YUCATAN QUESTIONS

Old Oct 18th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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YUCATAN QUESTIONS

We are doing a week's Mexico tour w/ Caravan, which includes Palenque and CI. Then we are going to Playa del Carmen for a week filled w/ day tours. We will see: Tulum, Sian Ka'an Biosphere, Ek Balam & Valladoid, Coba, Grand Cenote & Aktun Chen.

Quesions: Is the Biosphere something that we travel round in a canoe and see the jungle etc.. or how is it set up????; Also, do we want to go to Xcaret and/or Xel Ha???? They sound rather Disneyland to me...we will not snorkel this trip, have already swam w/ Dolphins, and maybe have seen & experienced the other more natural biosphere/jungle atmosphere???

I apolgize if I am being being too simple minded here...I have read the guide books but still feel very confused on these places....so first hand knowledge would be most helpful. Thank you!!!
LEANNA is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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Leanna, since a lot of questions you're asking are about tours outside of Playa del Carmen, I'll refer you to an amazing forum:

http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carmen-forum/

Not that Fodor's isn't great -- it is! I just found this particular forum to be very helpful for the PDC area and tours.

Here's a link to one of the BEST tours I've ever done (from Playa dC) -- I did the Maya Encounter tour, which includes visiting the Coba ruins, visiting a Mayan village, canoeing, doing a zip-line, and lowering yourself down into a cenote where you float in an inner tube -- it was incredible! Anyway, you might want to check this tour out:

http://www.alltournative.com/
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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sian ka'an is very interesting. you can tour in kayaks or larger boats. the maya had canals all through and thats what you'll be traveling. you'd see a lot of birds, some ruins, etc.

x-caret & xel-ha are not much like disney. xel-ha in particular is very low key and pretty much all about the water so if you have no interest in snorkeling you may not want to go. x-caret has some non water things like jaguar island and an evening dinner show with mayan history and dances.> think more luau than disney for this night show.
x-caret: http://www.xcaret.com/
xel-ha: http://www.xel-ha.com/
you can easily do tulum and xel-ha in one day. also grand cenote and aktun chen could be 1/2 day activities.
pdc is fun to walk around for a couple hours of gawking/shopping.
in case you haven't found them here are links to most of the things you listed >>
tulum: http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/aug2002.html
ek balam: http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/aug2002.html
coba: http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/aug2002.html
aktun chen: http://www.aktunchen.com/home_eng.html
here's a typical sian ka'an tour: http://www.cesiak.org/tours.htm

have a wonderful trip.
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Old Oct 19th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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We have seen several of the sights you are asking about. Sian Ka'an is a vast protected area of marshland, jungle and beach. You will most likely be boarded on to a small powerboat to tour thru the canals, and probably stop at the ruins of the crocodile temple, way out in the marsh. Some of the tours will also supply you with a swim vest, and let you drift down a canal for a few thousand feet.
Tulum is a fairly small buy very scenic ruin site - bring you swim suit, as there is a beautiful beach just to the south of the ruins.
Coba is a huge site, far into the jungle, very impressive.
Aktun Chen is a dry cave that you tour with a guide, again it's way into the jungle on a gravel road.
I would not want to miss a chance to snorkel, the Yucatan has some of the best snorkeling in the Carribean.
Leave a few days open just to enjoy Playa del Carmen itself.
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Old Oct 20th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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I think you'll find Valladolid to be very interesting. It's a lovely colonial town, with an excellent cenote with Yucatecan retsaurant, just outside of the center of town. Ek Balam is an uncrowded archaeological site with unqiue sculptures. Yucatan Today has a lot of information about the area: http://www.yucatantoday.com/destinat...valladolid.htm
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Thank you all for your answers. We booked our trip and day trips so now Im really getting excited...but all the info you provided was a BIG help!!!!!!
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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leanna, have a great trip and come back and give us a trip report.
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