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.

Need advice on which ruins to visit

NE Kansas
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Topic
Need advice on which ruins to visit

I will be coming to Cozumel in mid-June with 2 teenage boys 15 and 17. This is the biggest vacation we have ever done and I am alittle more than extremely nervous.

The boys want to see ruins and we have narrowed them down to Chichen Itza and Ek Balam.

Con to Chichen Itza that I am reading is you can no longer climb it and a lot of sales people. Pro is it is "Chichen Itza"

Con to Ek Balam is that I am finding little about it although picture are pretty,. Pro is that it is quieter and you can move around more freely.

I want to make sure they get a good experience, as I don't know when we or they may get to do this again. Can someone please give me some advice to help us decide?

The Colony, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

We will be staying in Valladolid for a couple days and doing both of these in July -with a couple cenotes mixed in for cooling off. The pros and cons you mentioned are right on and why we couldn't choose either and decided both. We found a hotel for $45 a night in Valladolid which makes staying affordable - and that is for 4 people and breakfast buffet included !

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
Level Contributor
6,670 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

It's a long, long day to Chichen Itza. If I weren't flying there, I'd start the day in Cancun.

An alternate might be Tulum. Doable in a day from Cozumel. There is swimming on the small cliff beach and you could also do a cenote on the way back.

Here are some pics from Tulum.

…google.com/NahHaCozumel/…5404526302357978418

Click the right hand button to take the tour.

USA
Level Contributor
1,420 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

I've been to most major pre-Colombian ruins from Mexico on down through South America. Some several times. From an historical/anthropological standpoint I'd rate Chichen Itza in the top three in Mexico and the top 5 or 6 overall. Being able to climb all over them is not something to consider. The kids can learn by standing at the bottom. No need to be destructive. Tulum is a comparatively tiny post classic site. The only real down side to Chichen Itza are the busloads of polyester tourists from Cancun. But they spend more time buying "artifacts" from the sales people than touring the ruins. Not sure of anything that would make you extremely nervously?

texas
Level Contributor
2,099 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

Start as early as possible to beat the crowds and heat.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

coba is an excellent option. Took 2 16 yr olds there last year you can climb the big pyramid 45 meters high. about 1 and a half hours from playa.

USA
Level Contributor
7,144 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

I agree that Coba is an excellent option and much closer than Chichen Itza. A great exposure for you and the kids would be to combine both Coba and Ek Balam. However, to save on long travel times, you might want to stick with Coba with maybe Tulum added in. IMO Coba is much better than Chichen Itza and you do not have the throngs of vendors constantly in your face and distracting you.

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
43,349 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

Anpother vote for Coba. And much shorter travel time.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

When I did this trip with the boys we caught the 7 AM ferry , Negotiated a taxi for $100 to take us to Coba wait and rtn to PDC. He offered To stop Tulum but it was hot . Bonus was that the passengers are allowed to drink beer.

BSQ
Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
5,581 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

if you're heart is set on Ek Balam though, it's a small site that you can see in its entirety in about 2 - 2.5 hours.

the day we went there there was only one other small group of people (less than 15) touring the sites as well. Although Chichen Itza is spectacular and grand, Ek Balam is small and peaceful.

While the ruins are smaller in scale, the one large structure is spectacular. It was interesting to us, having been to CI, to be able to recognize the differences between the ceremonial structures of CI vs the residential structures of Ek Balam. We also like that it's fairly shaded so it's a bit cooler.

here's a link to our pics from the site. Sorry the first one is blurry but the gist of it gives you an idea of the compactness of the site.

http://tinyurl.com/26n95w3

NE Kansas
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Need advice on which ruins to visit

I'm surprised how much I'm hearing about Coba. We had discounted it quickly as it seemed not to be very intact and only be 4 or 5 buildings.