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Costa Maya and Cozumel Excursions


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Hi guys,

 

OUr cruise will be stopping in both Costa Maya and Cozumel, which of these is the best to go and see the Mayan ruins and which excursion is the best. I would love to be able to climb the ruins if possible. Any suggestions? I'd also like to avoid a long ride to get to the ruins but I don't mind walking/hiking.

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We did Chacchoben Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya - nice preserved, reasonable walking and climbing for most people. We did a private tour through either Shorefox or Viator, but I cannot remember which one. It ended with a beach break and lunch. 

 

Cozumel itself doesn't have much in the way of ruins, however, if you have an extended day there [past 7pm] the cruise lines may offer a trip to Chichen Itsa. The temples are marvelous, but it is a long day, beginning and ending with a 45 minute ferry ride and a long bus ride each way. 

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Following with interest. We are going to those ports in a few months. I think we are going to skip ruins because of the heat.

 I echo Panorama, I went to Chichen Itza from Cancun many years ago. The ruins are magnificent, but it is at least 90 minutes, maybe longer from Cancun and that wouldn’t include the ferry ride to the mainland. If you have an interest in history, do a little research and decide which will give you enough ruin time. Tulum is also within day trip distance, we went there as well

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9 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

We did Chacchoben from Costa Maya with thenativechoice.com [in 2012] – it was excellent.

 

This year in Cozumel we did Celebrity's Chef's Market Discoveries which, while pricey, was terrific.

I think we are going to do the chefs market

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Recommend Dzibanche tour with The Native Choice in Costa Maya.  Modern air conditioned van (pretty sure there is no way to avoid a long ride) and no more than 10 in group.  If you can get Eric as your tour guide you will get their number one guide as well.  

Depending on time in port a second site as well.  (Took this tour last week of January 2019).

 

The Native Choice gets you to the site (usually before big tour buses) where you have time to climb before the afternoon heat, provides a lunch and plenty of water.

 

The only small negative is to get to The Native Choice office, you have to make it through the curvy route through the market area (that appears to be intentionally laid out to confuse people wanting to exit), leave the port security area and walk approximately five to ten minutes (depending on your pace).

 

If you have any questions, let me know.  Might even be able to post some pictures if you want.

 

Cheers!  Roehl

Edited by CantSwim63
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We did Chacchoben with Native Choice through one of the shore excursion companies, followed by a lunch with at a native house - it was great.

 

As others have said you have to get out of the port area (their document said not to exit where the cabs are but you can), and over to their office.

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We also did Chacchoben with Native Choice followed by a lunch at a Mayan house. You can book directly on their website.  It was excellent! Highly recommend It!

 

If you really want to climb a pyramid then Coba will give you the chance. (At least you could climb it when we were there several years ago.)  Celebrity is offering an excursion from Cozumel on our Reflection cruise next month. However it is a very long trip, as others have noted. But that, too, is an amazing experience.

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10 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

We did Chacchoben from Costa Maya with thenativechoice.com [in 2012] – it was excellent.

 

This year in Cozumel we did Celebrity's Chef's Market Discoveries which, while pricey, was terrific.

 

I would really like to do this or the flight tour to Chichen Itza.  So I guess I am either going to pay $400 or $1,000 for two.  My most expensive tours to date!

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14 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

This year in Cozumel we did Celebrity's Chef's Market Discoveries which, while pricey, was terrific.

 

We did that one in 2016 and the chef actually made purchases, brought a cooler bag too for fish. Since a while all Market Discoveries excursions are prohibited to take food back on board (at least that's what the X website states..). What was your experience? 

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We enjoyed ship's tour to Chachoben.. A/c bus, long ride over rough roads but  def worth it....good guides. Arrived early, nice area, good climb.  .Need lots of bug spray! 

 

Next time  in Coz  we'll do the  Chef's Market, if offered

 

If you go to Belize..Altun Ha was also interesting.,

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4 hours ago, FreestyleNovice said:

We did that one in 2016 and the chef actually made purchases, brought a cooler bag too for fish. Since a while all Market Discoveries excursions are prohibited to take food back on board (at least that's what the X website states..). What was your experience? 

 

Our chef was not allowed to make purchases at the market we toured, but another chef went into town and bought provisions from a 'certified' vendor.  [The market in Cozumel is very small, so the quantity needed would have wiped out the vendor's supply.]  The local guide who actually led us through the market did arrange for those who wanted to buy empanadas, and he later bought everyone frozen fruit treats.  The tour had started with a chocolate factory that included tastings, also a tequila tasting place, and included lunch at a restaurant in town.  The chef then cooked our group a special dinner on board that had all Yucatan-themed recipes and was really really good [and lots of food – it was a 'tasting' menu but with full entree-sized portions!]  So at the end of the day we felt we had gotten our money's worth.  Note that when Celebrity offers a 20%-off sale on shore excursions they do include the Chef's Market Discoveries, and the list price for the tour was lower when it was first posted – so jump on it as early as you can!

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Our chef was not allowed to make purchases at the market we toured, but another chef went into town and bought provisions from a 'certified' vendor.  [The market in Cozumel is very small, so the quantity needed would have wiped out the vendor's supply.]  The local guide who actually led us through the market did arrange for those who wanted to buy empanadas, and he later bought everyone frozen fruit treats.  The tour had started with a chocolate factory that included tastings, also a tequila tasting place, and included lunch at a restaurant in town.  The chef then cooked our group a special dinner on board that had all Yucatan-themed recipes and was really really good [and lots of food – it was a 'tasting' menu but with full entree-sized portions!]  So at the end of the day we felt we had gotten our money's worth.  Note that when Celebrity offers a 20%-off sale on shore excursions they do include the Chef's Market Discoveries, and the list price for the tour was lower when it was first posted – so jump on it as early as you can!

  • We are looking at the Chef's Market Discoveries tour too but we were wondering if there was a lot of seafood and fish as DH is not a fan of either.
  •  
  •  

 

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Another vote for Costa Maya and using Native Choice for a tour to Mayan ruins and lunch in a home. They have several choices, with one set of ruins only an hour or so away.  Vans are clean, have a/c, and tour guides knowledgeable.  Lunch is delicious and safe to eat, with good restroom facilites. 

 

Cozumel itself does not really have ruins to visit. As others have said, you must ferry to the mainland and have a long ride to the closest ruins. 

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We had a stop in Cozumel on our 2014 MSC cruise.  We opted for a private tour for 6 hours, and asked our driver to take us to the Mayan Ruins just outside Cozumel.  I have nothing to compare them to, but I know they were not of the "status" that  other ruins on the mainland have, however it was no less interesting (just not "impressive towers" or pyramids).  The attraction is that they were easy to get to, and still had time for chocolate factory (amazing!), drive to the eastern coast, drive through the city, tequila tasting, and lunch!  It was a very enjoyable day!

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I visited the Kohunlich ruins while in Costa Maya and visited the Tulum ruins while in Cozumel. The Tulum ruins were larger and more beautiful (located on a cliff overlooking the Carribean) but you could *not* climb the temple. Kohunlich was in a forest setting and you were allowed to climb to the top of the temple.

B443964B-28FF-4B58-8E43-897A8C70BA74.jpeg

B5B36F58-7922-46C3-ACFA-A345DEC737F3.jpeg

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15 hours ago, Gimpy McFarlan said:

I visited the Kohunlich ruins while in Costa Maya and visited the Tulum ruins while in Cozumel. The Tulum ruins were larger and more beautiful (located on a cliff overlooking the Carribean) but you could *not* climb the temple. Kohunlich was in a forest setting and you were allowed to climb to the top of the temple.

B443964B-28FF-4B58-8E43-897A8C70BA74.jpeg

B5B36F58-7922-46C3-ACFA-A345DEC737F3.jpeg

Thank you for the pics. I may just opt to go with Kohunlich. Thanks

 

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  • 9 months later...

I'm curious if anyone has done the Tulum excursion with the ship?  It's supposed to be 8 hours but includes some shopping and I suppose time for lunch.  I just don't feel like a long bus ride to Chichen Itza.

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On 2/19/2019 at 5:01 PM, DiamondDiva said:

 

Cozumel itself does not really have ruins to visit. As others have said, you must ferry to the mainland and have a long ride to the closest ruins. 

 

Yes, Cozumel does have its own ruins.  They are small in comparison, but lovely.  They are the ruins San Gervasio.  Also, there is little to no reconstruction at the site.

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There is a reputable private company called Fly Cozumel that will fly you to Chichan Itza (about a 35 minute flight). It is quite expensive, but you get much more time at the ruins, and you beat the crowds there that are taking the bus ride. I had a client use them and absolutely love it.

 

For food tours in Cozumel, check out the cozumelchef.com for a private operator. She runs amazing local food tours and authentic Yucatanean cooking classes (at a local's house). $80/person for either and a great time!

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4 hours ago, zitsky said:

I'm curious if anyone has done the Tulum excursion with the ship?  It's supposed to be 8 hours but includes some shopping and I suppose time for lunch.  I just don't feel like a long bus ride to Chichen Itza.

I’m curious, too. We are currently signed up for the ship’s Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins Featuring Mixed Reality tour out of Cozumel but the six hours of travel is having me second guess myself. Maybe Tulum instead?

 

We are going to Chacchoben with Native Choice in Costa Maya based on recommendations from fellow CC travelers.

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