Experience the Mayan culture's past and present on this fascinating excursion. See the past during a tour at the famous Chacchoben ruins, and then experience the present during a visit and meal with locals in a Mayan house.
Departing the pier, you will drive approximately 50 minutes to the site of Chacchoben, where the first human settlements have been dated as early as 1000 B.C. Evidence collected during the excavations shows that most of the structures restored were built around the years 300-360 A.D. and were modified up to five times over their history.
Today, Chacchoben still keeps most of its secrets covered with vegetation, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience its magic and feel the energy of an ancient city in ruins. The ceremonial center of the site covers an area of nearly six square kilometers and is located in an area known as the "Region of the Lakes," due to the number of lagoons.
Your expert guide will bring Chacchoben to life as he recants the history of the city and shares insights on its past and present during the approximately 90-minute walking tour of the site.
Your next stop will be Chacchoben Village, where you will meet a Mayan family in their home. Witness Mayan life and traditions as they unfold right before your eyes. Learn about traditional home remedies, savor a traditional Mayan meal, make new friends and experience their colorful cultural expressions. Lunch will consist of traditional Mayan dishes, most of them from pre-Hispanic times. The recipes will be explained widely during your visit, and you will also have the opportunity to see the ingredients and spices added to your meal and learn how they were used. The Mayan diet is mainly vegetarian, and by tradition meat is not frequently included. However, during this special occasion, you may find chicken or turkey has been added in your honor. You will not soon forget this memorable experience!
Please note: There is a fee to use a video camera at the archeological site (approximately $4 US). Credit cards are not accepted at the site for fees or shopping; U.S. dollars and local currency are.
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!