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Cancun excursions - Comments from those who have experience with the Tours

Cancun excursions - Comments from those who have experience with the Tours

Apr 28th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Cancun excursions - Comments from those who have experience with the Tours


I will be in Cancun in early July for 6 days with my husband and 2 children (ages 10 and 9). As of now, we plan to stay at the JW Marriott.

I am researching various excursions for the family to take. I do not want to innundate our days with tours. We do want some time to enjoy the hotel amenities, etc.

With that said, there seem to be so many interesting things to do off hotel property, and I would appreciate some feedback on recent experiences - especially if you have done these tours with children. (Yes, I have done searches, and read many posts.) I just could use some help narrowing down the field of choices given time constraints.

1) Boat excursion to Isla de Mujeres (tour or on our own?)

2) Cozumel day trip (tour or on or own?)

3) 2-hour Jungle tour on wave runners (I think the kids would like this - any experiences?)

4) Tulum -Coba (full-day tour)

4) Tulum & Xel-Ha (full-day tour)

5) Chichen-Itza (very long day tour) (concerned re lengthy day for the kids)

Ideally, I would opt for a maximum of 3 excursions, of which 1 must be a tour to ruins. How would you narrow the field? (i.e - Isla Mujeres and skip Cozumel, vice-versa, etc.)

Thanks for the information!

Chels is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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We thoroughly enjoyed Chichen Itza. But this is my piece of advice if you choose to go there...make sure your tour goes directly from Cancun to Chichen Itza. The tour we took originated in Cancun and continued to pick up passengers all the way to Tulum before heading towards Chichen Itza. Fortunately, we were the ones in Tulum--the last ones picked up and first dropped off. Those that originated in Cancun spent waaaaay more time on the bus than anything else.
xxxx is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 08:36 AM
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3) Jungle Tour- You ride on 2 person jet skis through mangroves and "jungle" then park them all together on a rope and snorkel.I took some good underwater photos and had fun. If I was choosing 3 from your list, I am not sure I would include this one....kids can get in the water at the hotel,so unless snorkeling and riding jet skis is a must, I would do the Cozumel day trip and snorkel there as the big reef is off the coast.
Wednesday is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Being a big fan of Isla Mujeres, I would recommend a trip over there. I wouldn't take a tour though. Just get a cab and have them take you to the ferry dock at Puerto Juarez, then it's $3.50 per person for the ferry over. Takes less than 30 minutes. The ferry lets you out right downtown. From there you can simply wander to Playa Norte, which is a beautiful beach. Or rent a golf cart and go on a tour of your own. Great fun. Garrafon Park is on the south end, fairly expensive, but right next door is a smaller place which is a fraction of the cost and has some decent, if not spectacular snorkeling right there. Across the street is a cool little restaurant with awesome chicken enchiladas for $3.00 for three of them.

It can be over 100 at Chichen Itza in the summer, I probably wouldn't do it with kids. There isn't much shade. If you want to see ruins, I'd do the Tulum/Xel-ha tour. Once again, if you're up for bus rides, you can do it at a fraction of the cost of a tour, but, it would be more of a hassle.

JeanH is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I took a Tulum tour last week and it was very excellent. Not sure if kids would like it, but me and my girlfriend enjoyed it. The view of the Caribbean is breahtaking. We were on a cruise, so the tour was arranged by Carnival -- we took a bus from Playa Del Carmen to the site (about a 45 minute ride), walked around for a few hours taking pictures and learning about the Mayans.

Some pics of the site can be seen in my photo album here:


Whatever you decide Im sure youll have a good time.
tdsteve is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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1)Isla de Mujeres (tour or on our own?). You can make a lot of things in Isla Mujeres, and your kids will love it, rent a golf car or bikes, spend the day on the beach, go to the see the turtles. Also ask about the Isla Contoy tours from Isla, it's a great place for bird watching.

2) Cozumel day trip (tour or on or own?. Cozumel it's a nice town, but if you have to choose 3 options.. skip it.

4) Tulum & Xel-Ha (full-day tour), You don't have to spend so much time in the bus, you can see the ruins, your kids can run all over the place and explore by theirseves, and Xelha it's a great place to snorkel. www.thomasmoretravel.com have tours, and it's family oriented.

caribbeanguy is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Can you please give me the name of the company and any info you have on planning/reserving the jungle tour. That does sound like fun!
cynnie33 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Thanks so much for all the replies! I have done some more research, and combined with the replies I have gotten, it looks like we will do the following:

1) Jungle Tour
2) Isla Mujeres (on our own)
3) Tulum & Xcaret

TDSteve - Wonderful pictures! Your pictures sold me on Tolum. I chose Xcaret for the children and for the show at the end of the evening. I bracing myself from now...

Cynnie33 - The Jungle Tour is offered by a number of different companies. I've cruised a number of websites, and gotten basic information. To start, Check grayline.com; Viator.com; tours-cancun.com. They have brief descriptions of their tours. If I find more detailed info, I will post it for you.

I welcome other opinions or suggestions.

Thanks again,

Chels is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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I suggest Xcaret. It has something for everyone and your children would probably enjoy it much more than Chichen Itza. Isla Mujeres is also a wonderful place to visit if you want to get away from the craziness of Cancun for a while.
Helena is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Chels...have a wonderful time on your trip!
cynnie33 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 04:03 PM
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No problmeo, Chels! Thanks for the kind words. Next time Im taking a real camera instead of disposables.

Have a safe and fun trip!!!!!!
tdsteve is offline  
May 9th, 2004, 05:21 AM
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You can purchase the jungle tour from Aqua World which is across the street, walking distance from where you plan on staying. Some hotels offer tours with the price of your package. We were in Cancun this past February and went to Xcaret. There is a lot of walking involved and in July it will be really hot. There is a lot to see but I would go to Xcaret during a cooler season. We loved Isla Mujeres, but we took that tour through the Cancun Palace hotel where we stayed. Also Aqua World offers several tours for one price. You really have a lot of choices. With two children I would suggest looking into a AI unless of course you have a lot of money. Also 6 days is really not long enough for 3 tours, assuming of course that you would like to relax by the pool with a cool drink.
Amparo is offline  
May 9th, 2004, 06:06 AM
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Also, when you purchase the Isla Mujeres tour they provide lunch, and when you get to Isla there are other tours you can purchase, or you can lounge on the beach. I'm sure you will have a great time. From Cancun to Isla it takes about an hour. They provide drinks and music. We would go back.
Amparo is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 11:30 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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We have a very similar itinerary as you except first week of August with a 9 yo & 5 yo. I would be very interested in knowing how you make out for the trip. I was looking at Xcaret especially and think it looks great. I also think that maybe 3 trips would be too much for us. I am really happy just sitting by the pool myself. Again, I would appreciate it if you let me know how you make out. Thanks
Phil335 is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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Posts: 87
Word to the Wise Do not ues Grayline Tours. My family booked the Grayline Xel-ha tour and the bus left early Without Us! We had to pay for alternate transportation back to Cancun.
lsb is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Thanks again for all the discussion!

Phil335, we are leaving in 3 weeks; I will report back upon my return, and let you know exactly what tours, etc. that we took.

Thanks again!
Chels is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 03:34 PM
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Do Isla Mujeres first. My bet is that once your kids get on Norte Beach that is the only place they will want to go.
Do not do the tour--just take a city bus to Puerto Juarez and take the ferry over. Visit www.isla-mujeres.net for lots of info.
dmotl is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 03:42 PM
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I did several tours in the summer of 2001 and wrote a lengthy trip report with lots of details regarding the companies we used. Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] if you would like a copy . It's too long to post here.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Jun 13th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Have a great time
Phil335 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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We are back from 1 week in Cancun. We had a lovely time, but we did not do anywhere near the amount of tours we thought of doing during the planning stage of the vacation. We ended up taking 3 children to Cancun(ages 10, 9, and 8). Each enjoyed the trip immensely, but, in all honesty, they were happy to stay at the hotel pool/beach every day rather than venture outside.

We hired a car and driver through the JW Marriott (Jorge, who was great!) The cost of hiring a driver was less than the cost of the 5 of us taking a tour to Coba or Chichen Itza.

Jorge drove a large Suburban SUV, with 2 rows of seats. We all had seatbelts, which the kids insist on! He was also prepared with a large cooler full of cold drinks including, sodas, bottled water, and beers. We left about 9:30 a.m., and travelled first to Tulum. We spent about 2 hours in Tulum. From Tulum, we went to Coba, where we spent about 2.5 hours. From Coba, we went to Playa del Carmen, where we had a great dinner and indulged in some shopping. The convenience of not being part of a large tour group was the best part of hiring a driver versus partaking in a tour. Jorge was knowledgable about many things, and we had a mini tour on route to our destinations, and we hired guides at the archealogical sites. We were pleasantly surprised that all 3 children listened closely to the guides, and asked their own questions. They were not bored or restless. However, adults may wish to spend longer periods of time at the ruins. Between the heat and the kids, the time we spent was perfect. It was also nice to return to the car, and have cold drinks waiting for us.

We decided against the Jungle Tour we had thought about doing due to the fact that it originated on the Lagoon side of the hotel zone. Why? Well, the night before our proposed tour, we had a great dinner at the Plantation House, which is also on the Lagoon. While we were there, the waiter pointed out a HUGE alligator swimming in the lagoon. It swam right up to the restaurant, which is built over the lagoon. We were able to stare into the eyes of the alligator as we looked over the railing next to our dinner table. Needless to say, the kids said "no way" to getting on jet skis or little boats in the lagoon! I wasn't about to argue that point!

We took the ferry to Isla Mujeres. It was beautiful, but unnecessary with the kids. As I said, they would have been just as happy at the hotel pool. I will save some of the proposed tours for when we return WITHOUT the children!

I will post a full trip report, but I know a few people were travelling soon. I hope this helps!

Chels is offline  
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