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Costa Maya's Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

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Tour Details

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 348 Reviews Review This Tour
5 StarsOutstanding and informativeNovember 11, 2019

Reviewer: Christopher Brown
Hugo and Miguel were exemplary hosts for this excellent tour - knowledgeable and professional. The tour is very highly recommended.

5 StarsGreat tour November 03, 2019

Reviewer: Mai Wilson
It was great experience. A little walk to the meeting point but the detail map was very helpful. Our tour guide was nice and very knowledgeable. Both the guide and driver had lots of water to make sure we all were hydrated. Also, the driver also carried umbrellas which we used too. Highly recommended!

5 StarsGreat way to see the area and Mayan ruins!November 02, 2019

Reviewer: Shelly
We were a group of 7 and each of.us enjoyed the tour with Rose and Saul. Rose was friendly and full of information on the ride there and during the tour. Beautiful site!! Don't pass up the pineapple with seasoning on the way back! Do give yourself about 30 minutes to walk from the ship to the office.

5 StarsAmazing tour guideOctober 26, 2019

Reviewer: Tracy french
We could not have chosen a better tour for Chacchoben. Our tour guide grew up in these ruins literally. His knowledge and passion for the site comes through as you take the tour. When you are looking for the tour start it does seem a little sketchy because it’s a good walk from the boat but this is 110% worth it!

5 StarsMust seeOctober 16, 2019

Reviewer: David Conner
Such a treasure. We’d been to several of the larger Mayan ruin sites, so this smaller “settlement” was very interesting to us. The history, architecture and as always aesthetics of this Mayan village was well worth it, and a recommended excursion.

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