We booked this tour for 8 of us to Chitchen Itza, Ek Balam, il Kil Cenote, and Vallidolid. Included was a lunch buffet at a Hacienda. Tour pick up was at the Grand Mayan Rivera Maya, main gate at 7a. as this resort does not let private tours inside the gate. We were able to adjust the tour stops/times to make sure we did what we wanted to do and the tour ended back at the resort around 8p that night. Service inside was to the main lobby. Private tour is the way to go, especially if you have lots in your group. Van was clean, modern and comfortably air conditioned with waters on board. I did much research and settled on Mayans Explorers due to the great reviews and the fact that we had a private tour guide on the Van the whole time. The best part of their guides is they are certified archaeologist who know their stuff, not some local that comes up to you at the ruins just trying to get your money. I'm sure all of the guides with this company our great, but I can only speak for ours and I would recommend you ask for him if you can. His name is Murux (Juan Gonzales). He is a native Mayan decendent and a 2nd generation archaeologist, who has ties to National Geographic and Mexican Government credentials for the sights. He was top notch and very intelligent. An artist (ruins reconstruction drawings), speaks several languages and he is very engaging. He grew up around the ruins from the time he was a child and has some awesome stories of the many people he has been around (some famous) and his work. He has actually helped reconstruct some of the ruins and has worked on many digs and is planning future ones. Tip him (and the driver) well! He is very passionate about his culture and the ruins. We were so interested in what he had to say and asked him many questions. He seemed very appreciative of that and let us know. From the start of the day he was interacting with us on the van, asking us questions and educating us for the day. Not only on the ruins but the cultures and areas we were driving through. The two ruins sites are drastically different, but equally as impressive in their own rights. You can still climb the ruins at El Balam! Hurry, sooner or later the government will stop that practice as well. The swim break at the Cenote was so refresing. This was the stop where our Driver (Alfonso) offered to do more than just drive us around. He gladly offered to take the picture for us from 2 different cameras, so we could all cool off and have fun. Lunch buffet that day was good and plentyful and the quick stop to the city of Vallidolid was beautiful and educational as well. The church of san benito was impressive as well. A 13hr day and we could have taken more time. If you could do this in two days, I would recommend it. However, being a 2-2.5hr each way trip it made the most since to get all the stops in 1 day as they are all close to each other. Thanks Mayans Explorers for a day we will never forget. Murux, I hope you get all the funding you ever need to continue excavation and restoration. We look forward to seeing you guys again someday.
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