Cozumel Tulum Excursion Reviews
In Cozumel, we took a ferry to an excursion of Tulum, a Mayan ruin site. We chose the Epic and its itinerary for this specific excursion. Naturally, this tour was also fabulous because we were engaged and asking lots of questions. The tour guide was knowledgeable and efficient in our lessons, leaving us plenty of time for temple selfies! Note that Tulum was an important port city and not known for sacrifice, contrary to Chichen Itza. This tour is an all-day tour and you will be the last ones to return to the Epic. Unfortunately, we had no time to shop in Cozumel before or after the tour so this excursion may not be for you if you want a beach day.
Mexico was pricey. They know tourists have money so they make airports look cheap. Good food though. And Tulum was breathtaking, though our ship didn't stay long enough for us to go to the beach; we had to rush back to the ship.
Too much traveling, not enough time at the ruins. You take a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, then board a bus that takes you almost an hour to Tulum. On the way to Tulum, you stop at a building where you can use the restrooms and purchase souvenirs or snacks. Upon arriving at Tulum, the bus parks and you walk 10 minutes to the ruins. You're giving about 1.5 hrs to roam around the ruins after your tour guide gives you a brief overview.
There were also WAY too many people there. It was hard to take decent pictures and to take it all in. It is a really beautiful area, I just wished that there were less people and more time to spend there.
I highly suggest getting off Cozumel and going to Playa Del Carmen, a short 45 minute ferry ride west. Take your sea sickness pills if you're sensitive. I was pleased with how "European" the area felt - not a tacky mariachi band in sight. I did the day trip to Tulum which was very informative however it was a LONG day - be prepared for that. Well worth it though. The tour guide lost some credibility in my book when he started recommending specific vendors/restaurants that clearly were friends and/or he was getting a kickback. The fish tacos at the Tulum Site were disappointing.
TULUM was okay.
From there it went south.....the advertised beach lunch was horrid. Food awful. Restaurant deck under construction with rusty nails, saws and hammers laying around. Beach dogs were walking about where we were to eat and relax. Furniture was crap. Toilets unusable. We asked for refund.
FYI........we arrived back at the ship 90 minutes late. Due to bus traffic. The ferry ride was so rough that our tour guide threw up.
We missed our assigned dinner seating.....so we had a pizza and gelato night.
We were docked at this island and had to take a high speed catamaran to Playa del Carmen where we boarded a bus for the hour long ride to Tulum with a toilet and gift shop stop along the way.
The ruins were quite interesting but our guide spent too muc time showing us pictures of Chichen Itza and explain the Mayan history. We enjoyed walking around in the little time we had to explore on our own. More iguana here.
The $2 trolley was worth it. It rained a bit but it stopped soon.
The beer and fish tacos in one of the restaurants was good with the habanero sauce at our own expense.
Another long bus ride followed by a rough catamaran ride from Playa back to Cozumel just in time to board. Another Carnival ship had docked right next to us when we returned. As we cruised out to sea we saw 2 Norwegian cruise ships docked next to each other at another dock.
Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E1nS4uO7gU
Nice tour. Rather crowded due to the holiday season.
If you are into the history of the Mayan people at all, we highly recommend this tour. The long bus ride went by very quickly as our guide, Angel, a local young man from the Yucatan, who had a masters in archeology, shared more information than a person could possibly remember. He was funny and passionate about this history. The tour stops at a controlled souvenir stop where the local crafts people can sell their authentic crafts at fair trade prices. The ruins in Tulum are fascinating and the walking although probably a couple of miles total, was not difficult. We had time for a nice lunch where Angel had recommended with good fish tacos and an even better chicken quesadilla.
We took the Carnival Cruises excursion to Tulum. Tulum is the Mayan ruins near Cozumel. The excursion was run by Sun and Fun Tours. To get to Tulum requires a 45 minute ferry ride from the dock in Cozumel to Playa del Carmen on the mainland of Mexico. The ride was quite rough and several in our family felt uneasy from the motion sickness. I would suggest motion sickness pills for the ride if you are at all prone to motion sickness. From Playa del Carmen it is another one hour ride by bus to Tulum. Tulum itself is beautiful and fascinating. It is amazing to stand in the midst of a city built over 1,000 years ago. It was educational and our tour guide, Gama, was excellent. The views of the beach and ruins were breathtaking. There was some time to spend at the beach near the ruins. On the way back from the Archaeological Park we had a chance to stop and do some shopping. The prices were normal tourist prices. We arrived back at the ship on time to get on board just before the cruise was underway again. This excursion takes the entire time in Cozumel. I would recommend the visit to Tulum if you are interested in history and/or culture.
I originally wanted to do the Coba tour but it got cancelled, so the next best thing was Tulum express excursion.
First of all, Tulum is on Playa Del Carmen. So you need a 45-60 minute ferry ride to mainland Mexico, and 45-60 minute bus ride to Tulum. At least our bus guide "Carlos" made it an interesting and informative ride.
At Tulum, it was hot and humid, and not wind. So it was quite hot. I think we spent an hour, at Tulum. We didn't spend that much time at the ruin. it was quite small. I think was extended the time was our tour guide Diego made it quite educational.
Afterwards we spent a an hour in Playa Del Carmen shopping center. waiting to gather all the other buses to come back from tulum so we can get the ferry back to Cozumel.
I didn't' know at the time, on board time was 5:30. however our ferry didn't come back til like 6. it was quite a sight see all these officers waiting outside the ship waiting for us 200 tourist to get back on the ship.
Overall, Tulum was smaller than expected, and we didn't spend much time. I expected a more adventurous experience , but it out to be more of an educational school field trip.
We were with Helaman Tours again this day at Tulum, and Carlos was on our bus. Carlos studies archeology and had a wealth of knowledge. We were running behind again today, so our time at Tulum was limited. It was VERY hot and humid and not much shade - be sure you have a hat or umbrella, and take lots of water. You could tell Carlos is very passionate about these ruins and wants to share everything - and that's where a small problem crept up. We were short on time, but he still wanted to tell us everything about Tulum. Several people started leaving the tour early to walk back to the bus because of the heat. I stuck it out because I really wanted to see the Temple on the top that overlooks the sea. We only had a few minutes up on the top and hurry back to the busses to be sure we got back to Playa del Carmen in time to catch the boat to take us back to Cozumel.
Again - the time shortage was no ones fault - just a matter of schedules.
I highly recommend Helaman Tours! - The best!
We did the Tulum Ruins ship tour (CZ02). You spend about two hours at the ruins and 4.5 hours getting there and back - a local ferry (nice) for an hour ride followed by an hour bus ride repeated on the return. The ride from the parking lot to the ruins and the taxi ride from downtown Cozumel back to the ship are not included. The ruins were impressive, just be prepared for a lot of windshield/nap time getting there and back.
I have wanted to see the ruins for a long time and loved it. The guide was knowledgeable and knew the history. I would have loved it more with a smaller group but overall it was a nice experience and my favorite of the excursions.
Great time there but was unseasonably hot that day ( had one lady fall out from heat stroke). Enjoyed the excursion but make sure you bring lots of water and maybe a hat as there is little shade once inside of the ruins.
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!
We had been to Cozumel before and since we were in port longer this time, we chose Tulum. This was the first time we have ever taken an excursion with the cruise line. The tour was nice, but independent, smaller tours are still the way to go, at least for us. The ferry ride to the mainland was fine, but organizing all of us once we got there took quite awhile. The bus ride to Tulum was also OK, but there wasn't a lot of commentary from the guides, which was disappointing. Tulum was really nice, but you aren't able to get close to any of the ruins. The view of the water though is stunning. We went to a beach next and had lunch. It was a buffet and was really tasty! The beach was wonderful, too. We spent a long time in the clear water.
Overall a good excursion. This was our 3rd time to Cozumel and already did the beach, shopping, party thing, so wanted to do something different. Our 12 yr old is interested in history just as much as we are so it was on our bucket list. The tour guide was very informative although he got a bit "preachy". The cultural center was a waste of time, I wish there had been less time there are more time at the ruins since there was already shopping there. By the time the tour was over, we had 10 minutes at the beach and 20 minutes to eat and enjoy a local beer, which was very good...Montejo and Leon. The little restaurant at the ruins had some of the best grouper tacos I've ever had and was really fast! The sites were beautiful as was the beach. And there were iguanas all over!
The ruins at Tulum date from the 12th century. It was a trek from the ship....first a ferry ride, then a bus ride of about an hour. I would have liked a little more time there to see the last city of the Mayans and learn about their culture. The setting is spectacular...overlooking the Caribbean. It is really a privilege to see one of the oldest cities in the Americas.
After this tour I would have given it five stars. Now that it has been a while I give only four. The ruins were a history buffs dream, but looking at picture from other peoples excursions to Tulum, we didn't get to see the half. Also, not very much time to explore and we got drenched with rain. A lot of the ruins are covered up by trees. Our tour guide was nice and informative, didn't really beg for tips afterwards. The buffet was provided in a natural cavern which was neat, but I am a hungry man and the portions were super small. Food was average, nothing like what is on the ship.
I learn more from negative reviews than glowing ones, so I'm going to focus on some things you need to be aware of, not all of them positive.
We 4 adults took the Tulum excursion offered by Royal Caribbean 3/6/14 (CZ02). It was well worth the time and the ruins were most impressive, though not as large as Chichen Itza, of course. Overall, the trip was good and I recommend it. I would urge you to take the ship excursion because it's an all-day trip, and, despite any real setbacks, we were the last people back on shipboard. Fair warning!
It’s a long excursion. We were among the first tours off the ship, and were taken to a dock where we took a ferry, about the size of a large tender, to the Mexican mainland, about a 45-minute ride. Much has been written here about seasickness, but our ride both ways was smooth and I did not see anyone green around the gills. It was actually a pleasant ride. Once on the mainland in Playa del Carmen, we found the tour starting point and met our guide. We set off for the bus area, which is a few blocks winding around some confusing zigs and zags through town. Unfortunately, our guide, who looked like any other local, had no placard or even an umbrella to hold up so we could follow him amid the crowds on the streets. Fortunately we followed the right people and ended up at the correct bus. The 40-minute bus ride to Tulum, is down a mostly 4-lane highway while the guide, who was of Mayan descent, told us a few facts about the Mayans that you could get in the first page of a Wikipedia article. He spent about half of the time pitching a "custom made" Mayan calendar made for any date you pleased, to be delivered at the end of the tour. I did not see any takers, which was encouraging.
We were dumped off for 20 minutes in a warehouse-like crafts gift shop with the usual Mexican souvenirs in great profusion. There were restrooms, which was good since the one in the motor coach was out of order. ("Motor coach"= bus with toilet, so I have to call it a bus.) Pulling into the parking lot, I was disheartened to see about 20 tour buses, but as it turned out, the Tulum grounds did not seem crowded. Points for that. Once off the bus, we walked through some shops and walked roughly a mile down a paved road to the ruins. There is a tractor-pulled trolley [$2US] that you might consider if you don't want to walk it, but you may find it difficult to re-join your group. Regathered at the "gates" of the Tulum ruins, our group walked through a low doorway, and spread out in front of us was a large open area with quite a good number of buildings. It is a magnificent site, with far fewer trees than the Chacchoben ruins we visited near Costa Maya. The guide gave us some background (again, not very informative), and took us around as a group to the high points of the ancient complex. He then let us tour on our own and told us to meet in a half hour, for about an hour total at the site. We enjoyed the free time, but people with mobility problems should know that there are many steps and some small hills to navigate. Still, you can stay on the flat areas and enjoy it.
The adjacent beach, not included on our tour, was spectacular and very tempting--it was early March, but it was very hot and humid. Dress accordingly. We were in a rush to get back to the bus and caught the trolley going back because it was a bit faster. Rushing through another tourist trap souvenir area, we piled back on the bus and were given a box lunch consisting of a kiddie-lunchbox-style tuna and crackers, and water. Better than nothing. After the bus ride back to Playa del Carmen, we threaded our way through the streets (again, trying to follow a nearly invisible guide) to--ready for it?--another gift shop. Seems like no matter how rushed or late a tour is, there is always time for another gift shop.
Then we were hustled off to the dock and a guy handed us our ferry tickets and standing immediately next to him was the person who took the tickets--true south-of-the-border efficiency. The ferry ride back to Cozumel was uneventful, and back on land, we were greeted by the RC excursion director who was waiting for us, saying that we were the last ones to board the ship. Again, fair warning…take a cruise-sponsored tour! We took apples and bananas from the Windjammer buffet with us, but these were confiscated by Mexican authorities at the dock on our return. We didn't need them anyway, as it turned out.
The RC website description of the excursion mentions a $7 taxi ride, but we did not need this, or were even aware of it.
So even with all these issues, I would still recommend the excursion, but I hope you get a better guide.
This was a nice excursion with the exception of it being to long. No time for shopping in the port. You do stop for a picture and bathroom break at a high priced no selection.
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and definitely taught us a lot about Mayan culture and the ruins. It was stinking hot the day we were there and shade was hard to find once we were inside the compound. It was quite amazing to be amongst the ruins of an ancient civilisation and learning about their culture. Tulum was right on the Caribbean sea which was absolutely magnificent to look out on.
RCI includes a packed lunch on this tour but as I wasn't a fan of tuna we stopped for lunch back on Cozumel. However, the restaurant was extremely touristy and the food wasn't the best.