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MLevin

Mayan Ruins Excursions-which one is the best

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We are booked for a cruise in January (western)  out of Galveston on the Liberty of the Seas.  It is our second cruise and my husband wants to see the ruins.  What are the best excursions to take?  Or better yet which ruins are the ones to see and the ones to miss?  Besides the ruins what would be the next best excursion you recommend in Cozamel, Belieze or Costa Maya? 

 

 

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I liked Altun Ha in Belize, our tour went by boat down a jungle river (cool) and took a bus back, very large ruins.

I haven't tried it but people like Tulum out of cozumel, a sometimes rough ferry ride to get there but it looks amazing. Worth checking out some pitchers of both.

The only ruins I have ever heard are not the best is ones on cozumel itself, very small.

My dream ruins are Chichen Itza (known as best), because they are inland they are very hard to get to via most cruises, you really need a overnight stop.

One common complaint I hear about ruins is they don't give you much time there, maybe a hour or so.

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We just did the Chichen Itza ruins tour from Cozumel off of Empress of the Seas.  It is a long day.  Meet up at 7am.  Then you are on the boat to cross the channel shortly afterwards.  Three hours of a bus ride, first through Playa del Carmen, then like 100 miles along the highway in the middle of the jungle.  Finally through the village by Chchen Itza.

About halfway through the tour guide will give some back ground on the ruins.  30 minutes prior to arrival he will give out radio headsets.  When you arrive you are immediately surrounded by local vendors hawking their wares.  The tour guide hands out the tickets.  No backpacks allowed but everyone is issued a bottle of cold water.  While walking the short distance to  the ruins, again through another gauntlet of local vendors.  A quick toilet break followed by around a 1 hour guided tour which was very interesting. Then you are given around an hour to explore the ruins by yourself.

 

 We chose to quickly visit the Cenote that supplied water for the city about a 1/4 mile away.  Again there was local vendors lining the path on both sides, being quite aggressive for our business.  Time goes  very quickly, before you know it, it is time to go back to the bus.  A box lunch was issued along with a small can of Coke.  The lunch was a simple ham sandwich, banana, juice, muffin, and chips.  Simple but quite good.  As soon as the last straggler arrived, the bus took off for the return trip.  The Ferry boat was waiting for our bus and we made it back with about an hour before Empress departed.

 

Would I recommend the trip.  Yes because the Pyramid and ball court were very impressive.

 

Would I go back to Chchen Itza.  No.  The local vendors were so annoying, they really spoiled the short amount of time we had to explore the ruins.

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