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“Tulum, Coba Tour”
Review of Helaman Tours

Helaman Tours
Ranked #74 of 324 Tours in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Let me show you the archaeologycal sites and best places for snorkeling. allow me to guide you with my experience of over 30 years in Mayan history and do a private tours in Spanish, English, French, Germain and Italian. it will be my pleasure to share with you my knowledge about the connections of the great cultures of the world.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tulum, Coba Tour”
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We recently visited Playa Del Carmen Mexico. I contacted Helaman through email and he got right back with me so the whole tour was arranged before we arrived. It was really nice not worrying about time, cost, etc. He picked us up at our resort right on time and we had a great day! Very flexible. We visited 2 sites, Tulum & Coba. Also a centoe, had a buffet lunch and snorkeled at Acumal beach. Helaman loves what he does and his knowledge of the Mayan people was amazing. I had my 3 sons (17, 19, 22) with me, a nephew (20), my husband & daughter. Swimming in the cenote was their favorite! He brought cold water, took pictures, snorkel gear everything we needed for a fun filled day. I would do this trip again & again!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Tulum with Helaman”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We did tours on two different days with Helaman Tours. As we had two very different experiences from two different tour guides I have decided to review them separately. This review covers our tour to Tulum with Helaman. We paid $250.00 US cash (plus tip) for a private half-day tour that was just my wife, myself, and Helaman.

Helaman is the owner of the company. His tours had been recommended to us by a friend. This was our second day of touring with his company and so everything that happened we could not help but compare to the first day with a different tour guide. Unfortunately, the tour with Helaman was not as impressive as our other tour. I would not use Helaman again.

He was on time at 1:30 in the afternoon to pick us up at our resort just south of Cancun. The drive to Tulum took about 90 minutes. During this drive he did some explaining of what we would see. But he also was texting and sending emails while he was driving. In fact, his constant email checking and writing became quite a problem throughout our time together.

We were at the ruins of Tulum for 90 minutes. He spent less than half that time giving us a tour. He spent the rest of the time "taking breaks" to answer emails and leaving us alone to walk around on our own. He did not take us to the temple of the descending god. He did not take us down to the beach. Before we knew it we were leaving the ruins on a different path than where we entered. It was too late to go back in and see what we had missed.

On the drive back to our resort he continued to write emails as he drove. These were not voice dictated emails. No, these were him typing into his phone while he was driving us. We tried to pull his attention back to us by asking him questions about the ruins but again we were told he was taking a "break" (by writing emails while he was driving us). Again, this is while driving on a highway at high speeds. We stopped asking him questions as we were afraid to further distract him at that point. So we rode on without being able to talk to our tour guide as he had more important things to attend to.

I expressed to Helaman my concerns about the amount of breaks he was taking and about him typing emails while driving us. I told him it was dangerous. If he did not have concern for his own safety he should at least have concern for the people who are paying him to drive them around. He responded to me that he must answer his emails immediately as he has no staff to answer emails for him. Well, this simply reinforced the impression that his future clients were much more important to him than the ones he had right in front of him. I do not approve of this business practice. I also do not approve of him putting our lives at risk.

At the end of the tour he gave us a nice reproduction of the Stela 5 Tree of Life image as a gift. He told us we could buy more for $20 US each. We wanted to buy two more of them. He then revealed he didn't have any with him to sell to us but he would bring them to our resort. He said he would email me to let me know what time to expect him. I asked him to email me before the next morning as we had plans for the next day. He said that was no problem.

So if I wanted the other two trees of life I had no choice but to pay him the full price of the tour and also give him a tip. I figured that was worth it so that I could get the two more trees of life.

He did not email me that night or the following morning as he had promised. So I emailed him around noon as we were getting ready to leave the resort. At that point he emailed me back that he did not have any to sell me. He had known this since the previous evening but in all his rampant desire to email everyone else he had not bothered to email me back. I did not appreciate that.

I recognize from the reviews on this site and from my friend who had recommended Helaman to us that my experience seems to be unusual. I guess everyone can have off days. We definitely got Helaman on an off day. But according to his justification of writing emails while driving and while giving tours it does seem that this is his normal business practice. I do not feel I received good value for the price I paid.

After returning home I contacted Helaman and asked him to send me the two Trees as compensation for my poor experience. His website states he has a satisfaction guaranteed warranty. He agreed to this and said he would let me know when they were sent. I didn't hear anything from him for a couple of weeks so I emailed him again. He told me to give him some time. He was very busy and couldn't get around to sending them. 6 weeks after returning home he notified me that it was too expensive to mail them and he would not be able to send them after all. I then asked him for a $100 refund to compensate us for our poor experience. He responded that I am not a good mormon and I should discuss this issue with my bishop before asking for a refund. I quote from his email:

"Let me tell you that the way you are acting in not according to a member of the LDS church... I recommend you to talk to your bishop about it... I don't really understand what kind of person you are, you really need to talk to your bishop."

So... no refund or compensation is headed my way. And for the record, my bishop is totally OK with me asking for compensation for my poor experience. My temple recommend is intact.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank MickeysBestPal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
helamantours, Owner at Helaman Tours, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
If you see the reviews, I don't answer them, because I don't have the time to do it and I apologize because of that. however this review needs a response.
It's really contradictory what He says, because if you don't like a service. Why you pay and even tip for it? and mainly if I have in my website that my warranty is: "if you don't like my service, don't pay me".
these are some of the words that he told me in one of his email "Helaman, you have a very special opportunity to help people see these wonderful and special lands of Mexico. your knowledge is amazing. what you know and what you are able to share is very important. We appreciate your insight"
The problem started when I told him not to have more replicas of the tree of life for him to buy but I told him that I could ship them as I had done before but when I told him how much cost the shipping is when He started to talk about me typing while I was driving. so in order to avoid problem with him, I told him that I would pay for all the expenses. He told me "you are a good man" but unfortunately for me, I found out at the post office that now is forbidden to ship glass in the Mexican post. so I told him that I was not able to ship them. He asked me for $100 usd of refund, He told me that his frustration and anger was not to have those replicas I told him, You are really abusing of my kindness, You need to talk to your bishop, you are not acting like a member of the church.
Thanks to god, one of my daughters is studying at SLC and came to Mexico for few days and She took those replicas and shipped them to him few weeks ago. He has them. I hope he is now happy! I kept my word.
About me typing while I was driving. I'm not going to deny it. sometimes I used to do it. I spend must of my day driving. the people that has been with me in the tour can witness that. I don't do it any more.
Well, I hope this helps my future clients.
sincerely; Helaman, your friend in Cancun, Mexico
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A step back in history with an amazing guide”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Helman is an excellent guide. You can tell he loves what he does and really wants to give you the best experience. He does everything from giving you cold water taking your family photos and even helped our young ones enjoy their time. We did Elk Balm which is fantastic and his knowledge of the Mayans really opened up the experience as you tried to picture the way it must have been. We swam in a gorgeous senote and he took us to a great place for lunch. One of the best places I have ever eaten on a tour. We ended with beautiful Tulum. A great day I recommended it for anyone even those with young kids. Can't wait to book more tours with him.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank MegRockyMountainHigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Catered to small kids, excellent tour!!! Coba, Cenote, Tulum, Beach!”
Reviewed 16 April 2014

On this trip we had our six year old daughter and three year old son with us (as well as friends with another six year old boy). Needless to say, we had no idea how the day would progress... but, we ended up having a fantastic day!

Helaman picked us up on time and educated us on our way to Coba, where we saw some fascinating ruins and climbed a pyramid. Afterwards we had a great lunch buffet (even the kids enjoyed it), and did a little shopping. Helaman then recommended a Cenote that was better suited for the kids and it was perfect! A few locals, life vests, and small fish in the cenote... our daughter loved "swimming in a real Indian swimming pool"! After a nice swim and snacks, we were off to Tulum which was also fascinating. Helaman told us that he worked at Tulum for many years before becoming a tour guide and it was obvious that he understands many details that most of the other guides we noticed there were not aware of.

At the end of the tour, we walked down the stairs to the beach at Tulum and enjoyed the sand and waves until the beach closed at 4:30. Finally, Helaman once again educated us on our drive back to our hotel.

The vehicle was very comfortable, plenty of water was provided and Helaman used a microphone and diagrams during our trip as he educated us about what we were going to see and what we had seen. He was also very patient with the variety of people in our group (shoppers, small kids, etc.) and allowed us to feel relaxed and unrushed as we moved throughout our day. It really was an excellent day and we will definitely will recommend Helaman to our friends in the future.

I'll attach photos of Coba as Tulum photos are much more readily available.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank CRinVegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
“Tour with Helaman was highlight of our trip!”
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Our family of 5 took a tour with Helaman on April 9, 2014. It was the best day of our trip. I highly recommend the itinerary that we had. We left our hotel at 7:30 in the morning. Helaman was right on time. The tour bus was very nice. There were 11 of us on the tour. He also provides snacks and cold bottled water for everyone on the tour. Our first stop was Ek Balam, these ruins are unique in that they allow you to walk on them. The site is still under excavation and I can't wait to return years from now and see what else the archeologists have uncovered. After that we went to Chichen Itza--This is a MUST. The knowledge that Helaman has is unparalleled. Something that I appreciate about Helaman is that he does not make information up or come to conclusions that work for his tour or clientele, he is straight up and makes no assumptions. After Chichen, he took us to lunch at a cenote. I was very nervous about swimming in a cenote, but there was not need to be. This cenote is SO BEAUTIFUl, SO CLEAN, AND REFRESHING. The perfect way to end our tour! I appreciate Helaman and highly recommend this tour to any family. Our kids are aged 15,12, and 10 and everyone agrees that it was the best day of our trip.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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