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Chichen Itza question

Arlington, Virginia
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Chichen Itza question

We will be staying at the Iberostar Maya next week and I am contemplating a day trip to Chichen Itza. I am hoping some folks can help me with a couple of questions.

a) Obviously - Chichen Itza is awesome - but is is also a bit of a haul (2.5 hours I think). How does it compare to the closer ruins (e.g. Coba Mayan Village)?

b) I am leery of a group excursion because I have read that you can waste tons of time on the bus (picking people up at other resorts - stopping for trinkets). Is ti feasible to arrange private transport (cab?) and hire a guide on site?


Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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1. Re: Chichen Itza question

If you want to avoid larger group tours, you can book with a company that does small groups only...like this one:


It runs Wednesdays or Fridays, you should pre-book online.

I prefer small tours over renting a taxi driver as the guides will be more knowledgeable than a taxi driver. Also they will be licensed and insured- very important!

Most tours to CI also stop at Vallalodid and a nearby cenote such as Ik Kil or Dnitzup.

Chichen IS amazing, it is a large and well- restored site. However, as you said, it IS farther away and a longer day therefore, and the site is crawling with both vendors and tourists.

Coba is not nearly as well-restored but I think you can still climb the main pyramid there (it''s taller than Chichen's too!). We did this tour with Alltournative years ago and it was SO great.


Cornwall, Canada
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2. Re: Chichen Itza question

I think that a trip to the Yucatan and not visit Chichen Itza would be a shame. Yes, it is far and the drive there is boring (foliage on either side of the road broken occasionally by small villages) however if you can find a small group of folks within your resort who would go in on a tour van, I would bet you can hire a driver for less than what an organized tour would cost, go where you want, when you want, miss out on the "bathroom(shopping)" stops and have a wonderful time.

That would be my way of doing it.

I loved Coba, it is wilder, very spread out (rent a bike) and more what you might imagine a ruins would look like when first discovered. The main pyramid is only partially exposed and you CAN climb it, for now anyway.



Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Chichen Itza question

I had a good experience with this company. Small groups up to 10 I think. Just request to be added to a group tour. You can still climb the temple at Ek Balam (at least I think you can). The Mayan Experience Tour was great.


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4. Re: Chichen Itza question

Book a private tour if you can.

We were last in the Roo in December 2012 and did a coach tour to Chichen and a private tour to Coba. The coach tour was mostly spent NOT at Chichen, and instead a lot of effort went into trying to sell us stuff. We may have had about 1 1/2 hours at the site.

The private tour was with the appropriately named Your Private Tour and they were great; we got to Coba early before the coach tours and had Nohuch Mul pretty much all to ourselves. It cost more than the coach tour of course but it was well worth it - I will never go on a coach tour again.

(Yucatraks, Alltournative, and Mayans' Explorers consistently get good reviews BTW).

We climbed the pyramid at Coba in 2012, the fantastic one at Ek Balam in 2010, and the Temple of Kulkulcan at Chichen for the last time in 2004 (closed to climbing now of course).

Cornwall, Canada
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5. Re: Chichen Itza question

If you are feeling confident you can always take an oragnized tour to Chichen Itza and then rent a car with another couple and drive to Coba AND Tulum ruins... entrance to the actual ruins is minimal, about $6 or so... and if you bring snorkel gear you can stop in at Akumal Beach to snorkel with the turtles. Makes for a great day!

Destination Expert
for Savannah
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6. Re: Chichen Itza question

Chichen Itza is a must as you said. If you do/can do a more private tour I would also include Ek Balam. We fit in both & lunch in Valladolid in less then 12 hours. You get to Chichen Itza about 9:15 if you leave at 7 AM way before the big busses. Big tour busses are very nice inside usually with a movie or you can sleep that's harder to do in a van. Way to much driving to rent a car. Have done it all three ways & loved all of them but a bit less driving myself. It's very exhausting especially after being in the heat. Have a great time

Colo Spgs
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for Cozumel
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7. Re: Chichen Itza question

If you go to C.Itza, consider stopping by the nearby Ik Kil cenote.

Coba is easy to do on your own:


Southern California
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8. Re: Chichen Itza question

We've always just rented a car and driven ourselves, no worries you can take either the toll road (quota) or the free road (libre). Not a big fan of trying to cram too much stuff into one day. Just get an early start, and have small pesos for the entry fee (Chichen Itza is more expensive than Tulum) as they only accept pesos. Have a great stay and enjoy.

9. Re: Chichen Itza question

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