The day of my Chichen Itza road tour is possibly the best day of my entire life so far!
We left the Exotic Rides facility in the morning with me driving their Ferrari 458 Italia by myself, following my host and private cameraman in their Porsche 911 Carrera S. We did the speed limit along the main highway between Cancun and Puerto Morelos, but, as soon as we turned onto the highway to Chichen Itza, our speed was NEVER LESS THAN 200km/hr (except to go through toll booths and a construction site)!!! This isn't the kind of tour where you just go out on public roads and baby a Ferrari around town; we put that serious machine to serious use! It truly is a unique experience, as I don't know where else you'd get away with ripping along a public highway at that speed for that long without ending up in jail.
As we neared the Chichen Itza, they took me through a small Mayan town called Pisté. By then I was comfortable enough with the car to take it out of auto-mode. Why would I roll through town in 7th gear when I could hold it in 1st instead and make some beautiful Ferrari V8 music. The locals in Mexico are not used to seeing cars of this caliber, so I got the full rock-star treatment - everyone stopping and staring, kids following me on scooters, etc. The story was the same once we arrived at the Chichen Itza and pulled into the spots that were reserved for us, right at the front of the lot. A crowd of Mexicans quickly gathered, staring and taking pictures while my hosts hired a private tour guide for me.
The tour of the Chichen Itza itself was fascinating. I still felt like a rock-star the whole time since I had my guide's undivided attention, and my host and cameraman were always hovering nearby, snapping photos of me.
After the souvenir vendors had successfully extracted every scrap of cash from me (I bought a lot of souvenirs), my hosts payed for lunch at the swanky Mayan fusion restaurant there. We had a very pleasant conversation while enjoying the delicious food.
After finishing lunch, it was time to head back to Cancun. As I walked down the steps towards the Ferrari, with the key in my hand, I imagine that anyone who was watching would have been thinking that I was just another gringo going to ogle the car. Once I produced the key and popped the trunk (hood, boot, or whatever you want to call the storage space at the front of the car), I imagine that anyone who had been paying attention must have thought "there he is! That's the guy!"
We then retraced our route through Pisté, being sure to make plenty of noise and attract plenty of attention. The trip back was similar to the trip there, with an average speed of 200km/hr. It felt so good to roar past the tourist buses, which looked like they were standing still at 90km/hr.
Once again it was an amazing day overall. The price was intimidating at first, but I assure you it was well worth the money, and I would do it again in a heartbeat without hesitation.
After such a glowing couple of paragraphs, you might be wondering why I rated it 4/5 or "good." I have only a couple very minor complaints, but they are certainly areas that could be improved:
First, I was slightly miffed that they wanted an additional US$100 for the video of the trip, plus another US$350 if I wanted their photographer for the day. I payed it, and it was well worth it, but I had half expected that kind of thing to be included when you shell out US$2700 for their premium tour package.
Second, the video footage is good, and the audio is excellent, but my GoPro Hero 3+ takes way better video. Again, this is an extremely minor point.
Third and finally, and this is my biggest complaint: I only received video for the second half of the trip (the drive back from Chichen to Cancun). This is despite repeatedly (at least 3 times) confirming that I would get video of the ENTIRE driving time, that is to say BOTH the way there AND the way back. It isn't even about money because I would still be disappointed if they had offered to refund half of the US$100 that they had charged me for the video. Honestly, if given the choice between only having the video of the way back or of the way there, I would have chosen the way there, since it shows both the top speed of the trip (275km/hr) and my hosts bribing the police with cans of Coca-Cola (which I found absolutely hilarious).
To make matters worse, they have ignored the multiple attempts that I have made to contact them about it. Privately, I believe that they may have forgotten to turn on the video recorder for the trip there. If someone from Exotic Rides would simply acknowledge that this was the case, and apologize, then I would have closure on the issue. I would still be slightly disappointed, but by ignoring me, the issue has become much larger than it needed to, to the point where almost half of this review is focused on it.
To summarize, the missing video debacle leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but, all things considered, it was a truly amazing, once in a lifetime experience. The only way to see the Chichen Itza, in my opinion.
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