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Costa Maya's Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

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Tour Details

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 290 Reviews Review This Tour
5 StarsExcellentFebruary 08, 2019

Reviewer: Steve Slater
Got to see much more than I expected. It was wonderful. Guide was great.

5 StarsExcellent TourFebruary 07, 2019

Reviewer: Samara Bradley
Cannot say enough about the energy and professionalism that the tour guides displayed. Never have we experienced guides with such a vast knowledge in the Mayan Ruins.

5 StarsChacchoben Mayan ruinsFebruary 07, 2019

Reviewer: Edith George
Guide was well organized and versed on Mayan culture. Interesting excursion that I would recommend for all.

5 StarsWhat a wonderful experience February 03, 2019

Reviewer: Lori Goodale
My daughter and I decided to do a different Mayan ruin and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice. Our guide was personable, knowledgeable and fun. Although you could climb much on the ruins you got to experience the aw of it all. Would definitely do it again.

5 StarsBetter than expectedFebruary 03, 2019

Reviewer: Adrienne
I'll be honest- this one was not my choice. But Fabiola made the experience wonderful and one I would highly recommend. She was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. I was worried it would be a long, hot, boring tour, but Chacchoben is a manageable size and was easy enough for even the older and less mobile members of our group.

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