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Group tour to Chichen Itza from Cancun plus other tourist attractions

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Group tour to Chichen Itza from Cancun plus other tourist attractions

Old Mar 15th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Group tour to Chichen Itza from Cancun plus other tourist attractions

We want to take group trip from Cancun to CI. Too much driving to do in rental car and private driven car probably too expensive. Anybody have a group service they recommend??
Plus...what else should we do during our week in Cancun? We will go snorkeling, again...where and who is recommended? We are older couple so zip lines and other fun stuff not for us. Also I really like bird watching. Recommendations??
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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HI Elainee, it is emd from the Asia board here. I wish you were staying in Playa del Carmen instead of Cancun, as that would put you closer to Akumal for snorkeling. Akumal is about 1.5 hr south of cancun. I would go there to snorkel, you can snorkel right off the beach (no need for a tour) and there is a dive shop to rent snorkel gear right on the beach. There are big sea turtles there to snorkel with (google it and you'll see pics of how close they are, this is in 5 ft of water) and a reef close to shore w/lots of fish.

I don't now what tour to take from Cancun if you feel you need a tour (there are colectivo vans that go to Akumal). There are likely many options available through your Cancun hotel for Akumal.

For birding, people go to Sian Ka'an Bioreserve, but that would be a long trip from Cancun.

Look into going to the Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical gardens close to PUerto Morelos. I was in Puerto Morelos a few weeks ago and heard good things about birding (parrots an dwarblers were mentioned in particular)and flowers (orchids) and widlife (deer, spider monekys), and butterflys at that place. There is a nice high observation tower and suspended bridges thru the jungle. Puerto Morelos is only about 25 min south of cancun. There is an entry on tripadvosor about this place, but note that it is NOT In Chetumal- that is a tripadvisor mistake- it is in Puerto Morelos. And you could have lunch and walk around Puerto Morelos (very nice and about as opposit from cancun development as you can get), that would be a nice day.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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And perhaps when you go to Akumal you can try to visit the wonderful spider monkey reserve near there, called the Jungle Place. Google it. Awesome place and people and spider monkeys there, up close and personal.

When we went to Chichen Itza last Nov. we had a guide who also is a birding guide. We got him thru the hotel we stayed at literally on the grounds of Chichen Itza, called Mayaland. I bet you can get a guide at Chichen Itza who can also take you birding in the jungle around there.

Try to also see Ek Balam when you go to Chichen Itza. It is apprently very impresive and you can still climb the ruins there, it is about 20 min from Chichen Itza I believe. There are tours that go to both. We are going back to see Ek Balam and several other Mayan sites around Merida and other places soon. We bought a condo in Playa del Carmen last yr. and love it down there.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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One more thing- do a search on birdforum.net for cancun. There are Ppsts on there regarding birding in the area.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Hi, emd3. I hoped you would respond. We are spending 4days at jw Marriott. Great price and we are checking things out for extended family vacation next year. Then 3 days at Zoetry. I think it is further south so we could get to Akumal.
Since this is our first time in Cancun we want to try a variety of experiences.
Is there a group tour that is better than others for CI.
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 04:51 AM
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Contact Edventure Tours
http://www.edventuretours.com.mx/

They have some "set" tours, but will also design a day around what you want to do. That way you won't have to deal with a big bus load of other people on a big group tour.
They provide a driver/guide and they are wonderful!
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 05:04 AM
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I used edventures for a snorkeling trip to Dos Ojos. They were great; it was just the guide and the two of us. Dos Ojos was WONDERFUL, google it Elainee. UNderground river with a cenote mouth, stalagmites, stalagcites, very very cool. You don't really cnorkel for the fish there, it is more the environemt. My husband says this is one of the top 10 cool things he has ever done.
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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There is a bird sanctuary in Playacar, which is part of Playa del Carmen. The ruins at Tulum are worth seeing, the setting is picture perfect. I would also second the recommendation to visit Puerto Morelos, a very pleasant little town - there is a nice crafts market there.
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 08:23 AM
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There are guided tours, group tours, air-conditioned scheduled buses, all kinds of prices for Chichen Itza, even different language options:

http://www.chichenitza-tour.com/

Hidden Worlds is also a good snorkel-cave tour:
http://www.hiddenworlds.com/
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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YOu an not just snorkel and do the underwater cave tour at Hidden Worlds. You are put in a group with people who are paying to do the entire "circuit" of rapelling, ziplining, the "zipline roller coaster," etc. The last activity after all of those is the snorkeling in the cave. We had to wait for everyone in our group (5 other people) to get through all their other activites, then we all did the cave snorkeling. It took 3 hrs wait to get to the snorkeling in the cave, which is all we wanted to do. It was an awesome cave, but I would go to Dos Ojos w/Edventures where you do not have to wait for over 3 hrs to do the one activity you want to do.

Also, to get from the hwy to the part of Hidden Worlds where the activites are takes 30 min in the back of a truck, sitting on a board seat on a very rutted road. 30 min in and 30 min out. I was SO READY to get out of that truck.
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 11:34 PM
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It's been a few years since I visited the Yucatan, but my experience with Hidden Worlds was exactly what I expected: I snorkeled in 2 different underground cenotes that had different and interesting features, and I spent some time between them on an uncomfortable truck from which I saw some of the native vegetation. I didn't find the terrain between the 2 cenotes attractive, but I found it interesting, because it was likely to be similar to the vegetation that the Mayan people encountered in the area.

It's been several years since my trip to the Yucatan. As I recall, Hidden Worlds offered at least 2 different tours at that time, maybe more. I just checked its web site - it seems that they now offer multiple tour options. It would seem that one would need to be very clear in one's communications with Hidden Worlds about the specific tours and options under discussion, and to be very clear about what is/isn't included in the price and in the tour.

I'm very glad I spent some time snorkeling underground cenotes - it was an experience unlike any other I've had.
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 03:26 AM
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I believe you are mistaken, EMD; it depends on the tour you pick.
I enjoyed the two different cave/cenotes snorkeling experience. http://www.hiddenworlds.com/tours/13/yucatan_adventure/
As you can see, there are many different options (and 30 minutes in the truck is a bit of an exaggeration; perhaps that is because you went farther inland to zipline).
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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No, I am not mistaken. The day we were there they told us we had to join a group that was doing all the activities I listed in my post above. They were not willing to just take us directly to the cave for snorkeling (although the supposed tour for snorkeling on their website was exactly why we wnetthere). Instead they merged us with the other group as I described. That is exactly what happened to us, as I described above.

It really doesn't matter what they say on their website, what mattered was what they did when we arrived. We were mad that we had spent time getting there, and felt roped into waiting for everyone else to finish their long activites so that we could finally get to snorkel in the cave. Because of this, Dos Ojos with Edvntures , whcih we did on our next trip down, was a MUCH better choice for cave snorkeling.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 09:09 AM
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Many thanks for all the good information. But...I am still looking for recommendation of private tour to Chichen from Cancun. I have been calling/emailing all the above and anything that looked good from Google. Have not really found company that seems right. Anybody used someone and was happy??? Also found big range of prices from $300 to more than $800. Like the lower price better. Also, companies from Playa Carmen do not go to Cancun.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Check out entertainment-plus.net, have not used them for tours (always just rented a car and went on my own) but used them for airport transfers and they get rave reviews on Trip Advisor. They will go from Cancun.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Thanks. Their website is the same as another company, but I will call them when in Cancun. I will also call MayanSky which charges more but includes guide at CI. This has been harder than selecting the hotels. But, it seems most people take group tours or drive themselves.
FYI..for people driving themselves in a rental car they just picked up...my son's car came with just 1/4 tank of gas and there is no gas station on the toll road. So, fill up before you leave.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Elainee, $300 to $800 for a tour for how many people? If it is 2 people, that sounds WAY too high to me to get shuttled on a bus in Mexico and have a guide.

Have you considered driving a rent car to CI and getting a guide when you get there? That way you can get there earlier, and do it on your own time, maybe see Ek Balam as well in same day. There are lots of guides at CI, and you can talk to them, hear their English, they carry notebooks of their credentials and letters of recs, etc.

There are a couple of rent car palces that include ALL the insurance you can get in Mexico in their rates. The toll road is boring but fast. We have been renting cars in Cancun (both at hotel before we bought our condo, and aaiport after that) for a few years and have driven to CI and that area and Merida several times without any problem, aside from one problem w/a car that was replaced right away.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:08 PM
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This is one time we really do not want to drive our selves. It is a long drive...about 2hours each way and the touring will be hot. I guess we are spoiled but we want to have no pressure. But at the sametime, it does seem like a lot of money. We just may meet another couple who are congenial and who would like to share and then it will almost half the price. Or we will just bite the bullet.
Either way we plan to include Ek Balam. FYI..no bus, we wiill go in a private car or small van. But we would like reliable company that has good vehicle and pleasant English speaking driver who takes us to a good place for lunch, and other good experiences.
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