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which ruins to visit

Old Jun 25th, 2007, 09:26 AM
  #1  
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which ruins to visit

I'm flying into Cancun for the first time in mid-July. My trip is only 5 days. I really want to see the ruins but also want to relax. My question is which top two ruins should I visit? I hear a lot about Tulum and Chichen Itza. Can you still climb to the top of any of these pyramids?
How much are tours from Cancun to these places? Would it be best to rent a car?. Should I stay in playa del carmen for a couple of days so That I'm close to these places? What are some hotels to stay at in playa?
Thanks for any advice
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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We visited the ruins at both Chichen Itza and Tulum a few months ago. Both are fascinating and well worth visiting. If I were choose one however, it would be Chichen Itza just for its scope, variety and state of preservation. The driving time to both from Cancun seemed about the same - something like 2.5 hours each way. In the interest of relaxation, If doing it as a day trip rather than stay over I would opt for a tour since there is a lot of walking involved and it will be hot - you likely will be tired.

Climbing to the top of the pyramids is no longer permitted.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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If you want to climb a pyramid, I'd choose Coba over Chichen and Tulum. Although...you could do Coba and Tulum in one day if you get an early start and rent a car.

If you want to get really close, stay in Tulum (PDC will only give you extra 45 minutes) - Coba is about an hour's drive away and Tulum ruins are a few minutes away in Tulum.
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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As you are going in July and it will be hotter than Hades--I'd opt for Tulum (on the ocean) and Coba (lots of shade) over Chichen. Yes, you can climb Coba--and it's worth the view.
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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If you drive out to Chichen Itza, you can also visit Ek Balam near Valladolid. It's the opposite of Chichen Itza in that there are no vendors, it's not overrun with tourists, and you can still climb the structures. In fact, the pyramid at Ek Balam is a few feet higher than the one at Chichen.

Chichen Itza is a Unesco World Heritage site and is on the current short list of nominated places for the new 7 Wonders of the World. It should not be missed if you are at all interested in the history of the Mayas.

The best way to see Chichen Itza is to stay overnite at the Mayaland Hotel which has its own entrance to the ruins. This way you can enter in the late afternoon and early morning when it's cooler and also at night for the Sound and Light Show. In the hotter part of the day, you can relax around the hotel's beautiful pool.

The next day, you can drive easily from Chichen Itza to Coba and then on to Tulum. However, with only 5 days you probably don't have time for this. Maybe you should wait for another trip.

I would avoid taking a bus tour to Chichen Itza for the day. You will arrive in the middle of the day when crowds are worst and when it's blazing hot. And you will not have time to see it all.



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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Wow, thanks for the info supercilious. the Pyramid at Chichen looks incredible but a shame not to climb it and see the view.I'm thinking Coba and Tulum. As least i can hit the beach and go for the shade at Coba. What about transportation to Playa from the airport? if I want to spend a couple of nights there. It sounds like a little more is happening there then staying in Tulum.
PS I live in Phoenix where it's about 110* So I have a headstart over the other poor tourists. LOL
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 03:57 PM
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Pausanias
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You can easily take a bus from Playa to the Cancun airport. Taxis and limos are also available. Tulum is very hot -- take your swim suit and towel.

One thing about those pyramids -- they are extremely steep. Most people spend their minutes at the top in abject terror, flattened against the temple housings, then bump down the stairs on their butts. The views are good if you can get past that.

Ek Balam is easier to descend than most, and has the most interesting sculptures, for my money. Uxmal and Puuc cities are a little outside your range this trip, but keep them in mind for next time.
 
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