booking Cancun tours

Old Aug 7th, 2002, 09:31 AM
  #1  
Laurie
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booking Cancun tours

Wondered if it was advantages either way of either booking tours ahead of your vacation in Cancun or waiting until you get there. Perhaps are their discounts if you wait until you're there and the tour reps try to "pull you in"? Thinking of the Jungle Tour or Xel-Ha all-inclusive tour. We will venture to Isla Mujeres on our own. Thanks for any help.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 09:59 AM
  #2  
Nancy
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Hi Laurie,
I usually wait till I get there and then book. I like to go when tours are least crowded, and if I'm there in Cancun, I can talk to the places and ask more questions.
I've been to Xel Ha and did not like it, but many people do.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 11:13 AM
  #3  
Laurie
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Nancy, what is it about Xel-Ha that you don't like??? Thanks. (I tried to respond to your email but it came back undeliverable.)
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 11:45 AM
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Nancy
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Laurie, Just my opinion, but I found it over-priced and waaay over-crowded. I also found the snorkeling to be poor.
If you have children or like amusement parks, you might like it. A lot of people do. Plus, they have a swim with the dolphins program, and I wouldn't have even gone at all if I had known that.
It has some neat things about it, but I prefer going someplace less commercial and crowded. For kids though, great fun.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 02:35 PM
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Laurie
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Thanks Nancy. Where would you recommend then for another adventure? We'd like to snorkel. I am interested in water sports and beach more than visiting the ruins this short trip. We're staying at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach. Maybe we should just stay put and enjoy its pool and beach. I do though really want to go to Isla Mujeres on our own and rent a golf cart. Any other ideas? Thank!!!!!!
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 04:58 PM
  #6  
Nancy
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Another choice would be Playa del Carmen. PDC and Cancun are like night and day. It is about 45 min. down Hwy 307 via a wide modern highway. Yau can rent a car or take a cab. PDC has one of THE most beautiful beaches I've ever seen in the Caribbean, and it is full of neat little shops, wonderful restaurants and tequilerias. It is VERY laid back and casual. (Reminds me of Key West.)
A day trip to Isla Mujeres is fun too, but it was a little too quiet and the snorkeling site we picked was really not good. It's good if you want to escape the craziness and commerciality of Cancun.
I might also recommend taking the ferry over from PDC to Cozumel. It's kind of a combination of PDC and Cancun - one of my favorite places. The snorkeling there is the best I've seen. Or, for less time invested, you could go on down to Akumal (not too much further down from Playa del Carmen.) It's another neat little town with a great beach, restaurants and snorkeling.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 11:12 PM
  #7  
Mark
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Just a heads-up on the Fiesta Americana.

We were there in June. The beach and pool are fantastic. We rented wave runners three times. The kids loved it. However, the best part of our trip was renting the little maxum boat from the hotel marina. Pablo drove it for us, and took the four of us snorkeling, water skiing, and then to Isla Mujeres. It cost $270, but was one of the greatest times we ever had. We were out for about 3 1/2 hours. The snorkeling was very good. Many people go all the way to Cozumel for snorkeling, and I am sure it is much better. But our trip was so convenient, and so PRIVATE, that we would do it again in a heart beat.

Isla Mujeres is not that spectacular, but we enjoyed just walking along the beach before heading back. Tell Pablo you want to see the Nurse Shark and turtles, and he'll take care of you.

The comments by Nancy about Xel Ha sounded like our experience at Xcaret. Are they that much alike, or is Nancy talking about Xcaret? Her description has Xcaret pegged pretty good. An overpriced waste of a day except for the underground river. You'll get much better use of your time at the Fiesta!!!

One bummer about the Fiesta was, surprisingly, it is pretty dead at night. Not sure why. Maybe it's because of the threat of thunder. But even the bar is dead.

Have Fun.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 05:46 AM
  #8  
Nancy
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Hi Mark, Had to laugh at your remark about Xcaret. I feel the same way about it that I do about Xel Ha, but she didn't ask about it, so I didn't go off on a tirade about it too
There ARE less touristy alternatives to both Xel Ha and Xcaret. Tres Rios for horseback riding, an interesting snorkel from a cenote down a small waterway to the sea, and a great lunch on a gorgeous beach, OR you can go down to Akumal for really good snorkeling in Yalku lagoon, another neat little town, nice beach and several good restaurants. (In my opinion, both are much more fun and much less crowded and tacky.)
 
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 06:17 AM
  #9  
Lauire
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Many thanks for the advice. Nancy, this is the first I've seen of Tres Rio. I checked their website. Did you do the all-inclusive and were satisfied? I always wonder when they say all-inclusive and the drinks that are available and food. Did you book through them directly or is it available in Cancun from tour people at the concierge? Hadn't even consider this place as this is the first I've heard of it!
 
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 08:22 AM
  #10  
Nancy
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Hi Laurie,
I can't remember, but I don't think we did the AI. We just wanted to ride, snorkel and have lunch, so I think we just paid by the activity.
The snorkeling was kind of bizarre, but neat. It starts in a cenote and winds down a kind of shallow river through the jungle to the ocean. The water is quite cool, and I don't know that I'de recommend it to someone who hasn't done much snorkeling. I don't know how to describe it, it might be a little intimidating to someone not comfortable in the water because it's kind of dark and a little spooky. The snorkeling off the beautiful beach is probably better.
The riding was great! Nice, well cared for horses, and you can ride on the beach. The restaurant was very good.
I'd definitely return for the riding, to have lunch and to spend the day on the beach.
You can get a cab from Cancun, but I'd go early in the day so you can be sure to get a cab back (they'll get one for you).
I'd really recommend Cozumel if you want "world class" snorkeling.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 10:28 AM
  #11  
Fred
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Hi Laurie,
We just resturned from Cancun yesterday.
The summer is considered high season as there are a lot of Mexicans who vacation then. Therefore are are not a lot of discounts once you get there. We ended up going with the 2 for 1 card, (www.cancunandrivieramaya.com) and this provided discounts on tours and 2 for 1 meals. We were very happy with it. Another way of saving BIG once you get there is to go on an "interval ownership" tour. There are people everywhere offering you a free breakfast, etc. if you go on the 90 minute tour. We did take one and it was NOT high pressure at all, but very professional. All they ask is that you listen, there is no obligation to buy. We got two free tickets to an excursion and all others where marked down considerably.

One other important point, be prepared to pay a 4-6% surcharge if you use a credit card with many companies. This happenned to us on a Gray Line Tour.
Have fun,
Fred
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 09:34 PM
  #12  
mary
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I did the all-inclusive Tulum/Xel-Ha last week and was not impressed. The water at Xel-Ha was merky and we did not see many fish. Don't eat at the buffett rest at Xel-Ha, the food was awful. The other restaurants in Xel-Ha were good. I was surprised and disappointed to see that the entrance to Tulum was filthy and the beach was also. I heard from other tourists and tour guides that Cozumel was the best for snorkeling. There are many tour packages to choose from. I would reccomend that you book it when you are there. You can book the day before. Cancun beaches are beautiful. You will have a nice time.
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 06:15 AM
  #13  
Laurie
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Thank you all for your replies. Appreciate your willingness to help out!
 
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