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Costa Maya Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Reviews

Costa Maya Chacchoben Mayan Ruins cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Deep in the Mexican jungle, Chacchoben is among the most famous ruins in Cozumel. These ancient pyramids have been excavated and restored, and now stand as testament to the myths and rituals of the mysterious Mayan peoples.
Member Image Herbs Mom
2 reviews
Not Rated
Nov 2014

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!

Read Herbs Mom's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Helaman Tours
Member Image turbofixr
1 review
Nov 2014

Well organized...Ruins were awesome!!!

Read turbofixr's full MSC Divina cruise review
Provider: MSC Cruises
Member Image bobvento
1 review
Not Rated
May 2014

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.

Read bobvento's full Carnival Glory cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Rencruiser3
1 review
Not Rated
May 2014

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.

Read Rencruiser3's full Carnival Liberty cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image bluedaisy3916
1 review
Not Rated
Mar 2014

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.

Read bluedaisy3916's full Norwegian Dawn cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image KansasEMT
1 review
Not Rated
Mar 2014

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.

Read KansasEMT's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: The Native Choice
Member Image cmurray234
1 review
Feb 2014

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.

Read cmurray234's full Disney Fantasy cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image WI5FAM
1 review
Not Rated
Jan 2014

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!

Read WI5FAM's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image wsx99
4 reviews
Not Rated
Jan 2014

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.

Read wsx99's full Norwegian Dawn cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Tigerman67
1 review
Jan 2014

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.

Read Tigerman67's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Annalise
8 reviews
Not Rated
Dec 2013

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!!!

Read Annalise's full Nieuw Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: The Native Choice
Member Image Gobalina
1 review
Mar 2013
Better than anticipated. Large site with several structures. One site still is covered with trees and vegetation.
Read Gobalina's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image naelindy
1 review
Mar 2013
In Costa Maya, we went to see the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins with Native Choice. I am glad we did this, because there isn't much to see or do in Costa Maya outside of the port area. Our guides were Ivan and David. They were funny, informative and knowledgeable about the area and the ruins. It was easy to meet up with them just outside the port. We loaded into a tour bus (I would say about 40 people total), and the drive there was just under an hour I'd say. We all got bottles of water on the bus. Ivan told us about Costa Maya and nearby Majahual, the culture and the people who live there. The ruins themselves were very cool to see; we had never seen ruins before. I didn't realize how many pyramids and different structures there were at the site. Some of them we could climb, which I was happy about. David and Ivan broke us down into smaller groups, so we could see and hear better. The tour itself took about two hours. We were in David's group, and he was great. Very interesting. Gorgeous area, too - tons of huge palm trees. Very lush. There are some little shops and touristy things at the entrance to the ruins. We didn't buy anything. If you even so much as looked/got close to something, the shopkeepers would try very hard to get you to buy. They were a tad aggressive, and you could bargain with them on prices. We just kept saying, no thanks, no thanks. On the way back, our bus stopped by a little roadside shack for fresh pineapple. Women and children set up these little huts to sell pineapple, coconuts and other fruits. The pineapple was amazing! For $1 we got a thick slice with chili powder to dip it in. So yummy! Back in the port area, we had a little bit of time to walk around and check out the shops. I got some sweet cowboy boots at Rogers Boots. Was first told $280, but negotiated down to $95. They are very comfortable, nice quality boots. And I've gotten so many compliments on them since I've been home!
Read naelindy's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image ReverendVW
2 reviews
Feb 2013
Costa Maya, chacchoben ruins. The tour was ok. bus ride was only an hour each way, and the guide ends up selling you local made trinkets on the bus....for cheap...buy them...they are cool. the beach they bring you to, was great, the staff were awesome. I tipped one guy $20 for all 6 of us, and he kept bringing us "orange juices" by the ride home, everybody was in great spirits,and it became karaoke on the bus.
Read ReverendVW's full Carnival Glory cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Hambagahle
8 reviews
Jan 2013
Superb guide and a very interesting and worthwhile excursion. Chacchoben is very different from Lamanai in Belize and so very well worth seeing as well.
Read Hambagahle's full Riviera cruise review
Provider: Oceania Cruises
Member Image dvandkq
1 review
Dec 2012
Got up early to leave the boat at 7:30 AM for our exploration of the Chacchoben Mayan ruins on December 21, 2012 - the supposed last day of the Mayan calendar! We walked down the long pier at Costa Maya, through the cruise ship tourist strip mall, and boarded our bus for the one hour drive to Chacchoben. 'Lisbeth', our tour guide, provided lots of useful information on the history, culture, geography and climate of the area. We were well-informed before we arrived at the ruins. Lisbeth's expert descriptions and volumes of information regarding what we were seeing on the tour was invaluable. The ruins are fascinating, and it was extra-special to be climbing the temples on 12-21-12. After an uneventful bus ride back to Costa Maya, we walked around the tourist strip mall for a few minutes before re-boarding the ship.
Read dvandkq's full Disney Wonder cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image Floridiana
1 review
Dec 2012
Interesting tour, but I liked Tikal and Lamanai better. I am not overly fond of cruise ports built for shoppers.
Read Floridiana's full Riviera cruise review
Provider: Oceania Cruises
Member Image bostongal965
1 review
Nov 2012
Very nice tourism village with lots of shops and a swim-up bar. Booked a private tour to the Chacchoben Mayan ruins - fabulous. Very nice ruins for a first timer.
Read bostongal965's full Norwegian Dawn cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image aamechs2
1 review
Nov 2012
Native Choice was excellent, semi private with only 9 of us, so much information and history given
Read aamechs2's full Disney Magic cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image GayleTX
1 review
Nov 2012
Private an for our family, very nice vehicle, had both a driver and a narrator. Narrator spoke good English, had a Master's Degree in Mayan Culture, was very friendly...a different guide led our group, along with another small family thru the ruins - he, too, was well-educated and did a wonderful job teaching us about the history of the area. There is a small tourist area at the ruins with bathrooms,snacks for people who can't climb the ruins (altho they are not terribly physically demanding they aren't not for children or elderly). The highlight of our excursion, however, was our "Mayan Experience" - our guide took us to have lunch with a local Mayan lady in her native home, a thatched roof place in her beautiful lush garden. She let us help her cook lunch in her outdoor kitchen - it was the best food we had on the entire trip! I highly recommend that outing for people who have an interest in the culture of the Mayans.
Read GayleTX's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image gigglypug
1 review
Nov 2012
Glad I booked with cruise line, because excursion was late coming back. Tour guide knowledgeable, but soft-spoken and heavily accented so some of the information was lost. Don't do this one if it's very hot, we went on an overcast day in November and it was perfect.
Read gigglypug's full Disney Fantasy cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image cruiser61713
1 review
Aug 2012
Read cruiser61713's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image christadv
1 review
Jul 2012
I have always heard about the Mayan ruins in history class and seen them on the Discovery Channel but I have never seen them with my own eyes until my trip to Costa Maya's Chacchoben ruins. I was so excited that this excursion was available as an excursion. It was a marvel to look upon. I even got the chance to climb a few temples. However, it was too hot to really enjoy.
Read christadv's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Maxine615
1 review
Jun 2012
Wonderful, interesting excursion to fascinating ruins. We took the adults only tour. Highly recommend it. The ruins range from being excavated to being in the condition of being covered with vegetation. Good worthwhile tour. It was hot hot hot and busy, but well worth it. We felt somewhat obligated to buy something from the vendors - we know that they depend on the tourist trade for sustenance - but they are a bit pricey even after negotiation. Just be aware that you will probably not get a bargain here and check it off to providing some help to a very poor population.
Read Maxine615's full Disney Fantasy cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image northwest family
1 review
Apr 2012
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!
Read northwest family's full Celebrity Solstice cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image mypets2
1 review
Apr 2012
My friend made travel arrangements for me. Although she got us a great deal, I think I'll start scheduling my own so I can build up points with the cruise line.
Read mypets2's full Jewel of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image dagadget
2 reviews
Mar 2012
Awesome tour of some rather spectacular ruins. Very nicely done and our Guide was very knowledgeable and impressive.
Read dagadget's full Jewel of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image ortho_rn63
1 review
Mar 2012
Great tour and informative trip!!
Read ortho_rn63's full Norwegian Spirit cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image happysnorkel
2 reviews
Mar 2012
Very good Mayan ruins. Excursion is too short - only 2 or so hours on-site but the place is great and worth the time, money and effort. Highly recommend.
Read happysnorkel's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image NotSoRealMcCoy
1 review
Mar 2012
This excursion was by far the most popular one in Costa Maya. There were more than a dozen full-size coaches, holding 50-60 people each that headed out to the ruins from just our ship (two were in port that day). It was about an hour's ride out to the ruins along fairly deserted highways. There is not much to see along the way...a few very small villages and the vegetation that grows in the area is quite unattractive. However, our tour guide, though somewhat low-keyed, was very informative and entertaining. Once at the ruins site there was a gift shop and restrooms where folks waited as each bus' group were slightly staggered to be led by their guide through the various ruins structures. After seeing a couple of the smaller structures, the skies opened up and we were dumped upon (ironically, the only rains we saw the entire cruise). After about 10 minutes of this, the guides starting sending their groups back to the gift shop for cover. Nonetheless, everyone was completely soaked from head to toe. By the time the rains let up (it lasted a total of maybe 20-25 minutes), it was too late to continue the tours and we were sent back to our buses and the hour ride back to the ship. Later we heard that one or two of the first groups out did make it to the largest of the structure (which we only got to see from the bus). Obviously, it was disappointing to drive all that way and only get to see a fraction of the site. But it makes for a better story now.
Read NotSoRealMcCoy's full Nieuw Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image FePerk
3 reviews
Feb 2012
Costa Maya: Another great day. Four of us went on the Native Choice Chacchoben & Bacalar Lagoon tour - outstanding. http://www.thenativechoice.com/index.php Ivan, our guide, was simply fantastic, and we had the lagoon to ourselves. Ivan is the son of the man who discovered the Chacchoben ruins, and he grew up in the ruins. His knowledge, and passion for his subject, are incredible. I've gone on tours at several other ruin sites in Mexico, and this tour blew them away.
Read FePerk's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image healthcoachmike
1 review
Feb 2012
The ruins were amazing and the visit to the lagoon for lunch was nice. I did not like the fact that the "guide" could not be heard on the long bus ride out to the ruins! She was very soft spoken and she sat in the middle of the van so no one behind her could hear her speaking! I also think this tour was over priced!
Read healthcoachmike's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image denbroncs
3 reviews
Feb 2012
Costa Maya is great. It is by far the cleanest port I've ever been to - and that includes the private port of Labadee. We booked with Native Choice tours and saw the Chacchoben ruins and then learned to make tortillas by Mayan women in their village. The kids didn't care too much for the ruins, but we all enjoyed meeting & being with the Mayans.
Read denbroncs's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image denbroncs
3 reviews
Feb 2012
We booked with Native Choice tours and saw the Chacchoben ruins and then learned to make tortillas by Mayan women in their village. The kids didn't care too much for the ruins, but we all enjoyed meeting & being with the Mayans.
Read denbroncs's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image artist5320
3 reviews
Not Rated
Feb 2012
left the port at 11:15am and arrived at 12:30 pm. Tour was excellent and we learned a lot about the ruins and the Mayan culture. We climbed up the structures and even saw an ant parade carrying leaves back to the jungle burrow. Only weak point was no real lunch facility so when we arrived at 12:30 we only had cookies and snacks to eat. But the tour was worth it.
Read artist5320's full Jewel of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image JsEscape2
3 reviews
Feb 2012
Felt like we were herded into the bus. On the bus, our guide gave a little history of the ruins and Mayans in general. She passed around some Mayan-made things for passengers to look at & hold. The ruin site was interesting. There was some walking and climbing if you wished. Our guide gathered us at various sites for more explanations, but let us explore on our own some also. There is a small store for souvenirs and restrooms at the site. We were offered bottled water or plastic cups of pop/soda before boarding the bus to return to the ship. There was plenty of time to shop at Costa May before or after the excursion.
Read JsEscape2's full Norwegian Spirit cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image kojibella
1 review
Feb 2012
Very nice experience on this tour. Our guide was nice, informative and easy to understand. We booked this because it was the shortest tour to see Mayan ruins. Beverages of soda water and beer offered after the tour!! Snack provided also. These guys were great and gave us enough of our own time to walk around the ruins. The port is cheesy with standard mexican stuff begin sold at way too high price even if you haggle. Get rid of the "wildlife reserve kiosk" there were to baby tigers there. not native to Mexico and were obviously drugged. Terrible.
Read kojibella's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Mimi A
9 reviews
Feb 2012
We had previously visited Tulum & wanted to visit a different Mayan ruin location. The ruins were worth the visit, though much smaller than Tulum. Our guide was excellent. At the top of the plateau there is an excellent view (top of the tree line). Bus ride was approx. 50 min. ea. way, however. Cost was $79pp booked prior to sailing, more on board. Bring water.
Read Mimi A's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image nsnay2008
1 review
Feb 2012
AMAZING TIME!!1 Bring GOOD CAMERA and barder with the gift shop haha
Read nsnay2008's full Carnival Glory cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Tnjgotts
1 review
Dec 2011
Great tour operator - don't miss the seven-colors lagoon.
Read Tnjgotts's full Mariner of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Native Choice
Member Image Simm
1 review
Dec 2011
Great place to visit and worth the long ride. Time there was a bit short, so lose the guide and get some pics without the group. Beware of shopping at the port. Too expensive and earlier/later ports much more reasonable.
Read Simm's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

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