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Costa Maya's Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

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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.

Shore Excursion Size
Shore Excursion Type
Shore Excursion Duration
4 Hours
Activity Level
Shore Excursion Leaves From
An approximately 15 minute walk from the Cruise Center. (Full details will be provided in your electronic ticket upon confirmation.)
Food/Beverage Provided
Beverages are included.
Recommended Dress
Comfortable long sleeve shirts and long pants are suggested due to the strong Mexican sun and potential for insects in the jungle. Sensible, flat-soled, closed-toe walking shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses are recommended.
The minimum age to participate is 3 years. Guests must be able to walk approximately one mile over packed surfaces during the 90 minute tour of the site.
5 Stars5Based On 364 Reviews Review This Tour
5 StarsEducational Experience about the Mayan CultureJanuary 10, 2020

Reviewer: Mary Beth McQuary
Our guide was superior. We learned about the Mayan culture and people while touring the ruins. It is a tragedy that the country is not doing very much to preserve the history of these fascinating and intelligent people. A must see for anyone visiting Costa Maya.

5 Stars Costa Maya's Chacchoben Mayan RuinsJanuary 09, 2020

Reviewer: Marlene Graf
Use Shore Excursions instead of booking tours with your cruise line to avoid large groups and crowded buses!!! Our tour guide was a knowledgeable college professor and archeologist. He provided interesting and entertaining information on the mini bus and during the tour. Fantastic experience at a great price!

5 StarsCosta Maya's Chacchoben Mayan RuinsJanuary 09, 2020

Reviewer: R. Martinec
The best tour of our cruise. The guide was very knowledgeable and explained everything very well. Mini van was almost new. The bus driver also was very helpful and even offered additional water bottles in middle of tour.

5 StarsA Wonderful Day Of History And Ancient SitesJanuary 08, 2020

Reviewer: Erick Zimmerman
The tour was really good. From the new buses to the expert guide Bernardo, my family and I really enjoyed the trip. Each site feature, building and tree/plant was described in detail along with how the population lived and played. We had some rain but it was still well worth the cost. The short walk to the bus site was no issue at all. We would highly recommend this tour.

4 StarsWe saw monkeysJanuary 08, 2020

Reviewer: Marcus McCoy
My excursion to Chacchoben was awesome. It was amazing to see monkeys up close! We learn a lot from the tour guide and he was very entertaining.

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