Costa Maya Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Reviews
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!!!