June 22, 2023
This tour company was very professional! The guides were absolutely amazing and very knowledgeable in Mayan history. They answered any questions. One of the guides even helped me climb so that I could experience the other temples. The experience in the Mayan village was amazing! The ladies taught us to make corn tortillas and made us an amazing meal. We we also served hibiscus tea (so refreshing on such a hot day). The grounds were we ate was beautiful with various types of tropical fruit trees and plants. I would 100% recommend this tour and this company!
Fantistic local experience
May 11, 2023
Tour of Chacchoben ruins. The remains of the Chacchoben ruins are very interesting to visit as they are one of the oldest in Central America. Our tour guide, whose name I cannot remember was a young man with local roots and very knowledgeable. The tour required a short walk from the ship into town to meet up with others on our tour. Our small group was five persons all in our seventies, so no problem with walking on this tour. The greatest part of this tour was the chance to visit a local Mayan families home and have lunch prepared for us. I think I drank six glasses of hibiscus tea, very cool and refreshing. This was a great tour and as well as supporting the local economy. I would encourage anyone of all ages to take it.
Reviewer: Dean Bowman
April 06, 2023
We had a great time exploring the ruins of Chacchoben. Our guide Joel was so interesting and knowledgeable. After touring the ruins, we enjoyed a great meal in a Mayan community. This was such a unique and educational experience.
Reviewer: Renee Phares
April 06, 2023
This excursion was amazing…we loved every part of it. After a short walk we met up with our driver, Oswaldo -he was exceptional! We visited the Chaccoben ruins. Joel was our guide. He was very knowledgeable and made sure all of our questions were answered. (He is of Mayan descent so it made the tour even more meaningful.) Oswaldo went out of his way to help me - (I have a bad knee - so I move a little slower - he assisted me a lot!). After our tour, we were taken to a Mayan family’s home where we were treated to a Mayan lunch…it was delicious! (BTW…when we were checking in at the excursion - the young man told us we were eating lunch at his grandmothers home!) After lunch we headed back - another hour drive. I really can’t say enough about this excursion…from beginning to end we were treated so kindly. This is a DEFINITE MUST Do - you won’t be disappointed!!
Reviewer: Karen Boyd
Chacchoben ruins and Mayan Family
March 19, 2023
We really enjoyed our excursion to the Chacchoben ruins and our visit with a Mayan Family afterwards. The tour guide at the ruins was most informative and we learnt so much. The visit with the family was a fun and interesting. Making our own tortilla and then the delicious meal added the day. Only negative was the frustrating way to get out of the cruise port to reach the tour.
March 17, 2023
We had a small group of 13 people. Our travel guide Diego was extremely knowledgeable of the area and Maya culture. He taught us several Mayan words to use at the included lunch. Diego also gave a rich narative of the building of the Mayan ruins and their relationship with the Spanish conquistadors. The lunch was absolutely stunning and delicious. The private garden tour was so very interesting. It was obvious that the ladies who prepared the meal were very proud of their work and the ability to share with us their culture. We would definitely recommend this tour to anyone!
Reviewer: Rochelle Ghan
Very Educational, great meal
February 14, 2023
This was different from the rest because the guide was from the area and took us to a current village for an authentic lunch from descendants of the original Mayan peoples. His knowledge was obviously far greater than the tour guides around us. This is not your usual ship-arranged excursion. We were so glad we chose this tour!
Reviewer: Thomas Matthews
February 10, 2023
We weren’t able to do the whole experience because the ship was later than planned but the company gave us a refund of some of it and we still enjoyed the guide we had and especially the smaller group compared to the ship groups.
Great Experience Great Tour Guide
February 09, 2023
Choosing tours is always hard because you don't know what you will end up with, however this was a wonderful experience! Our tour guide Diego was knowledgeable and entertaining. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone considering it.
We enjoyed our Mayan Experience
February 04, 2023
We greatly enjoyed our Mayan Experience Tour in Costa Maya, Mexico. We were in a party of 4. For the trip to the Mayan Ruins we were on a bus with many others but for the tour, the meal and the return trip we had our own guide and driver. We are all seniors and the walking was well paced for our abilities. Our guide provided a very good explanation of the rise and fall and the extent of the Mayan Empire. He had maps and diagrams which were very helpful. The evening meal at the home of descendants of the Mayans was very special. This was a very pleasant experience. Thank you
Reviewer: Charlie Moore
January 19, 2023
Knowledgeable tour guide, plenty of cold water and delicious food in a beautiful garden. Perfect Day!
January 11, 2023
This tour is exactly as described. The Mayan ruins are old sacrificing temples. You do not go inside them as the are solid structures. You just walk around the outside. At the private home, we were served a delicious local meal after attempting to make our own tortilla. We also got to see the garden of the home where most of the ingredients of the meal came from. Thank you Rosie and Edder for all the information you provided.
Reviewer: Jacquelyn Cudmore
Loved Mayan Experience
December 28, 2022
The ruins were lovely and the lunch after was fabulous!!! All of the guides were very pleasant and informative!
Reviewer: Patti Sharkey
December 28, 2022
My wife and I enjoyed this tour very much. I had been looking forward to visiting and learning about the Mayan civilization, and seeing the ruins. This tour was worth every penny. We had a fantastic tour guide. He was a descendent of the Mayan people. He was very knowledgeable and really helped you to visualize what it was like back during the Mayan era. We also had a meal prepared by a Mayan family and ate with them, wonderful experience. Everything was well handled and made for a really great tour. If you go to Costa Maya. You will certainly want to make this your number one tour.
Reviewer: Steve Lawver
December 21, 2022
My best friend and I did this this excursion on 30 Nov 2022. It was fabulous! Our guides were Edder and Abner, and they were fantastic. Ebber knew SO MUCH, not only about the ruins and Mayan history but about the flora and fauna around us. His background added so much to the experience. Highly recommend him as your tour leader!
Best excursion! Great value and experience!
December 20, 2022
The meeting place felt odd since it wasn't the most intuitive location, which was at their local office. As you head down from the cruise port the meeting location is SLIGHTLY left past the Mayan temple replica and look for tour vans outside. Also, the office is probably the last place to go to the bathroom for the next few hours since you'll be touring the ruins first. This has been the best excursion experience I've ever done in my life and it's completely worth it! Our tour guide was Edded. You get a good amount of time to explore the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. After our tour of the ruins we got to go have food prepared by a Mayan family. Before the food we got shown some of the local plants used in cooking in their garden. We then got to make our own tortillas with the help of the Mayan family. Food was great and there was decent amount of food and drink for us to try. Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Kevin M
November 13, 2022
We were there on a hot day with no breeze. Warned about bugs, we had repellent, but didn’t need it. There was much walking and standing in the hot sun, but it was worth it. So many fabulous structures to see, and they’re still uncovering more! This is not a climb-on-and-in-the-ruins experience; you will be walking around the ruins more than interacting directly with them, but there are plenty of great photo ops! The lunch provided at the Mayan home was delicious w/ nice variety, served buffet-style outside in the garden, and everything was handled hygienically in their outdoor kitchen where you could see the meal being prepared. There are restrooms to wash up prior to your meal as well. The tour size was small, so we got to speak with cruisers on other ships. Tricky to find the meeting point. Stay straight (not left) and walk thru center shaded path to the tour office. If you get a chance after, go to the ceramics store across the way! BEST selection at reasonable prices.
A wonderful ethnic experience
October 23, 2022
Had a great time seeing the "real" Costa Maya. Enjoyed begging this authentic experience.
Reviewer: Stefanie Sckomp
Terrific Day - worth it
August 24, 2022
We had Joel as our guide. He was awesome, very knowledgeable and as a Mayan himself in tune with everything. You can't get a better guide. The Mercedes van was clean and they offered free water on a hot day. The Mayan ruins are very interesting but smaller than Chichen Itza but just as good. The Mayan meal was delicious and the Mayan people were delightful. Really a great day. I really appreciated that when you walked out of the port and take the diagonal road to the left, not the first left, after about two blocks there was a representative looking for us just when we were starting to get nervous. The office is on the left.
Reviewer: Joe Flumian
An awesome excursion!
June 16, 2022
I had a wonderful time on this excursion! This was the best of the 3 I chosen! Diego my guide was very knowledgeable and the friendly. This tour company was top tier. I would most definitely recommend and go back to them!
Reviewer: Dorraine Rauch
Authentic Mayan Experience
April 11, 2022
If you want to get away from the crowds and really experience Mayan culture this a great option! Perfect amount of time spent at the ruins followed by an informative talk about the various trees and plants used for cooking in the Mayan diet followed by making our own tortillas and a delicious authentic Mayan lunch. Our guide Addar was wonderful and everything was perfect!
Reviewer: Michelle Younis
April 05, 2022
My only complement was the walk to and from the e perience. Everything else was great
Reviewer: Sidney Brock
March 10, 2022
Our guides, Diego and Maria, were fabulous. Very knowledgeable of the Mayan culture. In fact, Diego, was a Mayan descendent. Really great tour, highly recommended!
Reviewer: Charlotte Cluff
January 17, 2022
Our ship was not in dock long enough for the lunch, but the operators of the tour were beyond accommodating
Reviewer: David Hamilton
December 16, 2021
Our tour guide, Eric, showed us the very best of the Mayan world now. After viewing the ruins and receiving a whole new understanding of the Mayan culture as it was, we were taken to a modern Mayan family to experience the Mayan world as it is now. The wonderful family shared a meal with us and even helped us make tortillas. My whole group enjoyed the day and would recommend this experience to everyone.
Reviewer: Marci Bork
December 01, 2021
Our tour guide, Eric, was so knowledgeable and really gave us the the Mayan experience. After seeing the ruins we went to visit a Mayan family to have lunch and got to enjoy an authentic experience making tortillas. I highly recommend this experience.
Reviewer: Marci Bork
April 03, 2020
Our tour guide Alondra Garica was excellent. She gave so much history and facts and her English was great, could understand everything she said without having to look at her and pay attention to her. I was able to look about and see what she was talking about. The Mayan home and meal was fabulous. It truly showed their customs and way of life. We made handmade tortillas and saw all the ingredients used in the meal growing on their property. The ladies were 100% Mayan speaking no English. This was an excellent tour and it was a very small group so you got a very personal feeling of attention. Alondra informed us that the owner is Mayan and truly believes in his culture and customs and helps preserve them by giving back to his people and helps to give tourist a true reputation of the Mayan culture. I would recommend anyone to ask to go in Alondra Garcia group.
Reviewer: Christina Buckingham
March 31, 2020
Our guide Diego and our driver were amazing, so much information And at the busiest site we did excursion in reverse so we could get the full benefit of the views in front of us and still hear all that Diego had to tell us without struggling to hear him over the crowds. Our driver carried cold bottled water everywhere for us with no limit so grateful for that. The Mayan lunch we had and the chance to make our own taco was the highlight of our day. Would recommend this excursion to everyone.
Reviewer: Judi Murray
March 30, 2020
This excursion was taken with my 3 sisters and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Mayan hospitality while making our own tortillas. Our tour guide was very helpful and informative and we all would recommend this experience to anyone who loves history.
Reviewer: Sue Kay Kushlan
Thanks for a great day
February 21, 2020
We loved our Mayan Experience excursion. We went to Chacchoben to see the Mayan ruins and then made tortillas and had lunch in a Mayan home. It was a wonderful day. Allondra and Pedro took very good care of us and made the day very enjoyable. Allondra was very knowledgeable and interesting. We learned a lot. Thanks for a great day.
December 13, 2019
We had a wonderful time with Shore Excursions! Great service!
Reviewer: Beverly Winchester
December 12, 2019
Excellent tour. In addition to seeing the ruins, this tour gives a personal experience visiting a Mayan home, learning of their culture and eating an authentic meal. I strongly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Patricia Deering
December 06, 2019
Our Mayan experience was the absolute best. I will definitely do again.
Reviewer: Raya White
October 28, 2019
I was a little scared to eat homemade food because of foodborn illness but I'm glad we did this excursion. They had nice air-conditioned vans to take you around... One of them was a Mercedes. The tour guides were knowledgeable about the ruins and after, you are taken to a family home where they teach you how to roll tortillas. The food they made was delicious. It was a whole spread. They had braised chicken in a tomato sauce, tamales, beans, rice, fried plantains, and more. Definitely worth the money.
Reviewer: JONILYN RAMOS
Mayan Temple Ruins and Village Lunch
August 26, 2019
Our guide around the temple area was friendly and knowledgeable. Learning to make tortillas in an outdoor kitchen in the village was an unforgettable experience. The local older women who prepared the lunch were wonderful hosts.
Reviewer: Barbara Sherlock
Learn about ancient and modern day Mayans
July 25, 2019
We took the Mayan experience in Costa Maya. The walk to the pick-up site was about 15 minutes from the dock. From the meeting place, we were able to ride a small 12 passenger bus. The experience was outstanding. After about 90 minutes at Chacchoben, we went to an authentic Mayan home where we learned about the Mayan culture today. Our guide Diego did an outstanding job. He understood how to provide important information without overload. Diego, like the other guides from this company, was a native Mayan and spoke about his culture throughout the tour. This was an outstanding tour. The food was delicious. I would recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Douglas Trumble
July 19, 2019
We could not have asked for a better experience. The ancient pyramids were cool to see and there were tons of howler monkeys swinging through the trees all around them. The town that the Mayan family lives in is charming and they were lovely, welcoming, sweet people. They prepared a huge spread of food for us that was some of the best we have had. Not to be missed!!
Mayan tour and lunch
July 04, 2019
Our family had a great time. We did this experience once before with the other daughter. It was much improved this time. Great tour of the ruins and lunch was great. The cooking experience with tortillas and the taste of the food was excellent. Although a bit of a walk to start the tour, it was well worth it to use this company.
Reviewer: James Cant
May 21, 2019
This was a fantastic trip. wish it could have been longer, The visit to the Ruins was unique in that we were able to observe local wildlife, as well as learning about the Mayan history. The best part was spending time with the Mayan family and learning about how cooking was done long ago and today. Great food was served.
Reviewer: Martin Church
April 03, 2019
My family had a great time at the Mayan Experience. Hugo was a wonderful guide and was so informative about everything. From the ruins to the plants and trees that we saw along the way, he was highly knowledgeable about it all. The lunch prepared by local family was absolutely delicious and for sure the highlight of our trip!! Great educational experience.
Reviewer: Nora Farrell
Fascinating & charming
March 22, 2019
The ruins are thousands of years old but have only recently been discovered. The land around them is very flat but every so often you see a hill, covered with brush, trees, weeds. These hills are more ruins that have not yet been excavated! Afterwards, we went to the small outdoor marketplace nearby, where I was very happy to be able to buy a LARGE bottle of vanilla.Then we had a lesson in making tortillas, followed by a wonderful lunch on an outdoor patio. The food was traditional: corn, beans, spiced chicken, corn tortillas (of course!), hibiscus tea and baked custard. In the surrounding garden, they were growing spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), fruits (oranges, lemons, pineapples, mangos) and palm trees, the leaves of which are used to thatch roofs there. The women cooking, serving and explaining the details were wonderfully charming and kind.
Reviewer: Ellen Louise Sparling
Want a Real experience, this is for you!!
March 07, 2019
Not only do you get to see the Mayan ruins and culture, he get a taste it too. What goes better with an experience, a Great giude and good food to boot.
Reviewer: Jerry M.
worth the money!
March 05, 2019
great opportunity to go off the usual tourist grid. good tour of the ruins followed by a unique visit to a Mayan descendent. we made our own tortillas and fried them on a stone, followed by a delicious traditional lunch. dont miss this one
February 19, 2019
Overall this was a good experience. I thought it was a little too long. The lunch prepared by the ladies was very good.
Reviewer: June Rathbun
Yayan Family experience
July 16, 2018
Our family and grandchildren recenty did the Mayan Experience. All aspects of the excursion were great. The van was clean, group size was small and the ruins tour was educational and fun. The lunch and food preperation was an added extra. The experience was fun and the food and service very good. We had a great time.
Reviewer: James Cant
April 30, 2018
Highly recommend this excursion if you're interested in seeing the Mayan ruins and getting a little taste of the culture. Our guide was outstanding, very informative, and the trip to the Mayan house for lunch was terrific.
Reviewer: Charles Tucker
April 16, 2018
This excursion was the highlight of our trip. The lunch with the Mayan family was humbling and amazing. The food was wonderful. Beautiful setting in a tiny remote village. The ruins were also interesting and very different from others we had seen. I would recommend this excursion.
Reviewer: Kathryn Gallaher
March 24, 2018
Excellent directions for reaching the office, comfortable bus ride, & informative guide. The lunch was tasty & well-made, the family that hosted us was very friendly. Loved learing some history. I'd certainly recommend this to others.
Reviewer: Mariana Lara
March 11, 2018
Absolutely incredible!!! Ruins were amazing, our guide was so informative and explained everything in detail. The Mayan village and house we stopped at for lunch was definitely the gem. Food was amazing and making our own tortillas was really cool! We bought a few handmade linens there too. Would definitely recommend this tour! We wore long sleeves and pants, but it wasn’t necessary. It was cloudy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon so not bad at all. Make sure to wear comfy shoes to walk around and climb part of the ruins. Only thing I regret was I waited to buy a souvenir ornament when we got back to the port- but NONE of the shops at the port had Chacchoben, they only had the bigger more popular one. So if you want it but it when you’re at the actual ruin!
Tour guide that deserves to go to Venice
February 22, 2018
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: Dana Cryer
February 03, 2018
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: DARLENE BEYER
January 24, 2018
wonderful experience. Tour guide very knowledgeable and the lunch in a residents home delicious and the atmosphere relaxing.
Reviewer: cheryl cogan
January 09, 2018
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.
December 21, 2017
We had a wonderful day visiting the Mayan ruins, it was very informative, and our lunch at a Mayan home was absolutely divine.
November 27, 2017
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: Tandy Solesky
Mayan ruins and dinner
November 24, 2017
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: David Ball
July 20, 2017
The guides were very good and informative. Not a rushed tour like some others. Well organized and beautiful country.
Reviewer: rebecca antle
July 20, 2017
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: rebecca antle
June 30, 2017
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: Carole Jubb
Culture and History Together
May 25, 2017
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.
Reviewer: Joe Kirkbride
Awesome Mayan Locals
May 19, 2017
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.
It was great!
May 05, 2017
The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area, the ruins, the history. Very thorough and interesting! We loved it!
Reviewer: Kelli Mankowski
Costa Maya - Mayan Experience
April 27, 2017
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: Susan Milich
Better than Cruise Ship Excursion!
April 13, 2017
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: Nathaniel KW
March 17, 2017
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.
Reviewer: Dr. Phillip E. Rosner
local family Mayan lunch
March 08, 2017
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!
March 07, 2017
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: Pat Andersen
A Great Experience!
March 02, 2017
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.
Reviewer: Diane French
Buy This Tour!
February 16, 2017
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.
Graduation cruise with grandchildren
February 04, 2017
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: Bob Lange
January 16, 2017
Great guides, great people, very knowledgeable, great experience. Great value. Very satisfied Highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Roger Kozak
Can't say enough wonderful things about this one!
December 23, 2016
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: Alice Pina
December 23, 2016
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: Patti Miller-Crowley
December 07, 2016
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: Bettsye Rose
An amazing day!
November 21, 2016
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.
Reviewer: Jenice Dickey
One Unforgettable Experience!
June 06, 2016
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.
Educational and very interesting
June 01, 2016
The ruins and park were very interesting and our guide was very knowledgable. The lunch with the Mayan women was great .
May 10, 2016
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: Up Anything Fun.
Well Conducted Tour
April 21, 2016
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.
Reviewer: Don & Delia
A Wonderful, Cultural, & Delicious Experience
April 12, 2016
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.
highly recommend this tour of the Myan Experience
April 08, 2016
Going to the Myan village for lunch was a true experience for anyone
Costa Maya - Mayan Experience
April 06, 2016
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. .
Reviewer: JT's Gramma
April 05, 2016
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.
AMAZING. FABULOUS & UNFORGETABLE.
April 05, 2016
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.
Reviewer: Judy the adventurist
February 26, 2016
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.
Wonderful trip through history
February 26, 2016
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.
Mayan runs and a Mayan meal
February 25, 2016
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!
An amazing excursion with an amazing guide.
February 20, 2016
Very rewarding experience
February 18, 2016
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.
February 05, 2016
Good excursion for the whole family. The food was wounderful. Small groups
Highlight of our cruise!
February 03, 2016
Don't miss this's one. Great excursion!!
review of Mayan Experience
January 20, 2016
I very much enjoyed the lunch with the Mayan women, it was a wonderful authentic experience
Great, very educational.
January 18, 2016
Great Mayan ruins tour, multiple sits.
January 14, 2016
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!
Reviewer: Carters Adventures
Great trip - very informative, knowledgable guide
November 25, 2015
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.
True Cultural Experience
April 22, 2015
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!
Great Mayan Experience
March 23, 2015
Modern vehicles, personable guides. Super to visit a very personable home and had lunch with them. Far better than cruise package.
February 13, 2015
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.
One of a kind Experience!
January 16, 2015
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.
Reviewer: Spice loving Mary
The best excursion we went on.
January 16, 2015
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.
Very interesting, the ruins were great
January 08, 2015
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.
Well Run Tour
January 01, 2015
a bit hard to find where tour started
November 26, 2014
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!
Highlight of our excursions
November 06, 2014
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.
Mayan site and meal
April 20, 2014
great guide and experience. would have been better if Mayan hosts for lunch had spoken more English.
Reviewer: travel pro
Immerse Yourself in the Culture
April 19, 2014
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!
Reviewer: Pack-N-Go Joyce
April 12, 2014
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.
The best tour guide on the planet
February 22, 2014
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!
Great ruins, beautiful spot
February 13, 2014
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.
February 06, 2014
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.,
food and adventure
January 28, 2014
Great mayan adventure, Bring your appetite
Reviewer: Norman Paperman owner Coral Reef Club
January 27, 2014
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!!
Amazing ruins, growing community
October 20, 2013
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!
Reviewer: Two bucks
July 18, 2013
Superb guides, lots of fun
April 10, 2013
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,
Reviewer: Beth n Dave
March 28, 2013
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.
Our favorite excursion- we learned a ton
March 15, 2013
Our tour guide was so knowledgable and the Mayan meal was delicious. It was great fun to make our own tortillas!
Reviewer: Karen, mother of boys
Meet the real Mayas
March 07, 2013
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.
Reviewer: Bee thee won
Best tour on the trip
February 10, 2013
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.
January 12, 2013
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!
December 02, 2012
Wondeful experience must do
October 25, 2012
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!
Reviewer: First time cruiser
March 31, 2012
Very informative. Enough time for ques and answers. Great
March 27, 2012
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!
Reviewer: Deb Spin
March 01, 2012
A Real Mayan Experience
September 02, 2011
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!!!
August 19, 2011
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.
May 05, 2011
It couldn't have been any better.
April 14, 2011
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.