Ruins

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#2
Tallahassee , FL
14,230 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
That's going to depend upon how much time you want to spend seeing ruins. The set of ruins on the island, called San Gervasio, are small. They're about a 20 minute taxi ride from the mid island cruise piers, less from downtown. These are basically remains of old trading village. The largest set of ruins on the mainland closest to Cozumel are at Tulum. To get there easily requires an excursion. Given the distance, ship sponsored excursions are considered to be the best way to go. You need to take a ferry to the mainland, then a bus to Tulum. At Tulum, you cannot climb any structures. You must stay on the pathways. Tulum is not an important set of ruins in terms of Yucatan Maya culture, but is on a spectacular setting next tot eh ocean.And when the tour is over, you reverse course back. It's considered an all day type of excursion. With enough time in port, you might take an excursion to Coba, further inland and more impressive structural and cultural wise. But it's at least an hour longer round trip than Tulum and you may or may not have enough time to really take it all in. Beyond that other Maya ruins are too far away to reach and return from Cozumel.
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#3
Malden, MO
5,278 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
The San Gervasio ruins are small and we didn't spend a lot of time there. I remember the mosquitos were terrible and our taxi driver offered us his repellent but we had brought our own.
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#4
Irvine, CA
8,689 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
The ruins on Cozumel aren't great. Better things to do. We enjoyed going over to the mainland and visiting Tulum. However, I think it depends how old the children in your family are. It's a long trip so I would never do it with little ones
#5
Northern VA & DC
16,574 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
The problem with seeing mainland ruins from Cozumel is that you will spend more time travelling there and back than at the ruins. I would enjoy Cozumel and save the ruins for a mainland vacation. Just one man's opinion.
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#6
Georgia
7,143 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by JohninDC
The problem with seeing mainland ruins from Cozumel is that you will spend more time travelling there and back than at the ruins.
To some extent that's true of everything, since you spend at least twelve hours on the boat getting to Cozumel in the first place. The question I've asked is how is the drive to the mainland ruins. I've gotten various responses, but on average the appraisal seems to be "long" but "scenic" and moderately comfortable.

How many times are we going to visit this portion of the Yucatan factors into the decision of whether the long trip is worth it. And if the answer is "more than just this once" then whether we'll be happier with the longer trip when we're 60 or when we're 70 factors into the decision. I figure that the close-in ruins can serve us better when we're less able to withstand a long trip.
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#7
Tallahassee , FL
14,230 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
bUU. The "drive" from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is about 1/2 hour. To Coba about and hour 15. Depending of course on traffic. The Travel time from Cozumel is a bit different. First if you're DIY, and at one of the south piers, it's a 10 minute ride to the ferry pier. Ferries run every hour early, so if you miss one you have to wait for the next one. Then it's a 45-50 minute ferry ride to Playa. If you ship tour they have "private" ferries that take you from the south cruise piers. But still you'll need to wait for all to arrive (cruise lines may bundle excursions for ships in port) and then it's still 50 minutes across the channel. Just double that for return. Except for DIY, then you need to factor in the return ferry that can get you back to your ship in time. In the mid afternoon, ferries usually leave Playa for Coz on the odd hour (Coz time). All that limits your time at Tulum and severely restricts your time at Coba, if your ship departs around 5 or 6P ship time. If you're on one of the ships that leaves later, 8P or 10P, you'll have more time to enjoy the ruins you select. So whatever you decide to do, enjoy.
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Costa Maya/Mahahual Malecon Beach Clubs and Maps (posts 26-36)

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#8
Georgia
7,143 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by crewsweeper
bUU. The "drive" from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is about 1/2 hour.
I've seen the transport mentioned a few ways. If you read between the lines in Carnival's description, the drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is an hour long drive each way from there to Tulum, which is 1/2 hour of driving and a 1/2 hour "restroom stop at a local Mayan cooperative center where handcrafted souvenirs are available for purchase". That makes made me prepare myself for a two hour transport each way.
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#9
22 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
I enjoyed the Carnival excursion from Cozumel to Tulum. The ruins are interesting and the setting is absolutely beautiful. We saw iguana and coatimundi roaming about. The speedboat ferry was quick and even kind of fun, the tour guide was funny and also helpful. The drive was not bad at all. We went to a Mayan village for lunch and the food was good, no hard sales. I bought a couple bracelets. It was great!
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#10
5,904 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
I've seen the ruins farther inland, and they are mind bogglingly amazing ... but the long ride to Tulum is not a good fit for a cruise stop. You're too pushed for time.