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Old 12-07-2012, 10:35 PM   #1
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Mayan Ruins

ok - sorry if this is a repeat but i've searched and read a bunch of threads but what i'm specifically looking for is:

Which of the Mayan Ruins are the best. We only want to do one of the tours; we are doing Western on the Fantasy - so Cozumel or Costa Maya? We have a DS who will be 8 when we go. He likes history and will really get a kick out of it and will love to climb on them and learn the history behind them.

So any recommendations?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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You want to go to Chacchoben (Costa Maya), for several reasons.

1. There is nothing--absolutely nothing--to do in Costa Maya otherwise, unless you like the stores that are in every other cruise port in the entire world, whereas Cozumel has some nice beaches and such.

2. Both of the Cozumel ruin options have downsides. San Gervasio (the one actually on Cozumel) is much smaller than either Chacchoben or Tulum. Getting to Tulum from Cozumel is somewhat of a have to get on a ferry to and from the island and then a lengthy bus ride. It can be done 'on your own' if you are organized, but you will be cutting it close. I would be reluctant to try to get to and from Tulum apart from a DCL excursion in the time Disney allows you on shore. Although you have less time in Costa Maya, actually getting to the ruins is much easier and can easily be done through a local company...I recommend The Native Choice.

3. The ruins in Tulum are beautiful, but they are quite exposed to the sun and can be very hot in summer. Additionally, you can't climb on them, whereas you can climb most of the ruins at Chacchoben at least part of the way.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #3
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Another vote for Chacchoben. When we got to Costa Maya and saw how small the port was I was very happy I didn't book the Mayan ruins tour in Cozumel.

The drive back and forth to Chacchoben is pretty long, but the time there makes up for it.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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We've done all three and I agree with the pp's -- do the ruins in Costa Maya. They are really nice. Tulum would be my second choice, but as one of the pps said, it can be a production to get there (and there's a chance even if you get in port, you may not be able to get to the mainland because of ferries being cancelled due to the water conditions).
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:07 AM   #5
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Another vote for Chacchoben. The bus ride is only an hour and at least on our ride, the tour guide spent some of that time giving us some background into the area and the culture. Climbing on the ruins was a big hit for our kids as well (5 and 7 at the time).
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Another vote for Chacchoben! We just recently did this excursion and loved it!
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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If you want a great adventure ending in some of the most spectacular views you might ever see, take the full adventure and go to TULUM.

You get many adventures wrapped up in one shore excursion. A fantastic and fast ferry ride to Playa de Carmen Mexico, a short 10 minute walk in the city to the bus location. Then a ride through Playa de Carmen, they have McDonalds, to the Mexican Interstate system that will take you to Tulum in about 45 minute. While on the bus you get a sack lunch that you can eat while you travel.

But once you get to Tulum and see the ruins, Iguana, and the spectacular ocean views you will know it was all worth the full travel adventure. Do an online search for some picture taken at Tulum it is just an incredible all around adventure and you get a peak in the life of the Mexican people along the way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone! This is exactly what i was looking for; i appreciate all your in sight and i will plan accordingly!!!

I can't wait!
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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I loved loved loved Tulum! It is one of my favorite places on earth. That being said I did this excursion on my own on a Carnival Cruise. We rented a car in Calica. It was about a 30 min drive. I would not try to squeeze it in on a Disney Cruise though. Save it for another time but definitely get there one day. You will not be disappointed.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:01 AM   #10
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Let me throw a vote in for San Gervasio in Cozumel. We had a WONDERUL guide, Cesar, who is part Mayan and he passionately spoke about his culture and the history of the site. There were several places you could climb, including an altar where marriages and fertility rituals had taken place. Afterwards we went to Dsicover Mexico for a very brief museum tour and a hand-prepared Mexican fiesta lunch with pinatas for the kids. It was a wonderful tour!

As far as Costa Maya goes, if you've ever wanted to do a dolphin encounter/swim - do it there! The venue is "right" off the cruise pier (you walk) and they had the cheapest rates in the Caribbean - not to mention that they do not charge observers to take photographs with their own cameras. I was able to shoot the entire encounter for our party of 8 while my husband took video. Saved us all a fortune - we would not have done the excursion otherwise.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip!
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:42 AM   #11
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I'd say the area may be getting busy this time of year, being the Mayan prediction for their calendar end, entering into a new era on Dec. 21, 2012.... they were up on a LOT can't wait to see!
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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Hey thanks for the info on the Dolphin swim thing... that is a possibility!

Thanks so much! Great info everyone!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:11 AM   #13
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I would HIGHLY advise if your daughter is 8 to figure out if she would even care to see the ruins, in Costa Maya we did a beach day since it was such a short day and LOVED just hanging out and relaxing at Tropacante! Such a quiet, fun day...we heard other people talking on the way back to the boat about how the ruins trip was "okay" but it was a long, hot and boring drive and their kids didn't enjoy it very much...everyone keep in mind, just because there is an excursion, don't forget the peace and quiet of a small family beach day in the clear ocean water!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TinksMomma View Post
Another vote for Chacchoben! We just recently did this excursion and loved it!
Only been to Chacchogen, but it was AMAZING!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #15
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I'd say that Chacchoben is the way to go!! We just went a few weeks ago and it was amazing. In fact, we used The Native Choice for our excursion and they were WONDERFUL. The owner, Ivan Cohuo, grew up on the grounds of the ruins and he is very knowledgeable about all things Mayan! You can request him specifically. The web site is: www . thenativechoice . com Every time I e-mailed him, he got back to me within 24 hours.

We wanted to do the Mayan Experience tour and Ivan was able to customize it so that it would fit into our time allowed at Costa Maya. Can't say enough good things about The Native Choice!!!
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