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Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

kildeer, IL
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Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

Is it worth it to take an entire day from a 6 day PDC vacation to visit any of the maya ruin sites? I am interested in them but I am afraid that the trip there and back alone would take almost a half day (wasted in a car). Is the historic beauty worth the time and expense? Let me know what do you think. I've heard chitzin itcha is largest, tulum is closest - which would you suggest?

Embarrass, Minnesota
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1. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

I would recommend Coba with a good guide for half a day! If you want a full day add in visiting the Mayan or maybe do a cenote thing.

Coba allows you to climb the pyramid ...chicken pizza does not. Rich history at Coba and walking in the jungle too. You can get bikes or they have bike taxis to cart you also.

Coba is worth it! It saves on the travel time and you avoid the Tulum tourist shuffle.

Pix at www.thatec.com

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homeandaway
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2. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

Oh I so totally agree - do Coba!

Under your own steam if poss!

Coba is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! we much preffered it to CI.

They have excavated very strategically - so areas like the ball courts are half excavated so you can see it in all it's ancient glory and as it was when the jungle had reinstated itself.

It is a large site and the main ziggarut is I believe the 3rd largest after CI and one in Guatamala which is the largest in the Aztec empire - I think I remembered that correctly.

Anyway - in a car going direct Coba is most definately worth the trip (from PDC it's not very far if you have your own transport).

Another cool trip is Achtun Chen - this is on the way back from Coba.

regards

Andi & Co x

Toronto, ON
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3. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

Hi runandgolf - we had this discussion before we left as well and ended up doing Tulum. I suppose it depends on your level of interest in ruins - some people could spend all day soaking in the history and learning a lot - some people would prefer to see it to say that they had done it - so really depends on the type of person you are!

For me, I am right in between so given that Tulum was close to PDC, and right on the water we chose to go there. We actually did a whole day trip which included Tulum in the morning and Xel-Ha in the afternoon, a perfect combo in my opinion - we didn't want to spend a whole day at either place, so it was nice to break it up a bit.

Tulum was pretty facinating, and we had a guide that knew all about the different structures, there was a lot more ruins there than I imagined. It was very HOT when we went though (beginning of November) so if you go to any ruins make sure you bring a hat and some cold water!! The icing on the cake for me was the beach at Tulum - this is something that none of the other ruins have. We jumped in the clear blue water and laid on our backs looking at the runs in the lull of the ocean waves, an unbeatable feeling, plus it was nice to cool down a bit!!

I did see pictures of Coba and Chichen Izta, which, if I return to PDC I may consider, but if you are only there for a short time, and don't want to spend so much time in a car or bus (chichen itza is three hours each way) then head to Tulum and enjoy the beauty of the history and the gorgeous pristine beach!!

Ange

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4. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

We did CI when we were there for our honeymoon - long three hour trip there and back, but the ruins and the tour were amazing. We were able to walk up to the top and look over everything - something worth seeing. Going down was scary - I butt walked it all the way down. I saw that someone said you couldn't walk on them any more - if so that is a shame.

Union, Mo near St...
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5. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

My daughter and I did the Tulum and Xel-Ha day trip. We both had a good time and I think it was worth the money.

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Minneapolis
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6. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

Yeah, Tulum is a blast. It's a relatively minor site historically but is still really interesting with a good tour guide. Bring swimwear...the beach there is unbelievable, and there's usually enough break to bodysurf.

Coba is not to be missed imho. The climbable pyramid there is the tallest in the Yucatan and the ball courts are just amazing. Coba was an ancient Mayan capital and there are something like 50 wide roads leading into the site from other areas, and the city itself occupied about 50 square miles. Only a relatively small part of the city has been excavated.

If you like to move at your own pace and explore, drive there and hire a tour guide on site rather than take a group tour.

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Calgary, AB
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7. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

We just returned from a wk long (or short... depends on how you look at it!) trip and spent a day going to Coba. Also included was lunch in the village itself, a tour through the village and then cenote swimming. Coba was amazing and we all said more time there would have been great (we spent probably 3 hrs there, another 2 would have done it); lunch was delish and very enjoyable, visiting the village and sharing candy with the kids was nice, but could have spent 1/2 the time that we did (probably in the village for 2 hrs excluding lunch). Cenote was the absolute coolest thing ever - would have loved to been able to visit more of them. Planning to go to Hidden Worlds when we're lucky enough to return. Water was cool & refreshing, swam for probably 1/2 hr or a bit more. Change facilities & flush washrooms were available. Just the thought of swimming so far below ground with no daylight visible was incredible.

Coba was mind boggling - I can't imagine the man-power that went into the construction. You'll be amazed at the Mayan building techniques and abilities. Should not be missed in my opinion. I hope to go to chichen itza at some point in the future. That one would have be during a 2 wk trip though and I would certainly consider spending the night out that way so we could do the site justice and return to it the following morning as well.

You honestly cannot imagine what it is like to visit the ruins - it was a wk ago and i'm still in awe and can't wait to read up on the Mayan civilization and learn more about these amazing people.

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Colo Spgs
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8. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

You have one life. You can spend it all sleeping and partying or you can throw in things that you may never experience again. Whether it is CI, Coba, Tulum cenotes, ziplining...try something.

On a six day trip if I were not diving I would go to Coba and a nearby cenote one day then Tulum/Xel-ha another.

That leave beaucoup time for many other activities.

Driving between Coba and PDC is perhaps 1.5 hours each way. I don't consider that half a day. CI would be.

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Oregon
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9. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

We were at Grand Mayan 15 mins north of PDC and drove rental car to Chichen Itza and Tulum on another day. Then we turned car in and used collectivos.

CI for us was certainly worth the drive. and it was all day. what we did wrong was not hire a guide at front gate. we overheard a couple of them, and would have been worth it to pay, find someone to share with. CI is huge, Tulum much smaller.

we went to Yucatan to see ruins, and were impressed. But we enjoy history.

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UK
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10. Re: Mayan ruins - are they worth an entire day from PDC trip?

Went to CI early Nov Fantastic, not to be missed a long day though,went with a tour though and only had 3 hrs there no where near long enough.Going to Coba in April but hope to share a cab ,rent a car .