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Old 03-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
rema
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Mayan ruins w/ little kids...Costa Maya or Cozumel?

We are on Disney Fantasy, Western Caribbean, on May 11. We have two kids ages 7 and 4. We'd like to visit some Mayan ruins but the experience needs to be kid friendly, rather than a long bus ride to see "the best". I know the excursions from both Costa Maya and Cozumel offer opportunities, any recommendations?

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Old 03-15-2013, 07:42 AM   #2
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We did the San Gervasio ruins on Cozumel in November with my son who is 6. The bus ride was just under 30 minutes. He didn't mind it at all. There was a fair amount of walking but you don't have time to tour the ENTIRE site so it could have been worse. He didn't complain. He liked having his picture taken beside the dry cistern, the arch, etc. There were a fair amount of iguanas and Mexican "raccoons" aka coati mundis to be seen which he also thought was pretty neat.

That being said, I think I remember reading that the ruins are even closer in Costa Maya.

Enjoy!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:50 AM   #3
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We did the ruins in costa maya with DS4. There was a bus ride that was about 45 min, but the guide spoke, told jokes, and passed around maps to keep everyone entertained. DS loved climbing the ruins when we got there and there wasn't a ton of walking because there are only 3 ruins to see and they are not that far apart. DS took a nap on the way back. He never takes naps so I think he was pretty tired from all the fun
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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I've been to the ruins in Cozumel before kids and Costa Maya ruins this past December with DD9 and DS5. Both ruins are kid friendly.

Between those two I would recommend Costa Maya - it is only a little bit further and is visually more impressive. We used Native Choice for the tour in Costa Maya and would recommend them highly. http://www.thenativechoice.com/

Now, if you are talking about visiting Tulum or Chichen Itza from Cozumel - those are a lot farther away and will require multiple hours of transit to and from.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
Yokelridesagain
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Costa Maya. The San Gervasio ruins on Cozumel proper are not worth your time. The Tulum ruins (accessible from Cozumel) are arguably more impressive than the Chacchoben ruins you can see from Costa Maya, but getting to them involves waiting for a ferry to the mainland and a long bus ride. Also, you can't climb on the Tulum ruins.

Lastly, there is virtually nothing to do in Costa Maya other than touring the ruins (unless you like shopping for trinkets), whereas there's plenty of other things to do in Cozumel.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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It all depends on the children you are taking. Young children won't be that thrilled with the ruins.
We were just there, last week, and I was personally appalled at the behaviour of some children on our excursion! The ruins were clearly marked NO CLIMBING and the kids were climbing all over them, we even saw children poking an injured iguana with a stick, sadly the parents did not intercede! The children were so rowdy that we couldn't hear our guide speaking at times.
I know I may get flamed here and if so, that is fine, but in my opinion, parents should be mindful of what their children can respectfully tolerate, ex: long walks, talks that they may find boring etc. when planning excursions. Any persons, young or old that participate in the ruins excursions should be mindful of where they are and treat the area with respect. Before anyone asks, I am a parent and a VERY tolerant grandparent and I would hesitate to take my grandchildren to the ruins because they are young and they'd rather be at the beach. That said, if I took them to the ruins, they WOULD respect the area, the wildlife and the culture, without exception!
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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We are an older couple with no young children and we went to Tulum on one of our Disney cruises. I certainly would not recommend that for you. The trip there would be too long and boring for little people in my opinion. I enjoyed the tour, but it wasn't worth the length of the trip for me and I love all things historical. I was also the type of parent who took their children to see a lot of sights and to the arts, so even though I didn't have children with me, I do have a frame of reference. To get to Tulum, you tendered from the boat, walked a ways to the bus, and then had a fairly long drive to the ruins. If you do plan to go, make sure to have some water for them and some activity for the bus. (There was also a stop at a tourist trap along the way that was time consuming and your children would probably want to purchase something there. Lol, I am guessing that is the point of the stop!)
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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We did the Tulum ruins excursion on a 7 night Western Caribbean (Magic) trip in Dec. '11.

It was enjoyable. However, one note of caution. The ferry ride to the mainland is a killer (seasickness) if the waters are choppy. It took the entire day before we felt better.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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We went to Tulum when our kids were the same age and we left them on the ship for the day. We got to have a great day touring and the kids had a blast in the kids club .
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:47 PM   #10
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I'm glad there are some good reports about doing touring the ruins in Costa Maya with young kids. I was just going to stay on the ship because I didn't think they were kid friendly. Now I'll book that tour.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #11
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We went to San Gervasio on Cozumel last month (February) and enjoyed it. Our son is 6 and he liked it, but did not love it. Our guide "Mi Mi" (No clue if correct spelling) was absolutely WONDERFUL and made the tour for us. She is of Mayan descent and was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Have not been on the other tours so cannot compare, but would not have a problem recommending this tour (Our tour included stop at Beach after ruins tour, which our son DID love) especially if includes stop at Beach.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMom View Post
I've been to the ruins in Cozumel before kids and Costa Maya ruins this past December with DD9 and DS5. Both ruins are kid friendly.

Between those two I would recommend Costa Maya - it is only a little bit further and is visually more impressive. We used Native Choice for the tour in Costa Maya and would recommend them highly. http://www.thenativechoice.com/

Now, if you are talking about visiting Tulum or Chichen Itza from Cozumel - those are a lot farther away and will require multiple hours of transit to and from.
The Natives Choice is the only way to see the ruins in Costa Maya.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodical View Post
We did the San Gervasio ruins on Cozumel in November with my son who is 6. The bus ride was just under 30 minutes. He didn't mind it at all. There was a fair amount of walking but you don't have time to tour the ENTIRE site so it could have been worse. He didn't complain. He liked having his picture taken beside the dry cistern, the arch, etc. There were a fair amount of iguanas and Mexican "raccoons" aka coati mundis to be seen which he also thought was pretty neat.

That being said, I think I remember reading that the ruins are even closer in Costa Maya.

Enjoy!
We did the San Gervasio tour with the Discover Mexico park where they had a pinata for the kids, large scale miniatures of Mexico City and an included Mexican lunch. I would say my son enjoyed himself a but more there than at the ruins.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:26 AM   #14
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We only have 4 1/2 hours in Costa Maya. I think I'd be really nervous about spending 1 1/2 of those driving - doesn't leave much time at the ruins.... disappointed to hear the ruins in Cozumel are not worth visiting (really didn't like Cozumel last time I was there) since we have a full day in Cozumel. Not sure why DCL couldn't have balanced out those 2 ports a little better. (Even our Grand Cayman stop is short.)
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodical View Post

We did the San Gervasio tour with the Discover Mexico park where they had a pinata for the kids, large scale miniatures of Mexico City and an included Mexican lunch. I would say my son enjoyed himself a but more there than at the ruins.
Thank you for the mini-trip report. We have this booked for May with our DS-13 and DD-8. It sounds like there will be some fun activities for them. Did you book through DCL? Just wanted to make sure we can expect the same.
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