Costa Maya Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Reviews
It was raining quite hard on the one hour trip to the ruins but the driver ensured us it would stop raining (and it did!). He was very knowledgable and gave us all an introduction to the Mayan civilisation and the history of the Chacchoben Ruins. The site is amazing..various buildings in different stages of being 'uncovered' but impressive in scale and a real insight into the way people lived in this area. My daughter loved climbing the ruins and exploring. We say monkeys and for any history and/or nature buff (flora and fauna) this is the one for you.
Excellent guide, interesting destination. Weather was perfect and it was great to walk in the jungle in such a moderate temperature. My husband did not take this excursion. This was the first we have been to this port which is clean and pleasant.
Enjoyed the tour very educational and worth the money spent. Loved the history.
I would reccomend that if you are going to see any of the ruins (and why would you skip out on the ruins?) this is an excellent choice. AC bus ride to and from with a narrator (Carlos?). I took the last row of the bus as it has a middle seat and therefore I had unlimited legroom. The ride is fairly uneventful but it isn't like they can move the ruins closer to the port, right? The narrator gave us a bunch of information though so it keep everyone entertained (except our kids who had the benifit of headphones and MP3 layers.) We were all given a snack bag when we got on the bus, and it had some good choices in there so nobody starved, but remember, it is a snack, not a 5 star meal)
As for the ruins themselves, we were told that in Cozumel you could no longer climb on the ruins. I don't know if that is true but, I did know the rules were not the same here. They do have some ropes to stop folks from climbing up past a certain point on some of them but, you will be climbing quite a bit anyway. some of the tour does have some steep climbing and while everyone in our tour group made it, some of the older or less athletic members were challanged a bit. Our bus narrator was also our tour guide and he really knew what he was talking about. There is also a small section to buy more of the same stuff you see other places.
If you choose to skip a tour but still want to see the ruins, you would need to rent a car but admission tothe park was under $4.00 if you go on your own. There are tour guides there or you can just wonder around but know that if you go on your own, there are no signs telling you about what youa re seeing, like there often is in the US.
The tour guide was a bit disorganized at first (it was New Year's Day & he admitted he'd been out too late), but more than made up for it as things went on. The ruins are extensive & interesting, & he was knowledgeable about them & history in the Yucatan area in general. We were on the "deluxe" version which was in a van so we got more time at the ruins. We also saw a really interesting project where they are cultivating sting-less (yep, that's correct) bees and vanilla orchids. It's not retail yet, but they hope it will be soon - really interesting to learn about.
The tour guides, Casey and Saul, were fantastic. We learned so much history from this tour about the Mayans and their culture. One of the best excursions we've had.
These were my favorite ruins of this trip. It was about an hour bus ride from the port, and the guide on our bus (Helaman) took time to explain what we were going to see. Once we got there, we had a few minutes to look at the things in the store, then started to the ruins. Helaman did a great job at each spot explaining what we were seeing, and what happened there so many years ago. I took the time to climb to the top of one of the Temples/Pyramids and it was well worth it! A great experience!
Helaman Tours makes the experience come alive!
Well organized...Ruins were awesome!!!
We boarded our buses at the port for about an hour drive to our destination. Our guide was Daniel and he taught all of us a lot about the Mayan Civilization, history and culture. He answered questions and was apologetic when he didn't know and answer. We thoroughly enjoyed the excursion.
We went off the beaten path here. I booked an excursion with a local group called Native Choice. It was the right choice for us. It was a guided tour of the Chacchoben ruins and an opportunity to explore the local culture at the Mayan community villages inland. The first thing we were told is that the Mayans are not extinct. The culture was altered by invasions of other cultures but the Mayan people are alive and well and living in Belize. They are making every effort to resurrect as many of the old traditions as possible and keep them alive for future generations. What we saw and learned was presented by the community itself and offered an inside look that is rare and very special for just a one day journey. Our guide Joel gave us so much to think about and feel when showing us the ruins. They were very extensive and exposed a view of the realities of Mayan life historically. The drive into the countryside to the villages laid out the contemporary lifestyle the Mayan people are living. You can’t get that from a short drive around a city. The lunch and quick lesson in cooking local cuisine was fun and our hosts were so kind. The kitchen was old traditional woodstove and gave great flavor to the food. The level of cleanliness and care was impeccable. I wish my kitchen were always that clean and organized. I also wish Carnival would give back by hiring this company for their excursions, they did a great job. I wanted this to last longer. This port deserved much more time than Carnival gave it. We were feeling rushed and there was no need as the trip back to Florida left us with much time to spare.
Another fun day in paradise, the trip is long but you are in a coach bus, worth the ride. The ruins are fantastic, ended up in another beach resort, with food and open bar. Perfect day.
Erick was our tour guide of about 12 people. We were the youngest in the group, but the rest weren't exactly geriatric. They were quite young-at-heart. Erick gave us some history en route, which was fascinating. The ruins were thoroughly explained to us, Erick kept things incredibly informative, and we traveled at our own pace. The terrain was suitable for the less-than ideally mobile, but was not wheelchair or stroller accessible. We saw a spider monkey, got to explore the ruins, and learned a whole lot about ancient Mayan culture. On the way home, Erick let us stop at a local pineapple shack to buy some local pineapple and pineapple juice. Oh, so happy! The other tour groups had massive amounts of people, ours was small and more intimate. I highly recommend The Native Choice.
The ruins themselves were actually pretty cool. There was plenty to see there, and we even got to see a spider monkey up in the trees. The port of Costa Maya is incredibly run down and now that I've already seen the ruins, I can't think of any reason I'd need to get off the ship in this port. Disney should re-think stopping in CM.
I loved this excursion! It was so well done: air conditioned motor coach, bag lunch, knowledgeable guide, great archeological site, plenty of time to explore and take pictures. Our guide Lisbeth was fantastic! She kept us laughing during the hour long bus ride to the ruins. All the while teaching us about Mayan history and culture. The ruins were really well cared for and the grounds surrounding them were well manicured.
My kids liked the tour, it kept their attention. We even got to experience some of the natural wildlife. They saw leaf-cutter ants cutting a path through the grass and spider monkeys swinging from the trees above our heads. It was amazing!
this is a great tour if you have never seen ruins before, it was only 4 hours and for us that was long enough. It's an hour bus ride to and from so you can rest or listen to the tour guide. We had Diana Garcia Reyes and she did a great job and kept it interesting.
Costa Maya is basically an effort to create a cruise line stop where nothing much existed before. There is a small fishing village near by, but I have to assume that they are more touristy than fishing these days. As you drive through the town near the pier, you can see streets laid out that are completely unoccupied, I think they hope that they will be the next Playa de Carmen eventually, but right now, not much there. We did another mayan ruins tour plus lunch/beach break. Alot of time in the bus to get us to the ruins and back. Good tour guide along the way and at the ruins. But I think we enjoyed the ruins in Belize more. With all the time on the bus, not a huge amount of time left for the beach break after.
OMG! If you have even an inkling of interest in ancient Mayan culture, do NOT miss the Chochoben ruins. I booked with Native Choice and was not sorry. We were a small group of 12 and got a wonderful tour and feel for what life was like 2,000 years ago. Maybe I have to qualify this by saying I speak fluent Mexican-Spanish, so we got a little preferential treatment, but even so, it was amazing. The jungle is totally cleared and there are 3 pyramids to see and a plaza. Smart idea to wear bug spray. One warning would be that the steep stairs are very slippery and dangerous to climb but the view from below is just as good. The highlight of the tour came when the van halted along the highway and we bought FRESH pineapple from native women. They gave us a special smoke-flavored chile powder to sprinkle to enhance the sweetness. It tasted like PURE sugar. Also, the honey tapped from jungle trees is s'psd to be excellent but I don't like honey so I can't comment. We ended the tour happy and on a sugar high. I will never eat canned pineapple again!!!
A great but hot adventure! The bus ride took an hour and we realized how unpopulated this part of Mexico is (after Hurrican Dean destroyed much of it). The ruins were as authentic of an experience you can have without being Indiana Jones. Even the snake warnings were real! We didn't see any but I kept my eyes open!