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amy2313

Chichen Itza vs. Tulum

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Hi All,

 

Just trying to get some opinions on where to go: Tulum or Chichen Itza? For two people that have been to Mexico before, but never to any of the ruins, which would you suggest?

 

My best friend & bf are going to be in Riviera Maya and want to visit the ruins, but do not know which one to go to. They would rather not eat up a bulk of their time traveling to Chichen Itza when they could get to Tulum in a fraction of the time. However, is Chichen Itza that much more impressive? Or would they have just as an amazing time going to Tulum and adding in snorkeling and ziplining?

 

Opinions please!!

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I have been to both, and yes the time it takes to get there, visit, and back to the beach area of Cancun or PDC is a FULL day. It all really depends though of where your staying. If your in PDC, then tulum is an hour south. If your in Cancun it can be up to two and half....

 

If youre a history buff and all that is REALLY important to you, then Chichen Itza. But if your just looking for some good ruins just to see, Tulum then.

 

Anyways... Tulum is MUCH better in my opinion. It's right near the beach and you get some AWESOM pics. Chichen Itza is a bit "grander" and more preserved. But it's not worth the long drive IMHO.

 

Tulum offers the same thing but with much better scenery... and your closer to the beach!

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I've not been to Chichen Itza, but I would recommend Tulum based on our experience. We rented a car at Calica and drove down to Tulum. It took about 45 minutes one-way. It's a straight shot down a major 4 lane highway...easy to navigate. I had a GPS to make it easy, but could have found the site without it.

 

We really liked Tulum and thought it was an impressive site. The buildings are not as tall as Chichen Itza, but it's a pretty large site with lots of history, right by the sea. Tulum also has a very nice beach, so you after you tour the city you can spend your extra time getting some sun.

 

I'd also like to go to Chichen Itza, but I think Tulum is a better use of your time if you are starting from Calica.

 

Good luck.

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Been to both and I think Chichen Itza (MUCH larger and more extensive than Tulum) is by far the superior site BUT unless you are seriously interested in history and Mayan ruins it is much easier (and much shorter travel time) and much simpler to get to Tulum.

 

SO unless you are seriously into ruins, for a cruise excursion from Calica, I would recommend Tulum (the ruins are very pretty, small enough to do in a short time and easy to get to).

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Been to both many times in the past decade.

 

Depends on how much time you have.... Tulum is pretty but a small site compared to CI.

 

If I had time, I would hire a private transportation to take us from Calica to CI first thing and then if there is time to spare, stop by Valladolid on the way back to see what an actual Mexican town look like. Outside Valladolid, there is a very interesting cenote that you can swim in (I think it's called dzitnup cenote). It is doable in one long day.

 

If you put together a group of 10, the transportation cost alone should be around $400 only. But do ask around.

 

You can look up my previous posts for private transportation suggestions in this area.

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you will broil in tulum. if you want video, rent "against all odds" w/jeff bridges. both sites are featured and it's clear which is better.

 

what view of manhattan would you pick?

 

besides, as somebody else said, you really should stop in villadolid, not to be missed.

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I have been to Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Uxmal. Uxmal is our favorite, but all of the ruins have their positives. I would take a tour out of PDC to visit Chichen Itza. You can visit Tulum on your own. There is a beach at Tulum. Stairs lead down to the beach at the ruins. There is also a light show at both Tulum and Chichen Itza.

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Have been to both and can honestly say that I was very glad I spent the long day going to Chichan. You really can get an understanding of what life was like and the granduer of the culture.plus a respect for the skill in science and math that the Mayans had.

 

I think this time we are going to do Coba just because of time restraints.

 

Molly

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Hi All,

 

Just trying to get some opinions on where to go: Tulum or Chichen Itza? For two people that have been to Mexico before, but never to any of the ruins, which would you suggest?

 

My best friend & bf are going to be in Riviera Maya and want to visit the ruins, but do not know which one to go to. They would rather not eat up a bulk of their time traveling to Chichen Itza when they could get to Tulum in a fraction of the time. However, is Chichen Itza that much more impressive? Or would they have just as an amazing time going to Tulum and adding in snorkeling and ziplining?

 

Opinions please!!

 

It depends: Ruins with beach or ruins without beach. Tulum is on the beach and that beach is really BEAUTIFUL. Chichen Itza is more popular and well known, but no beach.

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If this is a land vacation, and therefore you don't have to worry about making it back to the ship: I'd suggest the area ruins in this order:

 

Chichen Itza

Coba

Ek Balam

Tulum

 

For land vacationers, there are day trip packages for all these sites from just about every hotel.

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We will be in Calica in March on the Elation. For those who have ported here before, are there drivers who will take you to Tulum, wait for you, then take you to Play del Carmen for some shopping? From Playa, is it easy to find a taxi back to the ship? Any estimates as to the cost for hiring a driver or taxi for the trip to Tulum and then to Playa?

 

Thanks for any assistance!!

 

Captain Ronn

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If docking in Calica I would go to Tulum. If docking in Progresso then I would go to Chichen Itza or Uxmal. When I have limited time in port I want to spend less time on the road and more time enjoying the ruins. If you get to Belize then go see Xuantanich. It is an all day excursion. If you have limited time in Belize then go see Altun Ha - very close to Belize City. I am a ruin junkie - my favorite shore excursion.

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I haven't read all the replies so forgive me if I am repeating what someone else may have already said. Tulum is beautifully located but small. Chichen Itza is one of the new seven wonders of world and you get a much better idea of the ruins there. However, one that wasn't mentioned is Coba, which is my favorite. They have a pyramid, which you can still climb to the top of, unless something has recently changed, which is an experience.

 

I honestly don't recommend driving in Mexico on your own with a car rental. The police there are not very friendly and they can really extort money from travelers and are known for doing so. Especially driving a distance to those place. I recommend a ship tour or planning one before you get there.

 

Also be aware those places are very very hot and humid so bring plenty of water with you.

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Hi ,we are normally cruising but have compromised with friends to do a land trip and are planning to do chichen itza and wonder if anyone can recommend a good tour company? I have looked at several different ones that seem to vary widely in price for what looks like the same or very similar tours .we are ruin junkies too and one of our favorite places is Belize,Xunantunich is great and one of our very favorites is Lamanai. the ride to get there is almost as incredible as the ruins them selves. Thanks

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it all depends on what you are looking for but put into the run the ruins in coba which are far better then tulum.

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I honestly don't recommend driving in Mexico on your own with a car rental. The police there are not very friendly and they can really extort money from travelers and are known for doing so. Especially driving a distance to those place.

 

Do you have personal experience with this happening to you? Please give details.

My experience driving (more than once for a fortnight at a time) in this area (Yucatan) has been without problem of any kind.

Timewise though, it might be more relaxing to be driven, to take a bus tour from the port. (We have stayed in the area longer to see all these ruins mentioned, plus EkBalam, our favorite of the 4.)

For a day off the ship, Tulum might be a good suggestion, with its lovely beach to add to the dramatically placed cliffside ruins (that are themselves often crowded, touristy, and also less interesting IMO than CI or EkBalam). But CI is certainly the more impressive ruin.

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Do you have personal experience with this happening to you? Please give details.

My experience driving (more than once for a fortnight at a time) in this area (Yucatan) has been without problem of any kind.

Timewise though, it might be more relaxing to be driven, to take a bus tour from the port. (We have stayed in the area longer to see all these ruins mentioned, plus EkBalam, our favorite of the 4.)

For a day off the ship, Tulum might be a good suggestion, with its lovely beach to add to the dramatically placed cliffside ruins (that are themselves often crowded, touristy, and also less interesting IMO than CI or EkBalam). But CI is certainly the more impressive ruin.

 

Not sure if you realize you are dredging up posts that are over 2 years old. :eek:

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So you assume no one ever reads these threads after the OP posts?

 

I simply don't like the idea of posters perpetuating scare stories on these forums so other impressionable people get an erroneous idea of conditions, so a counter-post, even late, could be good information for someone who could possibly be deterred by third-hand accounts and bad-news-sells reportage.

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Do you have personal experience with this happening to you? Please give details.

My experience driving (more than once for a fortnight at a time) in this area (Yucatan) has been without problem of any kind.

Timewise though, it might be more relaxing to be driven, to take a bus tour from the port. (We have stayed in the area longer to see all these ruins mentioned, plus EkBalam, our favorite of the 4.)

For a day off the ship, Tulum might be a good suggestion, with its lovely beach to add to the dramatically placed cliffside ruins (that are themselves often crowded, touristy, and also less interesting IMO than CI or EkBalam). But CI is certainly the more impressive ruin.

 

Hello. Four of us will be spending a week in PDC at the end of February. I did Tulum back in 1993 (don't recall it very well but I remember the beautiful beach down below). We too were talking about which ruins to do. I suggested hire a driver for the day, do Tulum and the beach and come back to 5th Street and party some more.

You mentioned CI, what is this?

You also mentioned EkBalam was your favorite, never heard of this?

I greatly appreciate your help and imput ~

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CI is Chichen Itza

Ek Balam is a ruin that, like CI, is near the Colonial town of Valladolid. There is a pyramid to climb, with some impressive sculpture half way up, and a great view of the surrounding jungle.

There is also Coba, on the road between Valladolid and Tulum. Also a pyramid to climb. Bikes or pedicabs get you around,

There are plenty of videos of all on zyouTube.

Try contacting Yukatreks, which does small van tours of ruins and cenotes.

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CI is Chichen Itza

Ek Balam is a ruin that, like CI, is near the Colonial town of Valladolid. There is a pyramid to climb, with some impressive sculpture half way up, and a great view of the surrounding jungle.

There is also Coba, on the road between Valladolid and Tulum. Also a pyramid to climb. Bikes or pedicabs get you around,

There are plenty of videos of all on zyouTube.

Try contacting Yukatreks, which does small van tours of ruins and cenotes.

 

 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I will for sure look at youtube, I forget about that all the time.

Yuatreks, we'll look into this also as the 4 of us would rather do some touring with a private guide than a large group going.

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I don't think anyone mentioned Coba?

 

At Coba, there are several ruins in the jungle. You rent a bike and peddle (faster) or walk...then you can actually climb one of the pyramids. You can also see a ball court. Tulum is nice, but if you are there during algae bloom, you don't want anywhere near the beach (and it will smell at that time too), and the ruins are beautiful, but you can't touch or walk into most of them. CI is a long drive to get to, so you spend a lot of your time traveling.

 

For the time, money, and experience, I would check out Coba.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coba

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Take a look at Google Maps, maybe you can do Tulum & Coba at the same time, as I recall, to go to Coba, we arrived to Tulum (town) and then took the road to Coba.

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