Staying in Cozumel - Is Chichen Itza worth the trip?

Old Nov 27th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Staying in Cozumel - Is Chichen Itza worth the trip?

We haven't been to any of Mexico's ruins before, but finally have a week in Cozumel for beach and diving. For a day of ruins, is it worth the time for the ferry and bus ride to go to Chichen Itza, or is San Gervasio the better bet to save time? Or should we visit both? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and reasons. Thanks!
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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Chichen Itza is extensive, extremely well preserved/restored, and shows a variety of aspects of Mayan architecture and life. I don't believe San Gervasio could possibly compare.

If you go to Chichen Itza, take plenty of water and sunscreen and consider wearing hats and protective clothing. Be prepared for crowds.

Other Mayan ruins you might consider visiting from a base in Cancun are Ek' Balam (just outside of Valladolid), Tulum (just outside of Tulum), and Coba (also near Tulum). Any good guidebook should give you the kind of information you'll need to decide which, if any, of these sites to visit and how to do so.

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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 02:24 AM
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I can only say that we felt it was worth the trip. It was only by doing this excursion that we saw something of Mexico outside the resort.

However, we left Cozumel and stayed in PDC and did the trip whilst in PDC, rented a car and did the trip ourselves. Its an easy drive, go early. The ruins in San Gervasio are not in the same class at all.

A stop in Valladolid is recommended, it is a town full of charm. We stopped in Coba and had lunch in a local place, ate delicious pork pibil. There are many places along the route to stop and buy Mexican things such as hammocks and other local crafts. You can also stop at one of the numerous cenotes.

If you don't to go as far as Chichen Itza, the ruins at Tulum are also very good and in a spectacular location.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 05:34 AM
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If you don't want to go it yourself I would recommend Yucatreks. They use smaller vans (10 passenger) and include a stop in Valladoloid on the way home plus lunch in a Mayan home. Excellent value.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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As kja mentioned, be prepared for crowds and lots and lots of vendors wanting to sell. This said, the site is one of the best in this area. The other sites that I would strongly recommend in this area are Ek Balam, no crowds at all and a beautiful excursion. The other one is Coba, where you can still climb the main Pyramid and also rent bycicles to see the whole site, well worth it. You can also have lunch on your way out, a fine restaurant awaits you at the entrance, good food , good service and inexpensive. Mind you, you can also climb the main Pyramid in Ek Balam. DO stop in at Valladolid, an authentic Mexican town full of vibrant people going about their daily tasks... Sorry to say that Tulum is now all roped off and all you can do is follow the guided entrance and exit. The beach just behind the site is one of the most beautiful in all of the Yucatan.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 08:23 AM
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how did you like it on gmaps?
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Sailing from Cozumel to PDC, than driving to Chichen Itza will take the whole day. You might want to consider doing Tulum which is small but scenic, and Coba which is huge and partially covered in jungle. You could do both in 1/2 day from Cozumel. We actually preferred Coba to Chichen Itza.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 07:35 AM
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I agree with the Yucatreks recommendation if you don't want to do it on your own. We enjoyed seeing the ruins at Chichen Itza, but it was so crowded with vendors it was not enjoyable. We have been to Tulum also and preferred it just because of the environment. Haven't been to Coba yet, but it's on our list for next trip.

It's about a 45 minute ferry ride from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and then another hour or so to Chichen Itza. Plan to spend the whole day and make sure you get back before the last ferry to Cozumel. Unless you really want to make the trip to see it, I would want until you are actually vacationing in the Playa del Carmen area.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 12:13 PM
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KVR I think it is more like two hours from PDC to Chichen Itza, and I hope you like Coba. That and Ek Balam are my favorites.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 10:14 PM
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Went to Chichen Itza from Cancun a few years ago, and it was well worth it. The light show was a lot of fun, although I don't know if you would get back in time for the last ferry to Cozumel. I also highly recommend Tulum. It's an easy bus ride from Playa Del Carmen, and the ruins and beach are fantastic.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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I thought it was well worth it, but I just did one of the bus day tours run out of PDC. There are plenty of them and they make it very convenient, they aren't that expensive. I wasn't staying in Cozumel, though, that adds on time for the ferry, and Tulum is closer you just want to see some ruins. I think I probably would choose something else if I were staying in Cozumel.

It is about 2.5 hours to Chichen Itza from PDC, depending on traffic and how fast you go, it is about 125 miles.
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 05:25 AM
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It is indeed a whole long day from Cozumel. Have you looked into flying? Pretty amazing to see it from the air.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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We stay in PDC each T-day, I haven't done your trip, but I would echo the comments that the ferry from C'zmel to PDC, then the drive to Chichen Itza is a formidable timesink. I would suggest Tulum as it is a much more reasonable "bite" of time and then you have time (if you wish) to walk 5th Avenue in PdeC, or some other exploration on the main land. Have not been to Coba, but if you are after an impressive pyramid, I am told the coba pyramid is higher, with no restrications on climbing, and it is closer to P de C, besides.
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