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CaraLegal Jul 31st, 2008 12:07 PM

Chichen Itza
Going to Playa del Carmen for 5 days of R&R, is it worth venturing out of little paradise to see Chichen Itza? If so, should we hire a guide, or are there interesting tour groups that can be arranged onsite? Thanks!

RAC Jul 31st, 2008 01:30 PM

Chichen Itza is most definitely worth a day trip. I'm not sure what tour operators are available, but unless you have your own vehicle that's probably your easiest bet.

beachplum Jul 31st, 2008 03:27 PM

When we were in the Playa area, we took a small plane to Chichen Itza from Playa so to arrive early in the day before the crowds and the heat and it worked out well. We also drove to Tulum on our own.

Others, it seems, enjoy the bus tours or driving themselves but we found the plane ride interesting especially viewing the area as we approached from the air. Driving or the bus gets you there later in the day - when it is really hot and the crowds were huge but we could still get some beach time in the afternoon.

owkdupd Jul 31st, 2008 08:14 PM

We went to Chichen Itza by taxi from Isla Mujeres. It was not much more than taking a tour and gave us alot more control over our time. We also made a couple of stops along the way that were interesting. I was very impressed with Chichen Itza. I also liked seeing the handcrafts sold on the grounds. If I were in the area again I would go to Chichen Itza again.

CaraLegal Aug 1st, 2008 04:54 AM

Thanks all, the plane route is very interesting. I'll look into it...We're fairly seasoned travellers and this trip was supposed to be 5 days, some books and some quiet, just to decompress, but if there is a great site relatively close by, my wanderlust won't let me sit still on a beach. Thanks again for the input.

jw2 Aug 1st, 2008 07:28 AM

You are probably already aware that you will be MUCH closer to Tulum and Coba then to Chichen Itza.

If you will not ever return to the Yucatan, and you are up to an all-day trip mostly seeing stunted jungle trees, then by all means "do" Chichen Itza - since it's the most cleared, most reconstructed, most visited and photographed site.

But you might want to consider taking a more leisurely visit to nearby Tulum (el cheapo Mayan architects designed it and the contractors who built it were probably on the take, but what a location!) and have time to visit Coba which is much less crowded and has, IMHO, more "atmosphere" since it hasn't been turned into a "replica" by virtue of so much restoration.

You'll spend less time en route,be able to visit at a time of day YOU pick, have a LOT more time visiting the sites.

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