We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ancient Ruins

Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
70 posts
57 reviews
Save Topic
Ancient Ruins

My wife and I are going on Christmas Day. This is our first trip to Cancun. I am very interested in seeing the ancient ruins. I would like to be able to take some pictures without too many people in the shots. Any and all suggestions about how to get about are VERY much welcomed. We are staying at the ME.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
1,241 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Ancient Ruins

If you're only going on one tour, I would suggest either the Tulum/Coba combo tour, or Chichen Itza. I personally like Tulum the best of all the ruins, the beach around the site is spectacular, but the combo tour is a great bonus since you're in the area anyway, gorgeous site. We have wonderful pictures of both, especially Coba with very few people around, most of our shots of Coba have no one in them. Coba is also one of the very few ruins left that you can actually walk up the stairs, and I've heard that may be ending in early 2013 due to the errosion of the stone, so I'm telling everyone I know going to the Mayan anytime soon not to come back unless they went to Coba!

Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
70 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Ancient Ruins

I hope to walk to the top at Coba.

Thanks

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
7,706 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Ancient Ruins

Mark, I'd get to Coba early. you didn't say how you planned to go. Self-drive is easy as is the ADO bus. Anyway, admission is about $4-5. There is a guide shack right there for $40 you get about an hour tour. I'd do this and maybe join up with another couple/family/gang to help defray that cost. But a good guide will tell you all about this ancient city: life, culture, agriculture, sports, newspapers etc. Then you can walk, or for about $10 rent a bicycle or bike-rickshaw driven cart back to the pyramid. Takes about 1/2-1 hour to climb depending on amount of others that day. Have lunch there or in the village of Coba. Then if you still want to see Tulum, which is pretty but mostly a roped-off walkable area, it's on the way back. Do your learning and questioning at the place in the jungle-Coba.

Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
70 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Ancient Ruins

Are the costs for private drivers too expensive?

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
1,241 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Ancient Ruins

the tour company I always use is mycancuntours - I love them, have always had prompt, reliable service and have never come across lower prices! www.mycancuntours.com (I think...) We did the Tulum/Coba combo tour in April and LOVED it. They have a private driver option for an additional cost.

Edited: 16 November 2012, 21:43
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
5,420 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Ancient Ruins

If you don't want a bunch of people in the shots, it makes sense to me at least that you wouldn't want to be arriving with a tour group. Rent a car, and leave very early in the morning. This is what we did, and I still needed to Photoshop out a couple gringos.

Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
39 posts
438 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Ancient Ruins

I have rented cars in many countries--never Mexico. I have heard bad things about driving in Mexico. Are those stories wrong?

Cape Cod
Level Contributor
1,990 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Ancient Ruins

If getting spectacular photos is your goal, I'd skip Coba. The forest around the ruins has not been cleared to provide much of a view of the monuments. Photos from the top of the pyramid are not as impressive as the actual view is.

Tulum's ruins are plain, but the setting is beautiful and you can get a lot of great photos there.

Chichen Itza is the probably the most photogenic ruin within range of where you'll be staying. Combine it with Ek Balam, where you can climb a pyramid that has some impressive carving. The problem with Chichen is the sheer number of the people who visit. If you can arrange to be there at opening, you can almost have the site to yourself and get those photos without people you seek. However the lighting is better for more of the ruins in the afternoon.

Have a great trip!

upstate NY
Level Contributor
475 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Ancient Ruins

If you're at all serious about ruins, Cichen Itza is the most magnificent. It's a major site! It's almost a 2 hour ride to get there, so it's a full day trip. I drove it once and will not do it these days. You can book it thru your hotel, or it's free if you're in a Palace or Hard Rock hotel. The tour will take you there by comfortable bus, guide you around the site. Provide lunch and bring you back. The first time I went 20 years ago, they let us climb to the top of the pyramids. When I went again 10 years ago, that was no longer permitted

A little known fact is that there is a door at the base of the main pyramid that is open for only a few hours a day. If you go in, there is a narrow low ceilinged staircase that brings you inside and up to an interior alter room where sacrifices were made. Instead of the typical chac mool, The alter is a sculpture of a jaguar with a large piece of jade as his eye. Very impressive!

Edited: 18 November 2012, 03:17
Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
44,423 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Ancient Ruins

" I have heard bad things about driving in Mexico. Are those stories wrong?"

Remember that thousands of people rent cars but only the few with bad experiences post on the forums. I have driven in Mexico for over 30 years without a problem.