Experience the Mayan culture's past and present on this fascinating excursion. See the past during a tour at the famous Chacchoben ruins, and then experience the present during a visit and meal with locals in a Mayan house.
Departing the pier for your excursion, you will drive approximately 50 minutes to the site of Chacchoben, where the first human settlements have been dated as early as 1000 B.C. Evidence collected during the excavations shows that most of the structures restored were built around the years 300-360 A.D. and were modified up to five times over their history.
Today, Chacchoben still keeps most of its secrets covered with vegetation, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience its magic and feel the energy of an ancient city in ruins. The ceremonial center of the site covers an area of nearly six square kilometers and is located in an area known as the "Region of the Lakes," due to the number of lagoons.
Your expert guide will bring Chacchoben to life as he recants the history of the city and shares insights on its past and present during the approximately 90-minute walking tour of the site.
Your next stop on this Costa Maya excursion will be Chacchoben Village, where you will meet a Mayan family in their home. Witness Mayan life and traditions as they unfold right before your eyes. Learn about traditional home remedies, savor a traditional Mayan meal, make new friends and experience their colorful cultural expressions. Lunch will consist of traditional Mayan dishes, most of them from pre-Hispanic times. The recipes will be explained widely during your visit, and you will also have the opportunity to see the ingredients and spices added to your meal and learn how they were used. The Mayan diet is mainly vegetarian, and by tradition meat is not frequently included. However, during this special occasion, you may find chicken or turkey has been added in your honor. You will not soon forget this memorable experience!
Please note: There is a fee to use a video camera at the archeological site (approximately $4 US). Credit cards are not accepted at the site for fees or shopping; U.S. dollars and local currency are.
Reviewer: Martin Church
This was a fantastic trip. wish it could have been longer, The visit to the Ruins was unique in that we were able to observe local wildlife, as well as learning about the Mayan history. The best part was spending time with the Mayan family and learning about how cooking was done long ago and today. Great food was served.
Reviewer: Nora Farrell
My family had a great time at the Mayan Experience. Hugo was a wonderful guide and was so informative about everything. From the ruins to the plants and trees that we saw along the way, he was highly knowledgeable about it all. The lunch prepared by local family was absolutely delicious and for sure the highlight of our trip!! Great educational experience.
Reviewer: Ellen Louise Sparling
The ruins are thousands of years old but have only recently been discovered. The land around them is very flat but every so often you see a hill, covered with brush, trees, weeds. These hills are more ruins that have not yet been excavated! Afterwards, we went to the small outdoor marketplace nearby, where I was very happy to be able to buy a LARGE bottle of vanilla.Then we had a lesson in making tortillas, followed by a wonderful lunch on an outdoor patio. The food was traditional: corn, beans, spiced chicken, corn tortillas (of course!), hibiscus tea and baked custard. In the surrounding garden, they were growing spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), fruits (oranges, lemons, pineapples, mangos) and palm trees, the leaves of which are used to thatch roofs there. The women cooking, serving and explaining the details were wonderfully charming and kind.
Reviewer: Jerry M.
Not only do you get to see the Mayan ruins and culture, he get a taste it too. What goes better with an experience, a Great giude and good food to boot.
great opportunity to go off the usual tourist grid. good tour of the ruins followed by a unique visit to a Mayan descendent. we made our own tortillas and fried them on a stone, followed by a delicious traditional lunch. dont miss this one