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: Xiaowei Ding
We are glad that we chose priceline and took part in this cultural experience. Patrick is an informative tour guide. As a Mayan himself, he not only interacted with us, but also offered thought-provoking comments on the history, religion, science and arts of ancient Mayans. Love this tour!
Reviewer: Jon Martin
Took this tour with Native Choice Tours, They are outside the gates of the shopping center. Entire staff made us feel welcome and comfortable from the moment we arrived at their office. Our guide Gracie & driver Alejandro where terrific. Gracie was knowledgeable on all aspects of the tour. She went out of her way to provide us with extra information. She was the best. If she recommends the pineapple BUY IT!! it was delicious. Alejandro made us feel safe for the entire drive. Our tour group was 10 people compared with the 60 plus that were on the cruise tours. We had great access to the ruins. There is much to see and many photo opportunities. Our kids (12 & 15) loved it. You are able to walk partway up some of the ruins and touch everything. A little walking involved, but not too strenuous. Again a great tour and a terrific company to deal with. New vans, water and umbrellas (for the sun) provided. It is worth the price which was less than going through the cruise company.
Reviewer: George Chen
Very nice people and feel very safe for the entire tour. strongly recommended
Reviewer: Catherine sansone
We arrived late for our excursion but not a problem we were wished off in our own mini bus with a guide to catch up with our party . From start to finish the tour was good fun and informative. We loved our tour and the pineapple and cake on our return trip . I can recommend the trip or the staff enough . Fabulous day out from start to finish.
Reviewer: Sonja Riley-Glover
This was a great tour one of our highlights. The group was small enough so that we could really enjoy the Ruins and our guide Enrique was excellent very informative. We were a little nervous trying to find the tour office...but everyone was friendly and helpful....Looking forward to another tour with this company...Thank you.....