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Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Lancaster, United...
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Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

In about ten days (Jan 9-10), I’ll visit Merida, which I mainly use as a camp to visit Maya ruins in Chichen Itza and Uxmal. Very excited about it :-) Because I don’t speak Spanish, I worry a bit about traveling to the sites by public transportation. I hope any who had experiences in the town may answer my concerns. Appreciate any advice or suggestion.

(1) Do bus station staffs speak English at all? Or are there likely to be other English-speaking tourists who I can turn to for help? I would like to take bus if I can make myself on board without speaking Spanish :-)

(2) Does anyone know bus schedule from Merida to Uxmal and Chichen Itza? I checked at the ticketbus website but always got error message for Chichen Itza and couldn’t even find the destination of Uxmal.

(3) Are guided tours offered by hotel any good? Hotel Dolores Alba, where I'll stay during the visit, lists a few tours. Below is an example:

UXMAL & KABAH (Price $ 250 pesos p/p)*****> Starts from the hotel lobby at 9 AM, Visit to Uxmal, Visit to Kabah, stop at a restaurant for lunch, return to the hotel at 4 PM. The price includes transportation and guide service. Lunch and Admission Fees (Uxmal 95 pesos, Kabah 29 pesos) to parks are NOT Included.

My main concern is that some (unprofessional) guides spend lots of time bringing tourists to shop while only leaving limited time on sites. Did anyone do such type of tour or have comments on them?

Thanks. Wish everyone happy New Year!

London, United...
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1. Re: Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

I wouldn´t worry about communication. Bus station staff are used to dealing with foreign visitors who don´t speak Spanish. They probably speak some basic English, so communication should be fine.

I have never been able to get the ticketbus website to work. Not sure what their problem is.

I am not into guided tours, unless you are, I would recommend getting around on your own.

Lancaster, United...
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2. Re: Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

Thank you, HollyWorton. Now I'm not as nervous as before :-)

I have the same problem with ticketbus. It worked once and twice but has yet functioned properly in the recent week. Anyway, I will just go ahead and make my fingers crossed.

I'm flying to Mexico today. Very excited.

Calgary, canada
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3. Re: Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

Well I can tell you that most of the workers at the ticket stations speak minimal english. My wife and I both speak spanish and ended up translating for people who did not speak any spanish. There are generally bilingual people around who will help if you get stuck. I am not sure about the bus schedule to Uxmal or Chichen as we took a guided tour to Uxmal/Kabah and it was pretty good. For Chichen Itza, we also wanted to see Ek Balem (highly recommend) and ended up hiring a driver for a day (MxP$1,400, but well worth it!).

The Uxmal/Kabah tour did have shopping time but it was not too bad. The Coba trip had us stop in their store before we even left for about 30 minutes.

Good luck and have fun!

Urbana, Illinois
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4. Re: Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

When traveling Cancun-Merida-Tulum via ADO, I found the bus drivers did not speak English. I took Spanish in school and had very basic skills, but once I got to Merida, I spoke in Spanish most of the time. The people are VERY kind and patient as long as you are really trying to communicate in Spanish.

Can't comment on bus schedule merida-uxmal as I took collectivos.

5. Re: Visit Uxmal and Chichen Itza by a non-Spanish speaker

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