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brigand13

Chichen Itza or Uxmal?

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We're going for our second cruise ever this October on the Carnival Elation and I'm determined to see Mayan ruins on this trip (and on HALLOWEEN no less!!! :D). The problem is I'm having a hard time deciding between Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

 

Chichen Itza is a chance to see one of the principal cities of the Mayan Empire and one the 7 Wonders of the World. That's pretty cool. But I've heard that it's crowded, that you are plagued by vendors trying to sell their wares and that access to the buildings is pretty limited (no climbing or option to see inside the chambers). That's not so cool.

 

I heard that Uxmal doesn't have the crowding, vendor and that access is a lot more open. I like that. But I'm not really familiar with any of the bldgs that are at that site, so I'm not sure if they will be as awe-inspiring as Chichen Itza.

 

So, I decided to come here to ask the experts. For those of you who've done both, what would you recommend for first time visitors to the Mayan ruins? Any thoughts on the pros and cons of each site?

 

Additionally, should we go with the Carnival tours or look to a third party. I compared the tour times for Autoprogreso to those for Carnival, and they are listed as being about 2 hours shorter for both Chichen Itza and Uxmal. Does that mean you just get less time to see the site on your own before having to hop onto the bus and head back to pier? Also, I must admit I'm a bit nervous about having transportation issues with a third party tour and missing the ship. Seems like they'd be less likely to leave an entire bus full of passengers whereas stray individuals who go on their own would be out of luck. Thoughts?

 

Thanks in advance for all advice!!

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Here's a short writeup from http://www.yucatantoday.com, an excellent visitor's guide to Merida and the Yucatan state.

 

Did I mention that it requires lots less travel time? Just beautiful.

Edited by hdawson

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Plenty of awe in Uxmal. We were there in January and used AutoProgreso; professionals who know what they are doing. With AP you do have a bit shorter time at the ruins, however we did not feel rushed and did not feel we miss anything; we also didn't have to get off the ship at the break of dawn either and saved a few dollars versus the Carnival tour. That being said, you wouldn't go wrong with either tour company, as it is a great place to visit.

 

Christmas%2520-%2520Cruise%2520Day%25203%2520033.jpg

 

Christmas%2520-%2520Cruise%2520Day%25203%2520107.jpg

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Great pics!! We're going on a cruise in May and decided on Uxmal over Chichen Itza. Glad to hear we made the right choice.

 

Went to Coba on our cruise last month from Cozumel and it was awesome!!

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Thanks to brigand for starting the thread and everyone who responded - I was also wondering which one to choose myself and this will help us make our decision!

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Thanks for the great pics and links!!! This is exactly the sort of info I'm looking for. You folks are awesome!

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Does anyone know whether I need to book and pay for a tour with Autoprogreso or just rock up at the dock.

 

Thanks for starting this thread was wondering about this myself.

 

 

Regards Sharyn

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Does anyone know whether I need to book and pay for a tour with Autoprogreso or just rock up at the dock.

 

Thanks for starting this thread was wondering about this myself.

 

 

Regards Sharyn

I have always just paid for my tours with AP when I get there. Plenty of AP people around and it is no problem.

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With AP the tour duration for Chichen Itza and Uxmal both say 5 hours. How long do they actually give you at the ruins to explore?

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AutoProgreso is the official provider for Carnival so in either case you would be traveling with AutoProgreso. Tours are cheaper in Progreso so take the free shuttle into town (also run by AutoProgreso) and book from the folks in the pink shirts.

 

Uxmal is a much better site to visit than Chichen for all the reasons mentioned in the original post, plus the driving time is another 30 minutes. Too much time on the bus and you can do this when you come down for a proper vacation!

 

Private transportation will be more flexible but no one will leave you behind, don't worry!

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In checking the AutoProgresso site, their price is $49, whereas Carnival charges $79.50 for the same tour? Is this right? Also I see that to purchase you are directed to a Paypal site. Is there the option of paying upon arrival, we are scheduled for June 26th. Thanks for any help.

 

AutoProgreso is the official provider for Carnival so in either case you would be traveling with AutoProgreso. Tours are cheaper in Progreso so take the free shuttle into town (also run by AutoProgreso) and book from the folks in the pink shirts.

 

Uxmal is a much better site to visit than Chichen for all the reasons mentioned in the original post, plus the driving time is another 30 minutes. Too much time on the bus and you can do this when you come down for a proper vacation!

 

Private transportation will be more flexible but no one will leave you behind, don't worry!

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Just back from Uxmal, booked with Carnival.

It was AMAZING. The ruins were spectacular- the guides very knowledgeable. Our balcony neighbors went to Chichen Itza and said the drive was too long and the time there too short. I think Uxmal was the right choice. I also liked climbing on the ruins, which you can't do at Chichen Itza.

 

I booked through Carnival because it was only a little more expensive (we only had 2 people- it would add up for a family) and you have more time at the ruins than with AutoProgresso. Plus with the 90 minute drive I like the protection the ship tour offers, though we didn't need it.

 

 

Autoprogresso was NOT the provider for the Carnival tour, though I don't remember who was.

Edited by skittl1321

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Been to both and I like both equally. One difference is Chichen Itza has a cenote. The pyramid at Chichen Itza is a little more impressive imo and the grounds are much more expansive. I visited Chichen Itza 10 yrs ago and there weren't many peddlers at that time. We were also able to climb to the top of the pyramid there as well but you can't now :P.

Uxmal was great as well, more compact and we were able to climb on/in everything except the large pyramid. The shorter drive for Uxmal is a definite positive. The Carnival excursion left before the AP did so a little more time is worth $$ difference to me. My kids went with us to Uxmal and Loved It!! My 8 yr old acted like he was Indiana Jones looking for a relic. :D

Edited by peptobysmol

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Just did this last week. $49/person in the shopping center at the end of the pier. Pretty nice A/C bus. Informative guide (Sonia). Restaurant, souveniers, snacks, and drinks available in the visitor's center at the site. NO VENDORS past the entrance to the ruins means no being hassled!! 45 minutes at the ruins with the guide, then another hour on your own time was plenty of time. Quite a few stairs and steps. Many are steep and narrow.

Save thirty bucks and do this tour if you are going to Uxmal. I saw no difference between this and the Carnival tour.

Get to the shopping center by 8:30 as the tour leaves from the Progresso bus terminal @ 9:00 or shortly thereafter. Bus returns you directly to the pier. You skip the stop in downtown Progresso.

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Just did this last week. $49/person in the shopping center at the end of the pier. Pretty nice A/C bus. Informative guide (Sonia). Restaurant, souveniers, snacks, and drinks available in the visitor's center at the site. NO VENDORS past the entrance to the ruins means no being hassled!! 45 minutes at the ruins with the guide, then another hour on your own time was plenty of time. Quite a few stairs and steps. Many are steep and narrow.

Save thirty bucks and do this tour if you are going to Uxmal. I saw no difference between this and the Carnival tour.

Get to the shopping center by 8:30 as the tour leaves from the Progresso bus terminal @ 9:00 or shortly thereafter. Bus returns you directly to the pier. You skip the stop in downtown Progresso.

 

Ditto Shunga

 

We did Uxmal thru AutoProgreso last week (5/16) and also had Sonia as our guide and can't recommend this excursion enough!

 

Even though we had less time than the Carnival tour, we had more than enough time to climb the ruins - we had 45 minutes where we shopped for souvenirs and got drinks/snacks before the bus ride back to the pier.

 

The ONLY advantage I can see for the extra $30pp Carnival charges is that their buses have restrooms while AP's didn't - no biggy for me but for my fiancee.....the last 45 minutes was torture for her, lol!

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I have been to both and enjoyed both very much. For someone who hasn't visited either, I will suggest Chichen Itza simply because it's more famous.

 

However, you won't go wrong with either choice. Enjoy!

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Just did this last week. $49/person in the shopping center at the end of the pier. Pretty nice A/C bus. Informative guide (Sonia). Restaurant, souveniers, snacks, and drinks available in the visitor's center at the site. NO VENDORS past the entrance to the ruins means no being hassled!! 45 minutes at the ruins with the guide, then another hour on your own time was plenty of time. Quite a few stairs and steps. Many are steep and narrow.

Save thirty bucks and do this tour if you are going to Uxmal. I saw no difference between this and the Carnival tour.

Get to the shopping center by 8:30 as the tour leaves from the Progresso bus terminal @ 9:00 or shortly thereafter. Bus returns you directly to the pier. You skip the stop in downtown Progresso.

 

Great info. Can you be dropped off in town to shop? How much time do you have after the tour to shop , eat or drink in town?

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We have seen both on ship sponsored excursions. Neither site was crowded. You might like to take a look at the pictures my wife took at the links below. It may help you decide.

 

Happy Sailing! It's a great way to see the world!:D

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so how is Coba compared with Tulum?

Great pics!! We're going on a cruise in May and decided on Uxmal over Chichen Itza. Glad to hear we made the right choice.

 

Went to Coba on our cruise last month from Cozumel and it was awesome!!

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We've been to both and this shouldn't be a question for anybody - Uxmal only. Chichen Itza was dissapointing to me (our grandchildren enjoyed it, though). But Uxmal - what a gorgeous site! Very impressive ruins, and the terrain allows you to see vistas in all directions.

That said, we did both tours through Carnival, but I've heard positive things about AutoProgreso since.

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I had the same question, so thank you, All my life I said I wanted to go to Chichen Itza, because that's the site we all talked about as kids. As more and more history of the Yucatan reaches us, and more sites open up it has made the obvious decision, not so obvious. I was doing some research yesterday on line, and not only can you not climb at Chichen Itza (we actually dont want to) but a recent article stated that the ball court was closed to viewers at this time. Both are UNESCO sites, if that helps.

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WE reserved a spot for the Uxmal tour through Autoprogreso and I just got an email from them saying that so far they do not have enough people to do the tour :( We only need 4 more and I can't help but believe that there will be enough people who just get off the ship and book their tours then. I love traveling with AP and have used them exclusively every time we've been in Progreso.

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