ultimately 13 buses all stopped there at the same time so it got quite crowded. When we finally got to the ruins, my husband checked out the bathrooms and it turned that they were not that bad.
The ruins were beautiful - they had actually changed since I was there in 2000. There were new pathways and green grass and more trees. Turned out they actually rebuilt some of the fallen ruins. There was a Mayan Market at the entrance to the ruins. Able to negotiate prices.
Very rushed when we got back to the dock to get on the cruise since everything was running late from the delayed departure.
When we spoke to the people on the cruise ship about our disappointment, they were not very accomodating to listen to us.
This is a long day and you should be in good shape to do it as it requires a lot of walking. There is a long ferry ride to and from the mainland.
This is a must-do for anyone who enjoys history! It was much cheaper to get a cab when we got there.
I went to Tulum while my husband and son swam with the dolphins.
Tulum was a great site and we didn't have enough time there and definitely worth seeing. Watch out for the vendors. I didn't bargain very well and realized later I paid way too much for the vanilla and a silver necklace. There seem to be American prices for everything. Tacos at Tulum for example were $8 but I'm certain the locals pay only a fraction of that.
Did the 7 hour excursion to Tulum. It takes a while to get out to the actual site and because the excursion doesn't provide water/snack/ meal, it's best that you bring some with you. We didn't break until well after noon and the sun was out in full force so if you have blood sugar issues or worry about dehydration, prepare yourself.
That said, the guide was excellent and clearly very passionate about her job. She thanked us for picking a cultural tour as she knows many who travel to the Caribbean are likely seeking other excursions which include the beach, snorkeling, drinking ...etc.
The ruins are protected so there is no climbing at this location. They are located along the coast so there are no bug issues [ as there may be at other sites ]. There is also a beach area access too.
Small stop at shop for use of the bathroom and picking up snacks or water along the way. It's actually a nice break since it does take a little while to get out there.
We had a great excursion in Cozumel. We took the excursion to the Mayan Ruins that are on Cozumel, not on the mainland. Our tour guide, Alen, was excellent. He not only shared the facts from historians, , but also the local legends passed down by "Grandpa". The ruins were interesting. After the ruins, we went to a local beach for about 30 minutes, just enough to get a feel for the "real Cozumel". We loved this tour.
Mayan Ruins in Tulum
We were tendered to shore in Cozumel then put on the fairy to the mainland. This is a very LONG tour and I would recommend you book thru the ship.
Pamela was our tour guide and all I can say is she made this experience 5 stars!! She took us to a clean bathroom and place to shop then on to the ruins. It is very hot on this tour..dress accordingly. There is a beach to go to but not really enough time to do this. Pamela our guided the tour from start to finish IF you want to stay with her. She has been a guide for 14 yrs so you learn so much and she shows you the important stuff without the stuff you can pass. She got us back to the ferry and we were the last boat so this tour is wise to book thru the ship so they will WAIT for you.This was our favorite excursion.
We booked a trip to Tulum, handled by Sun and Fun Tours (?). Unlike our Roatan snorkeling trip this was relatively well organized although there was a hickup with the ferry and we again had to wait for quite some time on the ship. Keep in mind that a LOT of people want to go on the tours to the Mayan ruins and since they are on the mainland of Mexico it takes quite some time to get there. We chose Tulum over Chichen Itza because the trip was considerably shorter and in hindsight it was a very good choice. We had a German tour guide which made it comfortable for us and after a short tour with her through the ruins we had plenty of time to swim at the small beach, further explore the ruins on our own and have lunch in the souvenir area. Careful if you want to pay in USD, you definitely will get ripped off. If you mind then better change a few USD to pesos and pay local prices. Since we had only a small lunch we could live with 10 pesos = 1 USD.
We were really happy to get to go to Tulum. It is an interesting place to visit and loved learning about the Mayans. The guide was passionate and knowledgeable. The downside is that Tulum is an awkward excursion from Cozumel, being about 90 minutes away. This leaves only about two hours to tour the ruins. Part of the commute was on a ferry boat that has to cross a channel that is not smooth sailing. Luckily no one on the ferry seemed to be prone to sea sickness.
The guide was very up front about the fact that he was steering us to eat and buy souvenirs at places that he trusted and did business with. Our meal at the place that he recommended in Tulum was good.
We took the long boat ride and bus trip to Talum. What a fantastic archaelogical site. Although it rained, we had a great time. Note, the boat ride from Cozamel to Playa Carmine is always rough. The ferrys are modern and handle the waives well. We've taken the ride twice now and have always seen people get sick so prepare for it. When you tour these sites keep in mind that there is no shade. Our family really enjoys seeing the ruins and trying to get a feel for these amazing societies. Just remember it's real and takes alot of walking and water stops. There is a great beach if you come prepared. Try the fish tacos at Mr. Chillys (i think it was called). Just remember the Myans don't play around with there salsa. It's really hot and really good. Another reason to bring lots of water. Our guide was the best ever. I wish I could recall her name. The bus also stops at a gift shop/bathroom break on the way to the site. Reasonably priced authentic gifts with no haggling. Next time we're in the area I think we'll check out Chankanaab National Park.
Excellent Tour guide. The local ruins are not as spectacular as some of the mainland Mexico sites, but are a worthwhile stop.
Even with the long ride out to the Ruins it was still a good attraction to visit. The tour guide ( you pay to have a guide or you can look around for free) was of Mayan decent and he really knew about his history. Enjoyed.
David the tour guide was awesome. The ruins were not quite as impressive as I had thought they might be but the overall experience was enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it.
Our tour guide Li Li was very nice, professional and very informative. She made the bus ride to and from the ruins in Tulum interesting. The bus driver was a good driver and we felt completely safe and in good hands. They got us to and from the ship in time for us to depart.
We took the Ancient Culture/Mayan Ruins & Island Sightseeing. It was on an air conditioned bus. The tour guides Alex and Silvia were excellent and well versed in the history of the Maya Ruins and Conzumel. I do recommend to take or buy mosquito repellent. There is a lot of mosquitos around the ruins and there is nothing they can do about it., But with mosquito repellent you should be ok.
I purchased a "Tour of Tulum with Beach Break" for Cozumel. The ferry to/from Playa del Carmen was not a problem. Once we arrived, however, we had to walk quite a few blocks to board our bus. Some of the older and less able-bodied people had a hard time with that, and it was unexpected. Our tour guides were friendly enough, but once we got to Tulum, things went bad. We were told that the guided tour would be about 30-45 minutes, and then we would have about 30 minutes of free time to walk around the site and take pictures. The tour guide named Patricio was terrible. We followed him to the site, and he had us stand in the shade just inside the gate, and he talked on and on about the Mayans in general. He pointed to nearby stones and talked about what used to be on that spot. He was sweating profusely, and while other tours were walking around the site, from building to building, we seemed rooted in our shady spot. We finally started walking, and he stopped again, and talked a long time, but didn't really say much about the buildings there at the site. Finally, someone mentioned that we needed to get back to the bus soon. He had talked the whole time, so we never got time to walk around and take pictures. Poor time management! He briskly led us past the major buildings, still didn't tell us ANYTHING about them, and continued walking, out of the park and back to the parking lot. Most of us were on the bus on time, but the tour guides and a few passengers remained in the gift shop another 20 minutes or so. We were late leaving, so we were late to our beach break. We had a decent buffet lunch, and some people spent about 30 minutes on the beach. Then, we got back on the bus. The bus driver couldn't maneuver the bus out of the parking lot into the narrow street. He went back and forth, trying different angles. About 25 minutes later, we finally got moving. We had to park the bus where we had boarded, so some people paid for pedi-cabs back to the ferry and the rest of us had to follow the tour guide, briskly walking the several blocks pack to the pier. We arrived back at the Grandeur an hour after it was supposed to leave, and had to endure the walk of shame, with other passengers jeering at us about being late and holding up the ship. Thank goodness it waited for us. What a lousy tour! I had to go home and google Tulum to find out what the major buildings there were. I complained and was given a 30% refund, but what a waste of my day in Cozumel that was.
We were told the ruins would be great, and they were nice enough. Maybe we had higher expectations of the site itself. The tour guide was informative and good, though ended the tour short and abruptly to our surprise without any lead up to it. What soured this experience first of all is when they cattled us through a photo session obviously meant to sell to families with children. As an two males on a honeymoon couple they basically stopped talking and smile (!) when they lined us up for a picture. Way to set the mood! Also, the driver promptly came up to each party and told us all to tip generously. As you probably can guess, we did *not* buy their ridiculous attempt to sell us a photo, and we tipped accordingly.
Ruins were very nice, the guide was informative and quite funny. Wish they would give a bit more time to explore the ruins on our own - felt a bit rushed. The guide also suggested we pick up souvenirs at the gift shops there on the ruins site, that the prices were better but they absolutely were not. Prices were at least double or more at the ruins compared to the shops at the port. Little disappointed that the guide helped us walk right into that tourist trap.
HOT but there's no changing the climate! :) we had a lovely time and our guide was helpful, informative, and had a lot of pictures, hands-on examples, and even showed us personal things like his wife's birth certificate that gave a truly unique look into the mayan culture.
We took the San Gervasio Ruins tour. requires some walking, but not strenuous. very impressed! great history if you're in to that sort of thing, don't know if it would be something kids would be interested in. some shopping at the ruins, people were very nice and not pushy at all.
Took a great tour with the tour guide telling us history of certain parts of cozumel as we drove by. would definitely recommend.
Our tour was fantastic!! This was the main reason for coming on this cruise-- after coming to Cancun or Cozumel many times we Finally got to see the ruins. They were beyond amazing--- most memorable thing of the whole trip.
Really enjoyed the trip to the Mayan Ruins. We toured Tulum. Don't miss the beach - the view of the ruins from the water is really neat. The cruise line completely took care of us. Picked us up from the port, arranged for a tour guide and history overview prior to the tour, and made sure we made it back to the boat in time for us to leave.
Tulum Ruins Excursion made for a long day. The ferry ride was choppy as described in other review. They provide a small lunch but our daughter got sick on the ferry over. We thought she could bring her beverage and the lunch items (which needed no refrigeration) back to the ship at the end of the tour. Be warned security will not allow any food or drink back on the boat even if you brought water from the ship and did not drink it during the excursion.
Went to Chitza Nitza. Walk to ferry, ferry ride, walk to bus, 3 hour bus ride, crummy Subway lunch with sugar soda (not even water), great tour guide on bus and at ruins, best ruins we've been to off ship, reverse trip back. Ferry was waiting for us and went to dock next to cruise ship. Got to dinner at 7. Loved the ruins and worth the bus ride. I would take food off the ship, even if you have to bring granola bars from home or little boxed cereals from ship. Also make sure you buy bottled water while you are in Chitza Nitza. It is a long ride back and they do not give you more water.
Learned a lot more about the Mayans than I thought we would. Very fasinating.
Below average tour guide. He was hard to understand. An older Mexican caballero who probably would've better working something else or doing nothing and enjoy his retirement. Tried to be informative but it was obvious that he struggles with his presentations...