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Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

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Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

Hello all,

We planned a last minute trip to Cancun after we found a good deal for Live Aqua on Saturday. We will be there Dec. 30 through Jan. 3.

We are looking to hit either Chichen Itza or Tulum on Jan. 2. Our trip is too short to do both and we really want to get a lot of relaxing done a head of that (plus party time on New Year's Eve).

We have done some very basic research but looking for advice on the pros and cons of each, which to choose and the best way to see them (tour? private driver? a bus ride?). Also interested in things to avoid or watch for when booking a vendor for this.

I am guessing our resort will be able to help us once we get there but want to go armed with some information.


Cancun Passion
Sightseeing Tours, Archaeology Tours
Caribbean Connection
Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours
Olympus Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
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1. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

Chichen Itza is an all day trip. To get the most out of it, you probably should aim to be there before the masses arrive. That means getting there and seeing a lot of the park before 11:00 a.m (it opens at 8:00). If you take a tour from the Hotel Zone, you'll get there with everyone else. The park will be full of other tourists, plus thousands of vendors will be lined up along the paths. If you don't mind crowds, taking the tour bus will be the easiest option. Otherwise, you'd have to rent a car, and leave very early. You can take the public bus, but it also gets you there about the same time as the tour buses, so there's not a huge advantage.

Tulum is closer and smaller. You can also take a tour bus, but you may have smaller crowds and more time to explore other areas like the beach. The public bus can also get you there, or you could rent a car.

Either trip could be done with a private driver, which gives you a lot more control.

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

IMHO: Chichen Itza is a must. Tulum is somewhat 'nice to see'. And there is a good public beach in Tutlum.

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3. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

Same old dilemma. Tulum is only about 45 minutes away, right over a beautiful beach and ocean. Chichen Itza is a little over two hours away, but it is much more spectacular than Tulum. Chichen Itza is on the new 7 Wonders of the World, whatever that's worth, but it eats up most of a day to get there, see it, and get back.

Colo Spgs
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for Cozumel
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4. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

On my last trip to C. Itza I overnighted in Valldolid. That may not work for you.

If you decide to drive consider getting the Mayan Adventure map from cancunmap.com

Otherwise, perhaps a private driver or tour like USA-Transfers.com who can leave early and get there before the crowds.

Also consider Ik Kil cenote and maybe Ek Balam ruins.

One option for this:


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5. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

we spoke with USA transfers yesterday and they were very helpful. we are leaning toward Ch. Itz with a ik-kil visit over Tulum.

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

Chichen itza is far better than other ruins, also shopping at chichen itza is best bang for bucks, you won't find that price in cancun or PDC.

7. Re: Chichen Itza vs Tulum, tour suggestions?

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