This was a cruise port excursion for us to the Chacchoben ruins. Once we found the exit from the Costa Maya terminal (they seem to want to keep you captive to the shops and eateries in the terminal loop), we proceeded to the yellow cab area where we were met by a gentleman holding a sign. He handed us off to Florentino, the man who would be our driver. A little further walking and we arrived at the Chac Ek Costa Maya meeting area. There, we met Judith, the woman who dispatched the various tours, and she introduced us to our guide, Carolina, who handed us bottled water.
Carolina bubbles over with enthusiasm for her work and concern for her guests. Be prepared for nonstop instruction in history and culture. She possesses a refreshing, straightforward delivery of information and answers to any questions. We met our tour companions (a total of eight in our comfortable air-conditioned van) and proceeded to our first stop to sample freshly-sliced, sweet pineapple slices. We felt safe with Florentino's driving.
The archeological site provides an excellent overview of the process of discovery and restoration because some unexcavated tells still remain beneath the soil and jungle flora. We could imagine what it was like to make the initial discovery. All the while, Carolina brought the several Mayan temples to life.
A word of caution: this tour will not work for those with mobility issues. You will experience a good stretch of the legs to reach the Chac Ek staging area from the port. Then, after the hour- long drive to the ruins, you will be walking and standing for one and a half hours at the site. There are walking paths, but these are strewn with roots and stones. Then, you will also have to navigate some uneven stone steps as you continue your exploration.
On the return, we were offered water, beer, lime-infused corn chips, and sweet coconut cookies. Carolina addressed any remaining questions.
We enjoyed an intriguing location with a special guide.