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.
Reviewer: Gordon Lemmon
Our guide was Mayan with a masters in history. He had a lot of cool history to share with us. Without the history lessons, browsing the ruins would have been a little underwhelming, but the history made it worthwhile.
The tour was well pace and the guide was very knowledgeable. I had a good time.
Reviewer: Jeff walters
The excursion was excellent. The guides were very informative and we had no issues getting to and from the meeting place. In addition, it was cheaper than the same excursion offered from the cruise line. Would definitely recommend.
Reviewer: Sandra Tuten
We were very pleased with this excursion! The guide, L. Gonzales, was very informative, kind, and made the trip very interesting and memorable. They had plenty of good bottled water for us all along the way.
Reviewer: Dennis Fuller
My wife and I both enjoyed this tour. We were at the site for a couple of hours. The tour guide was very well informed and explained everything about the ruins and answered many questions. I cannot think of anything to improve this tour.