Costa Maya's Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
Chacchoben, "the place of red corn" in the Mayan language, is a ruin which may date from 200 B.C. The structures found here date from 700 A.D. The site is quickly becoming one of the most popular along the Costa Maya excursions.
Due in part to its location away from large cities and cruise destinations, and with the more famous Mayan sites such as Tulum getting all the attention, the ruins of Chacchoben, an excellent example of the most brilliant civilization of the new world, remained in obscurity. As you walk through the jungle filled with evidence of temples, courtyards and pyramids, you will feel the connection and harmony between nature and history. Along the way, your guide will tell you the journey the city has taken, from the myth of its creation through the collapse of the great Mayan civilization. As you stand in the heart of this abandoned Mayan ceremonial center, your senses will begin to adjust to the sounds of nature. This Costa Maya excursion covers more than two square miles in an area known as the "Region of the Lakes," due to the number of lakes and lagoons in the area.
Most of the walking is over even-packed dirt and grass on a circular path that passes three excavated and restored pyramids, as well as walls and staircases. The site is far from being completely uncovered, and you will see excavation on several mounds that are known to contain additional structures. Some structures still bear traces of the red pigment with which they were originally coated. At the base of the largest pyramid is a large stone slab called a stela with a Mayan hieroglyphic inscription.
Climbing on the temples is restricted out of respect to the deceased and their spirits.
The ruins site has a service area that includes restroom facilities and a cafeteria. Locals from Chacchoben village have a small shopping area at the site, where they offer handmade souvenirs from their village. Keep in mind that in places like Chacchoben, you are expected to negotiate the prices, so be ready to exercise your Espanol and have some fun!
Please Note: There is a fee to use a video camera at the archeological site (not included, approximately $4 US). Credit cards are not accepted at the site for fees or shopping, but US dollars and local currency are.
Our Experience with the firm "Native Choice" in Costa Maya was excellent! Our Guide was 'Edder' and our Driver was Pedro, they make a wonderful team. Edder's knowledge was amazing, he had the appropriate answer for every question, he is obviously a student of History. This was the most informative excursion tour we have ever taken. The company is well run, the office/meeting place is easy to find, clean and friendly. They had nice cold water available for anyone who wanted some, throughout the tour, it was greatly appreciated.
Reviewer: Richard Bott
Hugo was an excellent guide. His talked about the history and fauna of the Yucatan as well as the Mayans. It was worth the short walk to find the departure point. The ruins were much less crowded than Tulum.
Reviewer: Mark Lindsay
Very good. Guide was great. Bus trip was as good and informative as the actual visit, which we loved.
Reviewer: Yvonne Franklin
The excursion to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins was an enjoyable and informative day trip. The bus trip was an hour each way and the tour was about two hours. The tour guide Lorenzo was a wealth of information. He started the tour on the bus describing the surrounding countryside. At the ruins he spoke on the Mayan civilization and its impact on the surrounding societies. Climbing the steps to the Sun Temple was a challenge but the view from the plaza was worth it. On the way back our driver Antonio stopped and Lorenzo took orders for the fresh pineapple being sold by women on the roadside. The company offered complimentary bottles of ice water before boarding the bus. On the return visit, it was greatly appreciated after hiking the pyramids. I highly recommend this tour company for its professionalism.
Reviewer: Stacey Harvey
This tour was great. The location to walk to in order to board the buses was manageable, the bus accommodations were clean and comfortable, our tour guides were fantastic and extremely knowledgeable. The amount of time at the ruins worked very well for us.