My husband and I were here about 30 yrs. ago. We drove right up to the wall built around the ruins, paid an entrance fee and walked in. We recently returned with our young adult children. Big difference today-it is a bona fide tourist attraction with the various tsotche vendors, Haagen Das and Subway! However, I still recommend this as an historic site worth visiting. It is closer to Cancun, et al. than the other significant ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula-Chitchen Itza. Come early as the cruise ships offer tours here and there can be upwards of 5,000 visitors per day. We arrived at 10:00 am and had a brief time in line to enter the ruins. When we left at 12:30, the line was huge! It was still crowded inside and they no longer allow you to climb or walk on the ruins but it is beautiful with picturesque views overlooking the Caribbean. The only realistic bathrooms are right outside the ruins. Anything else and you're at the mercy of the various vendors.
My advice: I usually prefer doing my own thing and have done this in the past at this location BUT I recommend you book a guided visit and hope for a good tour guide. We had a good one whose family was in the area and he had a lot of oral history that he had heard from his grandparents to share. At a minimum, you will have less hassles to get in and may have a more informative visit (parking is limited and the usual mañana attitude abounds). Bring water, sunscreen, umbrella (for rain or sun!) and food/snack since the prices are inflated. Take some time and appreciate what the Mayan ancient culture accomplished. Two to three hours inside the walls is sufficient.
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