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Making the most of Merida/Progresso


imrunningl8

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Hi,
first time poster here!

We are sailing on Oct 17 on Carnival Elation. We have 2 16 year old boys who do not want to spend the whole day shopping.

We are on a tight budget and the boys would like to visit a ruin.

What is the most inexpensive but safe way for us to get to the ruins from Merida? I read on another thread that there is a bus for only $3 to Merida - but I need to know exactly how to get to the bus stop.

Any help would be appreciated.

THANKS!
Stephanie
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Hi Stephanie. You can take a bus to Merida from the plaza where the courtesy bus drops you in the center of Progreso for about $8 RT or you can walk 3 or 4 blocks to the terminal and pay I think $3 round trip. When you arrive at the terminal in Merida (about 30-40 min) you turn right and the central plaza of the historical area is just three blocks. You'll pass the central market which is a very large open bldg with vendors having individual stalls. Interesting for about 5 or 10 minutes but not at all like our malls and shopping centers. The roast turkey breast in the food stalls look scrumptuous
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Thank you for your response! I got your pictures and love them.

How much does it cost to go from Merida to the ruins? Is there a fee to get into the ruins?

My son really wants to see them but honestly we cannot afford 75.00 a person and do tubing in Belize. This trip is on a tight budget.

I had planned to do Merida, the tubing in Belize through one of the companies mentioned here and then Paradise Beach in Cozumel. It seemed like the best way to spend our $$
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Yes there's a fee to enter the ruins. $10 pp. Another fee if you bring a camcorder at least this is true for Chichen Itza. I don't know about getting tours in Merida. Mine to Chichen Itza I was picked up at the hotel at 9:00AM and got back about 5. It included a very very good buffet lunch at a hacienda (beautiful) but had to pay the entry fee personally. The price was only $42.00 for the tour. Somewhere on this board there is a listing of a tour operator out of Progreso.
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We just got off the Elation today and I thought maybe I could help. We too wanted to see the ruins without spending a lot of money or the whole day on the bus. We decided to do the Dzibichaltun excursion. We really had a good time! Our guide was wonderful and we traveled in a very comfortable, well air conditioned bus. He spend the entire 30 minutes to the ruin telling us all about the Mayan history, etc. They were very interesting and I think your boys would enjoy it. We saw a lot of kids their ages there and they were having a lot of fun! Another great thing is that after you have gotten all hot and sticky looking at all the ruins, there is a spring fed cenote (that's what they call it). I guess itis about the size of a large pond, but clear. One end of it is shallow and then the other end is where the spring feeds the cenote by an underground cave. I was really creeped out by that before I got there, but it is beautiful and not creepy at all. Everyone went swimming to cool off and then looked around some more. We were the same as you were with the money thing and we wanted to be sure to get our money's worth. You never know until you get there whether you made the right decision, but with the help of this web site, we were able to make very wise choices and were pleased 100% with what we chose to do. We also went cave tubing in Belize and that was the highlight of the trip. We booked through Wet n Wild, and they do a great job with children. It is $60 per person, but not sure if it same or cheaper for kids. That includes an amazing lunch as well. We rode in a very safe, comfortable and air conditioned van and believe me, I saw some of the vehicles other people were riding in and I would not have ridden in them. Marvin (of Wet n Wild) is tops in customer service and will make sure that you are 100% pleased with your excursion. Our group only had 8 people in it and others had many more. If by some chance something happens and you don't make it for the tour, they do not keep the deposit money. They really work hard to earn your business and there was never a time issue at all. If you are on the Elation like we were just make sure you catch the first tender after all the Carnival Excursions leave and you will be fine. We also arrived back at the pier more than an hour before the last tender and had time to walk around and listen to the band that was playing right where the tenders dock. I forgot what you said that you were doing in Cozumel, but again, we went the inexpensive way and had the time of our lives. We took a cab ($10 for 1-4 people) from the dock to Chankanaab Park. It costs $12 for adults and either $6 or $8 for kids to get into the park. There are chairs there for free use and though they don't look comfortable when you first see them, they are. You can rent snorkel equiptment (flippers, mask and snorkel) for $5 at a little place right on the beach and then head in. It is amazing what you will see! We took those underwater cameras that Kodak makes and had a blast capturing the fish on fillm. Your boys would love to swim around taking pictures of the gorgeous fish. There are restaurants (2) that sit right on the beach as well and that is where we had lunch. All in all, much cheaper than a ship booked excursion. More layed back so we could do what we wanted, when we wanted. Hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, you can email me at [email="h_hoagland@yahoo.com"]h_hoagland@yahoo.com[/email]. You are going to have an absolute blast on the Elation! I'm already in post cruise depression and I've only been off the ship for about 12 hours. What room are you in? By the way, I have two little guys of my own. Great, aren't they? Holly:)
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Hey, Holly! We were on the ship together! I hope you guys had as much fun as we did...it sounds like you did....

We took the cruise shuttle into Progreso, then booked a tour to Merida. We were on the bus with people who booked on the ship....we paid $14 less per adult and $26 less per child by booking in Progreso! It looks like you can book any of the tours from their little office right where the shuttle drops you. I can't remember the name of the tour company---maybe someone else does?

Paradise Beach in CZM is a fantastic choice...take a look at the CZM board for more info...

They start putting up the holiday decorations on the Elation the first week of November...those of you going Nov-Jan are in for a treat...it is absolutely beautiful!
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We're with you on the needing to watch the cost in port. We're going to splurge on a snorkel tour in Belize. We were at Paradise Beach in July, and I think that's a great low-cost option in CZM. It's beautiful, has plenty to do, and the drink prices are better than on the ship. There's no snorkeling, though. You can see as much in your bathtub. We enjoyed renting a car and exploring, but hat including gas was about $75. We're looking for the same thing you are in Progreso.
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[quote name='imrunningl8']Thank you for your response! I got your pictures and love them.

How much does it cost to go from Merida to the ruins? Is there a fee to get into the ruins?

My son really wants to see them but honestly we cannot afford 75.00 a person and do tubing in Belize. This trip is on a tight budget.

I had planned to do Merida, the tubing in Belize through one of the companies mentioned here and then Paradise Beach in Cozumel. It seemed like the best way to spend our $$[/QUOTE]
Ha! You must post when you get back, that is exactly the same plan we have formed and we are going in November! Please let us know how Merida went :)

Melissa
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