Reviewer: Dana Cryer
WOW!!!! Our guide was a native and deserves the recognition of being one of the best along with his driver of the bus. Well educated 27 year old and shared all he knew about the Mayan history and people. The tortilla making lesson and meal hosted in his home town was authentic and delicious. The tour was a great learning experience in a relaxed environment.
Reviewer: DARLENE BEYER
What a fun tour! The Mayan ruins were interesting and our guide did a good job of explaining the history. My hubby climbed the one ruin. Then we went to a Mayan village to a personal home. We got a tour of the gardens, learned about Mayan cooking, made our own tortilla and enjoyed a delicious lunch of traditional Mayan dishes made with fresh ingredients.
Reviewer: cheryl cogan
wonderful experience. Tour guide very knowledgeable and the lunch in a residents home delicious and the atmosphere relaxing.
This was the highlight of our vacation. Our tour guide (Edder) was amazing and the van was clean and well maintained. All the seatbelts worked (which was a welcome change from all the other vehicles we had ridden in). They had unlimited bottled water for us and were willing to answer any questions. On the way to the ruins we stopped at fruit seller and had fresh pineapple (bring cash). The traditional lunch we had with a Mayan family was excellent (not very spicy) and very filling. This tour was worth every penny.
We had a wonderful day visiting the Mayan ruins, it was very informative, and our lunch at a Mayan home was absolutely divine.
Reviewer: Tandy Solesky
Our family had a amazing time. The highlight was eating lunch prepared by the mayan ladies. Food was so tasteful. The ruins itself was not impressive as some of the other ruins but was enjoyed by all.
Reviewer: David Ball
Outstanding tour. The bus was clean and the tour guide very helpful. They always stayed with us explaining everything even at the ruins. The Mayan family dinner was very nice and enjoyable. I would recommend this tour.
Reviewer: rebecca antle
The guides were very good and informative. Not a rushed tour like some others. Well organized and beautiful country.
Reviewer: rebecca antle
Forgot to mention the stop at the Mayan home. That was fantastic, great food, wonderful company and I loved meeting the ladies that did the cooking.
Reviewer: Carole Jubb
Can't say enough good things about this tour. The visit to the ruins was very good but the highlight was the trip to the Mayan village where the local women prepared a Mayan lunch for us. We made our own small tortillas and the women cooked them on an open fire. They were served with outstanding Mayan Salsa. Lunch was chicken,rice,beans,veggies,fruit and flan. The hibiscus tea was wonderful. It was great to see where the locals live. Quaint homes with interesting painted designs on them. Super excursion! You have got to take this tour!
Reviewer: Joe Kirkbride
This was a fascinating experience. Tour of Chacchoben ruins and lunch with a Mayan family. We journeyed all over the ruins with a fantastic guide. So much to see and learn! Shopped at the local market outside the gate. Then journeyed to a Mayan family home in nearby village. Tried to make sopas but the ladies have to repair mine! Excellent lunch. Would consider doing this again if back in Costa Maya. This tour will not disappoint if you want to see the native culture. Instructions to get to starting point should have been better. Maybe a representative could meet persons coming off the ship.
This trip involved going to the Chochoben Mayan ruins and then to a Mayan village where they prepared a meal for us. We pattied out our own tortilla for cooking. The meal was fantastic and we felt we were eating authentically. Mom uses a walker and these ruins were difficult for mom as the path was rough gravel. She hung in and still enjoyed it, but was exhausted by the end of the day. Our guides were Edder, then Joel, then Maria. They all did a great job. Five stars for the Mayan village and the meal part of the excursion. Lovely friendly people. The ruins were fantastic also, but for the walker maybe not so much.
Reviewer: Kelli Mankowski
The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area, the ruins, the history. Very thorough and interesting! We loved it!
Reviewer: Susan Milich
This was an awesome tour and the tour company Native Choice was excellent. We had enough time to explore the Chaccoben ruins and the guides were very informative. We appreciated the cold bottled water they had on hand and the extra people to help out. The Mayan Village lunch was great! We learned to make tortillas. We had a great time, so much fun and very informative.
Reviewer: Nathaniel KW
We recently returned from a Western Caribbean cruise with a stop in Costa Maya. I'm SO glad we chose Native Choice and the Mayan Experience tour. Joel the guide and Edgar the driver were seriously 5-star all the way. The tour of the Chacchoben ruins was fantastic (we were in a group of 6 with Native Choice and saw other groups of 50+), but it didn't end there! Taking us to an actual Mayan family's house and having lunch was easily just as good as seeing the ruins. Thank you Native Choice and Joel!
Reviewer: Dr. Phillip E. Rosner
A great excursion! We had already been to Chichan Itzah and several other mayan ruins, so we didn't have high expectations for this excursion. We primarily went because our travelling companions had not been to a mayan ruin. The mayan site more than met our expectations. The guide was personable and knowledgeable. The mayan experience with it's people was tremendous. We made our own tortillas and the food was exquisite. This was the key to a great excursion.
Having lunch in the Mayan village and with their family was awesome! Recommend tour company meet this tour and others they sponsor with one rep at the dock since the directions to their office are sketchy and difficult to follow...secure port area is not easy to navigate with their directions and then you still have to travel a few blocks outside the secure port area. Thanks!
Reviewer: Pat Andersen
We have done this type of tour before, but still learned more about the Mayans. After that we had a nice lunch with a local family. Very enjoyable.
Reviewer: Diane French
Native Choice is the operator of this tour and should be EVERYONE'S choice! The company is well run and very professional; the guides and drivers are top notch; the vans are spotless. When our original guide had to return to the office Lorenzo took over without missing a beat. His guided tour of the ruins was well presented and thorough; he answered all questions. The lunch at a local home was enlightening and delicious. While the tour company obviously has added a few touches (e.g. two separate toilets and sinks for clean up) and, possibly, assisted with a little landscaping, the home was typical of the homes around it. The family was gracious and having us make our own tortillas was a good touch. We were glad we chose this tour and tour company over anything else offered, including the ship's offerings.
The Mayan Experience was one of the best guided tours I have taken to date. We learned so much both at the temple site and in the Mayan home. The Mayan ladies prepared us delicious food; all dietary needs were met. - The cruise port doesn't allow the tour company to pick you up at the port, so you have to walk to the tour office. Give yourself at least :30 mins to walk from the cruise terminal to the tour office. We missed our meet-up time at the tour office. However, the office staff shuttled us over separately (a :45min to 1hr drive) no questions asked. - The walk to the tour office is through what looks like an abandoned area of Costa Maya. We felt safe, but we were approached many other tour guides along the way propositioning us to buy their tours. - Also, the directions to get to the tour office are lengthy. I would recommend you stop by the concierge desk on the ship and get clarifications on the directions should you find them confusing.
Reviewer: Bob Lange
We took our two oldest grandchildren on a cruise to celebrate their graduation from high school. The only request they had was for a tour of Mayan ruins. This one exceeded all our expectations. On the van on the way to the ruins (about 45 minutes) Rose gave us some background of the site, and pointed out many things along the way. At the ruins, Hugo was exceptionally knowledgeable, not only of the Mayan culture, but also the many interesting plants and animals growing in the area. After that tour, we went to the nearby village, where descendants of the Mayans still maintain aspects of their lifestyle and culture. We had a feast in an outdoor, thatch covered dining area, with traditionally prepared foods that were delicious. The ladies were gracious and willing to explain all the foods and how they were prepared. If you want to go on a tour that is much more than roaming around ruins in the jungle, and learn something about the culture that built them, this is the tour for you.
Reviewer: Roger Kozak
Great guides, great people, very knowledgeable, great experience. Great value. Very satisfied Highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Alice Pina
What a wonderful day! It was full of amazing moments! You do have to walk to there office that is a few blocks away but well worth it! We meet up with our guide and driver she was a local Myan girl. She told us everything about the culture and the living of the myan people. We went to the Ruins were we were amazed but the structures. To being welcomed with open arms of a Myan family that opend there house and cooked lunch. I would do this again in a heart beat. The best excursion I have ever been on!!
Reviewer: Patti Miller-Crowley
This was a great excursion. The guides were friendly and veru knowledgeable. It was nice getting a better feel for how they live rather than just the port.
Reviewer: Bettsye Rose
This excursion was amazing. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and provided us with so much information about the Natan civilization. Great walking tour and the ruins were great. The meal afterwards was amazing, the food was beautifully prepared and presented. The flavors and tastes of the food was superb. I would highly recommend this excursion - of the 3 excursions I did this was by far the best one.
Reviewer: Jenice Dickey
We took this excursion with 4 teenagers. Everyone our group absolutely loved this excursion. The vans were very well kept and comfortable and the driver and guide were so knowledgeable and friendly. The ruins were very interesting but the village lunch was amazing! I would highly recommend this excursion.
I cannot express how amazing this tour was. We went to a remote location where we saw Mayan Ruins and had the opportunity to have a one on one experience with the locals. Our tour guide did an excellent job keeping us entertain, particularly on the ride there since it takes about an hour to get to the location. But don't let the distance stop you from going there! This tour truly gives you a look at the life of the indigenous populations of the region. They are so friendly and make you feel like you are a VIP guest. This was particularly true when we went to eat lunch with the locals. The lunch cooked by the ladies was so delicious that words can't describe the flavors. It does take a lot of walking but this is by far the best tour I have done in Costa Maya and I've been there three times.
The ruins and park were very interesting and our guide was very knowledgable. The lunch with the Mayan women was great .
Reviewer: Up Anything Fun.
My grandmother is full blooded Mayan, born in Chiapas, Mexico and was a cuandera or healer. I've traveled in over 20 states in Mexico and have seen most of the major pyramids so these were nothing new to me but still interesting. We were fortunate to have a guide all to ourselves and Rosa gave us a very personal experience. The highlight to me was the time with the Mayan family. It felt like going to my grandmother's house. I was surprised to learn that so much of what I think of as Mexican is actually Mayan. The gardens had the same kinds of plants my grandmother used both for cooking and medicinal purposes. The pottery was much like what my grandmother made and even the wood stove looked like the one on the patio at my grandmother's house in East LA. All the food and spices were familiar to me though I hadn't seen some of them since my grandmother passed. My husband is Anglo and we both made tortillas which ""popped"" meaning we're ready for marriage. Good thing since we are celebrating 10 years in June. It was a wonderful experience and one not to be missed. My husband enjoyed it as much as I did and got to take a peek into my upbringing that he otherwise might not have seen. At the end I couldn't help crying with joy as we thanked this wonderful family for letting me reconnect with my heritage.
Reviewer: Don & Delia
Enrique & Maria well very well versed in Cozumel History, & Mayan Culture. My wife and I throughly enjoyed both the Bus Tour, and the mayan Excursion.
Chacchoben Ruins included over 10 Temples, which unlike Altun-Ha Ruins, permitted excellent views, no over-crowding of tourists, and on-site entry to these beautiful Mayan Temples and History. The Tour was exciting and educational in learning the history of the ruins, its beauty, and surrounding sites. Well-organized, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic guides made this experience a pleasure. The Tour of Chacchoben (Mayan) Village was fascinating, and the traditional meal cooked by the Ladies (Adelella & Oicovidin) was delicious and was the Best Meal I had throughout the entire week's Cruise!!! Maria Diego was our wonderful, vivacious Tour Guide. I purchased several hand-made gifts (wood carvings, hand-sewn stitchery-covers), so beautiful I wanted to keep them all for myself. Learned some Mayan words which I remember today: Yom Botik (Thank You) and Malo Kin (Good Day/Morning). Chacchoben is the name for Red Corn, Red means Good, positive, luck. Sun God is the main Mayan God. It was a day filled with joy, great food, people, and beauty.
Going to the Myan village for lunch was a true experience for anyone
Reviewer: JT's Gramma
I didn't know what to expect when I booked excursions not offered by the cruise line ... but this excursion exceeded my expectations. What a fascinating way to ""experience"" Mayan culture's past and present with a visit to the Mayan ruins and a visit to a Mayan village for lunch and cultural dances. The group was small which made it more enjoyable than the hassle of big buses. The tour guides were knowledgeable and the trip was educational. .
The Mayan Experience Tour was very well organized. It covered many aspects of the Mayan history, life, and culture. We especially enjoyed the interaction with the Mayan ladies, teaching us to make tortillas, and seeing their lifestyle, home, and village. Climbing the ruins was a fun window into a life 1000's of years ago. It's a long tour and our guide was excellent, informative, and untiring.
Reviewer: Judy the adventurist
WOW. This is the best excursion out of all my experience. The food was amazing. The guides from beginning to end were the nicest and informotative. We will never forget this we will talk about it for many years to come. I highly highly recommed this excursion. We were a small group of 11 people and we were in awe. The beauty, the Mayan women that cook that fabulous lunch. You get to experienced hands on how to make your own tortilla. Thank you thank you thank you for this great experience.
This was the best excursion I have been on. There was a lot of information about the Mayan culture from our guide, Erick. It did not have that commercialized vibe like a lot of excursions. We were a small group and got a good look at the local culture and a taste of the Mayan cuisine. We learned about the food and the spices they use.
So glad we did this excursion. What an honor to be able to share a meal with a Mayan family. Our guides Erik, Maria,and Miguel were so much fun and informed. The meal was delicious in a relaxing atmosphere. Watching the men make tortillas was fun, it was a lot harder than I would have thought. Learning about the different plants growing on the premises was educational. The only negative is the fact that you have to walk about four blocks outside the shopping port to get to their location. Yes I would do it again because it was well organized and informative. Your guides stay with you the whole time so you are well taken care of.
I had never visited Mayan ruins. This tour was great because it was only a fifty minute ride from the port ( bathroom and shopping stop included) and the site was comprehensive, but smaller than the big name sites. Also, I was really looking forward to the dinner prepared by Mayans. The tour itself was informative at the ruins. Note that you are not allowed to climb the stairs here. Nevertheless, there were some spectacular photo ops. It was extremely hot and humid during the visit. The tour provides water. Cover up against the sun and mosquitos. It is uncmfortable, but you will not regret being protected. There were people in tank tops and shorts being bitten by bugs. Why risk it?I very much enjoy experiencing the culture of places I visit, so the Mayan village experience was quite nice. Granted it was definitely staged for tourists, but it was fun! We got to try our hand at making tortillas and were treated to a lovely and healthy buffet of tamales, rice, stuffed vegetables and my favorite....fruit kabobs with coconut pudding and hibiscus tea. The food is prepared with purified water, so, no worries! The women graciosuly let us take pictures, too!
Very rewarding experience
Besides going to the Mayan ruins, the side trip to a real Mayan family was awesome. A moving interaction with real people. Our guide Eric was absolutely the best. Friendly, personable, and extrememely knowledgeable.
Good excursion for the whole family. The food was wounderful. Small groups
Don't miss this's one. Great excursion!!
I very much enjoyed the lunch with the Mayan women, it was a wonderful authentic experience
Great Mayan ruins tour, multiple sits.
Reviewer: Carters Adventures
Our guide, Diego, was extremely friendly and provided many interesting facts about the Mayan culture. The family that hosted us were welcoming and the food was excellent. I highly recommend this excursion if you are interested in experiencing the culture of the Mayans. The entire family loved it!
The Mayan family that prepared the meal were very welcoming - the food was great and plentiful. They made homemade linens with embroidery and fancy edging - we bought a couple of things and they were very inexpensive and unique.
This excursion was a wonderful cultural experience! Not only did you get to tour some Mayan ruins that were fascinating, but you got to have a wonderful meal served by a Mayan family at their home. The ruins we visited were very well kept up and very clean. It was beautiful and the tour guide (David) was extremely knowledgeable about Mayan history and his country. We were treated to a lunch that was tasty and it was obvious the family was proud of their ancestry and their Mayan traditions. They were a joy to be around and welcomed us with open arms into their home. It was a small group of about 20 people and a once in a lifetime experience that most people don't get an opportunity to do. We would recommend to anyone! Loved it!
Modern vehicles, personable guides. Super to visit a very personable home and had lunch with them. Far better than cruise package.
Food was very good and the area was clean. These were my favorite ruins. Mayan culture is becoming a thing of the past. Feel this maybe a once in a lifetime experience.
Reviewer: Spice loving Mary
The Native Choice Tour Group was very friendly and knowledgeable. Kaci (our tour guide) is a wonderful person who got us to the Maya Chacchoben site early enough that there were no other folks there. It was magical to see the ruins without interference or noise. The lunch experience was interactive as we got to make our own tortillas with guidance from the hostess and her daughters. The food was delicious and the grounds inspiring with all the plantings. I'd love it if other tour companies offered this kind of intimacy and friendliness. I'll never forget it.
This was the best excursion that my son and I went on.The guide Erick was very personable and knowledgeable. The trip to the village was fantastic, as well as the food. We will be going on this excursion again in the near future. Thank you for the memories.
The ruins were gorgeous, our tour guides father is the man who discovered the ruins and he grew up playing on the hills that once covered the ruins. The history was very interesting. The Mayan prepared food was great and there was som neat kitchen stuff for sale.
a bit hard to find where tour started
Despite rain our tour went forward while cruise tours were cancelled. Got to ruins and no rain. Tour guide who was a local Mayan was very knowledgeable. Ruins amazing and meal at Mayan home remarkable. A once in lifetime experience!
The Mayan ruins were nice. BUT what made this trip on of the best was having lunch in a traditional Mayan home, with real Mayan food. The three ladies that prepared the food were wonderful and gracious. Our guild grew up in that same village and showed us the good, and the not so good. On of the best values and the most interesting things we did. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Reviewer: travel pro
great guide and experience. would have been better if Mayan hosts for lunch had spoken more English.
Reviewer: Pack-N-Go Joyce
Excellent guide did an great job educating us about the Mayan culture, both past and present. The small group made it easy to tour, as well as the comfortable transportation. Our lunch at a family home was a special experience and the food was excellent! Before traveling to this part of Mexico, I was unsure about the safety of two female travelers, but it was a completely safe and worry-free adventure. So glad we chose this excursion!
Really enjoyed this tour, especially our guide. She was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to really enjoy what she was doing. Most guides just repeated memorized speeches, but she made the stories of the Mayans so interesting that we didn't want to miss a word. She really told a story from the heart. And the meal with the Mayan family very tasty. They were so welcoming. All in all A Great Tour.
We were a group of 17 people that took this excursion together in January 2014. We received well explained directions to the meeting spot before-hand. Our tour guide was absolutely amazing. He is a Maya and gave us so many information from his own experience. It was fascinating. The trip started very early which seemed tiresome at first, but we got to go to the ruins before the big crowds arrived. All of our pictures turned out awesome because we don't have a single stranger in them :) Our tour guide spoke so nice and clearly that our group members from Germany and Brazil had no difficulties understanding. Other associates from the agency handed out water bottles while we toured the site which was wonderful. The second part of our tour included a trip to a Maya family. It was the highlight of our trip. The food they prepared was unbelievable. We all loved learning about their traditions, admiring their clothing (all handmade) and enjoyed the wonderful meal. It was by far the best excursion of our vacation!
The guide was honest and obviously proud of his heritage, despite the ""poverty"" by Western Standards. He provided us a chance to see how Mayans today really live. The lunch in his village was charming, delicious, and quaint ( we could see the fire over which the tortillas were made). It was truly a Mayan experience. The guide was very competent, honest, educated and willing to entertain questions on all subjects. He provided us with a good historical tour.
This was by far the best tour we have taken. It was educational, informative and a lot of fun. The Mayan people we met were lovely and very gracious. The food was excellent. Would do this again.,
Reviewer: Norman Paperman owner Coral Reef Club
Great mayan adventure, Bring your appetite
This is a must do! We really enjoyed ourselfs. Our guide was very informative about the ruins. We were in a group of 10 which was great! We had an authentic lunch that was pprpared with excellence and was delicious! I traveled the week of Jan 19-26. I definitely recommend this excursion!!
Reviewer: Two bucks
When you pull into the port, it's not much to look at. It feels as though no one really lives there but I think the hurricanes hurt the look of their beaches. This is a new port for cruiselines and the community is still working on being tourist friendly. You walk immediately into a large mall with a pool that is amazing for shopping. Beyond the mall parking lot, it's very desolate. After walking to our tour meeting spot, it was about an hour drive to the Chacchoben Park. It was a beautiful park!! You walk along a path and all of a sudden the ruins are peaking behind the trees. GORGEOUS ruin sites. You then take a bus tour through the community and make and eat authentic Mexican dishes. I'm not a fan of authentic Mexican food but my husband loved it. They live in such poverty according to USA standards but they seem happy, traditional, and very welcoming. Definitely worth experiencing what life is like while also seeing amazing ruins!
Superb guides, lots of fun
Reviewer: Beth n Dave
Getting to see the Mayan ruins was something I always wanted to do this was an amazing excursion. Getting the cultural information and sites directly from locals was awe inspiring being able to go to the home of a local, make tortillas and have a lunch prepared for us was a unique experience the food was amazing I would have paid top dollar for the chance to eat, relax and learn the things I did. I would recommend this trip to everyone,
I've never written a review before but felt compelled to write one. This excursion was a big hit with my family. Our tour guide Joel was funny and very informative about the Mayan ruins we toured. He showed us this great picture he took of the ruins during spring solstice. Make sure he shows it to you. We also went to the house of a Mayan family who showed us how to make corn tortillas and then cooked for us. The food was delicious, my kids (8 and 11) even gave it two thumbs up. All those present agreed that that meal was the best we have had all week. Thank you Joel and ladies for making us feel like family.
Reviewer: Karen, mother of boys
Our tour guide was so knowledgable and the Mayan meal was delicious. It was great fun to make our own tortillas!
Reviewer: Bee thee won
The tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and educated, perhaps overeducated for the group, though I'm not sure I would change that. The home visit was wonderful and the people genuinely sweet and welcoming and the food was...different in a good way. Highly recommended.
Seeing the Mayan ruins was great, enjoyable, everything I had envisioned. But the absolute best part was was being taken to the Mayan neighborhood, interacting with the Mayan family, making a tortilla, eating the Mayan dishes was way beyond my expectations. It was truly something I don't think I will ever experience again. The tour guide was exceptional.
This was an incredible tour! Our guide, Ivan, was thorough and very knowledgable about the site we visited, and particularly, the Mayan way of life. We learned a lot from him. The second part of the tour included a trip to a Mayan house for a traditional meal, and it was superb. The most fascinating part for me was how Ivan contrasted a Mayan lifestyle with that of ours. It gave us an understanding and appreciation for another culture. It allowed us to participate, in a way, in smething we would have otherwise had no connection with. This tour was very satisfying and completely recommended for those who want the cultural enrichment. It was the best of our tours!
Wondeful experience must do
Reviewer: First time cruiser
Unique opportunity to interact with a native Mayan Family to learn about their life, culture and enjoy and authentic meal. Once in a lifetime opportunity!
Very informative. Enough time for ques and answers. Great
Reviewer: Deb Spin
knowledgeable friendly guides and staff. Once in a life time experience. Met a real working Mayan family. Food was fresh and delicious and the Ruin's were amazing!
Despite the fact that it was very warm/hot the day we were there, we had a good time. The guide was both genuinely caring and informative. The Mayan family that made the meal and showed us how to make tortillas was also very kind. The meal at the end was delicious!!!
This was a great tour. The guide was excellent. Small group much more personal and 1 on 1 interaction with the guide that you would have with the cruise line.
This excursion was truly amazing. The Mayan Ruins were outstanding and the tour guide left nothing out when addressing the ruins. Having the opportunity to experience a Mayan meal was beyond my wildest dreams and making the tortilla shells was really great. I would love taking this excursion again and again.