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“The Mayan Experience Tour”
Review of Mayans' Explorers

Mayans' Explorers
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Mayan Experience Tour: Chichen Itza, Valladolid...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover the real Mayaland! Small and private groups, all inclusive tours. Certified guides will provide you with info on the way to the places we visit and inside them. We always try to avoid the crowds. The perfect mix of culture, nature and adventure. Come join the experts! Also: snorkeling, zip lines, archaeology, natural reserves, airport transfers.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed March 15, 2013

After researching all the tour options available, I soon decided I wanted a tour that included Ek Balam. Mayan Explorers was one of the few that offered that option, and the only one that included a guide, admissions and lunch. Most other private tours don't include a guide for when you get to Chichen Itza or Ek Balam, so you have to figure that into your price when comparing tours and worry about finding a guide on your own. I don't know why so many don't include that. I liked that it was a private tour because I thought traveling with a bus load of others, would limit my experience. When I booked, I was asked if it would be OK to share with a few others. Sharing would make the price more reasonable, so I said yes. No one else had booked a tour on the day I wanted, and I was offered other days where sharing could be possible. I let them know, that I would stick to the original day, and if someone else joined us, that would be fine. Every time I had a question, it was answered promptly in an email. On the day of the tour, we were picked up promptly and informed that two others were going to join us, and that a refund would be issued shortly. That was a nice surprise.
Now to the tour. It was great. On the way, our guide, Alex explained what we would be seeing and pointed out things of interest. We drove straight to Chichen Itza and were able to enjoy it before many of the bus tours got there. Alex took us around all of the site, explaining the history, and culture along the way. When we left there, we went to a Cenote next, We were allowed to decide if we wanted the Cenote or Lunch first. The Cenote is a big underground swimming hole that was very refreshing. Once again, Alex explained how they were formed and then he watched over our things while we swam. Our driver went down to the water with us, brought fins and masks, held our towels and took pictures for us with our cameras. Next we headed to a great Lunch Buffet. There were plenty of choices for even the pickiest eaters, and we were entertained with some Mexican dancing. After lunch, we headed to Ek Balam. While others in the tour loved the Cenote best, I loved Ek Balam. It was peaceful, beautiful and you can still climb up on the ruins. Had I realized that they closed early, I would have hurried lunch up. The temple is in great condition and truly spectacular. That is a must see. Our last stop was to the town of Valladolid, where we saw the oldest church in Mexico and walked around a park in the center of the town surrounded by colonial style buildings. Very pretty. Then back to our hotel. It was a long day, but far from boring. The guide and driver made the trip so interesting and easy for us.

Thank cjyap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"mayan experience tour"
in 86 reviews
"cool tour"
in 62 reviews
"chichen itza and ek balam"
in 60 reviews
"driver diego"
in 36 reviews
"shared tour"
in 30 reviews
"private tour"
in 163 reviews
"mayan culture"
in 93 reviews
"punta laguna"
in 15 reviews
"colonial city"
in 15 reviews
"big bus tours"
in 11 reviews
"day tour"
in 34 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 29 reviews
"group tour"
in 13 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 23 reviews
"great driver"
in 16 reviews
"beat the crowds"
in 18 reviews
"booked tours"
in 8 reviews

554 - 558 of 810 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2013

We took this tour to Chitchen Itza, Ek Balam, il Kil Cenote, and Valladolid. Our guide was Murux (excellent!!) and our driver was Diego (also excellent!!).

Other reviews have spoken about how knowledgable, enthusiastic, and energetic Murux is. They are all correct, but those reviews can't help but undersell the depth of his passion and investment in the Mayan culture, both past and present.

I recommend this tour company over others, as it includes a visit to Ek Balam. While Chichen Itza is not to be missed, we actually enjoyed the tour of Ek Balam even more. The ruins rising from the jungle are amazing, and the view from the top of the pyramids is well worth it. It is less crowded and more intimate an experience. Even though it is a long day, the cenote visit and lunch make you refreshed and ready for more. It is well planned.

Other reviews said that the buffet lunch was just okay. I thought it was good, but both my kids LOVED LOVED LOVED it. The food was familiar enough to be easily accessible and had good (spicy) accompaniments for the adults.

We also appreciated that Murux and Diego were flexible. For example, when we got in the van that morning, my kids were talking about the great chocolate desserts they had the night before. So Murux was able to add a visit to Cacao while we were in Valladoid - a tiny chocolate museum / maker. It was the highlight of my son's day.

One last note, if you own wet suits bring them for the cenote. They are not required, but it makes the refreshing water so much more enjoyable for a longer swim. Also, their website suggests water shoes for the cenote. Those are for the wet (but not slippery) stairs, you will not be swimming with them on - so flip flops would be fine as well.

2  Thank SZ_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I was lucky enough to travel with experienced Mexican tourists. My friends had used this tour operator before and raved about the knowledge, service and friendly atmosphere they provide. We took in Chitchen Itza, a cenote, Mayan market, tequila factory tour, etc. Fantastic all the way... Our guide was Murux (Juan) and driver was Diego. I was completely at ease and freely engaged in conversation with them both. The first view of the pyramid at Chitchen Itza took my breath away - as did the water at the cenote! Ha. Refreshing...

I was glad to have the benefit of my veteran travelers' experience.
Now I am a veteran and I say you can not go wrong by choosing to travel with this group.

1  Thank cattony94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

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.

4  Thank TJC1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 7, 2013

It's not often that you see so many reviews in the top box like on this entry, but there is a reason for it!

We took the all-day Chichen Itza tour from Playa del Carmen on March 2, 2013. The tour guide has a degree in archeology and grew up in a Mayan village, who better to lead us through the ruins!?

The trip was well organized, pick up right on schedule, and there were no waits or lines for tickets at any of the places we stopped. The guide and driver were professional, curteous, and very interesting to talk to. They went out of their way to make sure everyone was having a good time and happy.

I especially liked the friendly atmosphere, insight into the culture, and the fact that our guide and driver never once mentioned tips! (of course we all tipped them well (I think) because they were that good)

If you have th choice of providers, choose this one!

Thank CaribCroozer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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