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“Renata is awesome!”
Review of Maya Tours Roma

Maya Tours Roma
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Skip the Line: Vatican Museum St Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel Tour
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Early Morning Vatican Small-Group Tour
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Rome by Night Walking Tour
Ranked #149 of 807 Tours in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Maya Tours is an accomplished reputable Tour agency based in Rome, close to the Vatican city. We specialize in English Guided Tours around the City of Rome and The Vatican.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

At 5.00pm on a saturday night we requested a private walking tour for six people through MAYA. Less than 15 minutes later Renata had messages us with a meeting point for 8.30pm

Renata was awesome and so full of knowledge. Her English is great! She was open to suggestions (sights,stops etc) even shared a maitai cocktail with us to end the night.

We recommend Renata to anyone who is looking for some fun and seeing what Rome has to offer both socially and historically.

Thank Ellafranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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739 - 743 of 1,230 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2013

It was mine and my fiance's first time in Rome and we were told that one of the must do in Rome is to see the Sistine Chapel. Knowing that we've come in their busy period, we decided to book an online reservation for the Vatican Museum. We got told that this reservation will allow us to go directly into the entrance without having to wait in that ridiculous line. We then realised that this reservation would not actually allow us direct access to the church, St Peters. We headed to the Church two hours prior to our reservation thinking it would be sufficient enough, boy were we wrong!!! The line was huge! There were a lot of sales reps on the street outside and at this point we decided to ask them for help. A young english man told us that even though we had the reservation, we could still purchase a tour and learn the history with a live guide. Well we paid 25euros for the tour, and thank god we did! Not only did we learn a lot from the guide (ask for Saverio) we saved ourselves more that four hours of either waiting in line or lost inside that Museum!! The Sistine Chapel was quite packed but that did not stop our guide from going on and properly explaing its history, as some other tour groups were just being pushed out, he stood there where we could all properly see what he was explaining. I advice that anyone visiting the Vatican purchase a Maya Tour, its well worth the money !

Thank Bianca T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

After being approached by one of Maya Tours reps, we were told that going on one of their 'tours' of the Vatican would cost the same as doing it ourself, as apparently to enter the church would cost us €20 and the museum €18 for a student. We were also told that all the signs were in Latin and that there was 'jack all' information in there anyway, if by Latin she meant English, and by 'jack all' she meant much more than their tour guide would tell us, then I guess she was right. When finally entering the Vatican we realised that the entry price was actually €8 for a student, so we had already been lied to about the entry price and ripped off by €10. We were slightly annoyed but thought at least we'd have a tour guide to explain what everything was and we'd still of had to pay €20 for the church anyway. However, what the rep had failed to tell us is that the tour was simply of the 'highlights' of the Vatican, strangely these highlights didn't include any of the artwork and barely any of the sculptures. More annoyingly it became very apparent that there were plenty of sighs in English, and that they actually had more information on them than the tour guide was telling us. Not only was most of the museum skipped out, but the parts we were shown were completely rushed through. We literally had about 2 minutes in the Sistine Chapel and were forced by the tour guide to stand right in the corner were nothing could properly be seen, if you run a tour guide company and believe that a trip to the Vatican doesn't need to include any of the artwork and only a 2 minute run through of one of the most iconic pieces of art in the world then you should seriously consider a new financial project, I suggest a small baguette shop would be more suited to Maya Tours business skills. Especially considering the attitude of the owner after we complained. I think the most deceptive part of the tour was the fact that St. Peter's basilica was free to enter, not €20 as we were told, they also claimed that we would skip the queue for the basilica, however the museum ends at the basilica anyway so claiming that the price was for queue skipping is irrelevant. The only part of the Vatican I can say I became truly acquainted with is the toilets, the 40 minute toilet break did however allow us time to chat to our fellow tour goers who we found out were also very unhappy with the tour, one of them even nearly reduced to tears with the ridiculous price she had been charged. As if cheating us out of €70 wasn't enough, when we returned to the office to complain about the ironically soul destroying journey we had just been dragged on, the owner and his workers proceeded to laugh at us and refer to us as 'very strange' for asking for a refund excluding the €8 they would have paid for our ticket. He also commented that he was getting 'very angry' at us which created an almost threatening atmosphere. He eventually returned €20 of the €70 they had charged and sarcastically offered us paninis whilst the whole workforce laughed. He also thought it appropriate to show us texts from the girl who had lied to us telling him not to give us a refund. This disgusting encounter left us feeling cheated and foolish for falling for the tricks of conmen such as those at Maya Tours who pray on tourists who they purposely make sure are first timers, they managed to completely ruin an experience I was greatly looking forward to and I'm saddened to know that companies such as Maya Tours will continue to ruin the experience of many others.

6  Thank copelanddd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Not wanting an audio tour at all, we were approached casually by a youthful Australian girl who offered us the price of €35 for the tour. We told her we didn't want to. She then continued to tell us we would be paying the exact same amount if we didn't have the guided tour, but we would have to queue. Additionally she said it would cost €20 to get into Saint Peter's Basillica, but that the tour went around it and that it was also included in the price. Furthermore she told us that under no circumstances would we be able to tour the museums on our own as the info panels were written in Latin. To quote her, and by God I hope you're reading this, she said there was "jack all information." She then joked with us because we are English and actually understood what jack all meant.

We agreed eventually thinking it would be the same price. From then we were herded to the office, paid our ticket price and then our awful tour began. We saw the actual €8 entry price for students, but carried on in good faith. We were then rushed through the museum in under two hours, half an hour of which was waiting by the cafe with our group of 24+ tourees. All of the signs were in English/Italian. At one point the tour guide said "we won't go in there it's too busy." Through the small amount of the museum we saw, the narration constantly lost signal as the guide sped ahead. We were then left outside St Peter's Basillica, spending only five minutes in the Sistine Chapel. Worse of all the system was one way, so there was no going back, and the guide declared the tour was finished.

All of our group was furious beyond belief and astounded at the price (which for some was up to €60 as we got a 'student price'). A lot of the girls were told they needed shawls to cover themselves even though they were fine passing through without them - each shawl costing a further €3.

It gets worse.

Angry, we went back to the office to ask for a refund and hoping for some kind of sincere apology or explanation. What we got was a room full of men openly mocking us and laughing in our faces, saying that she didn't lie. The reception guy rang the girl who lied to us and demanded we speak to her because, again I quote, "I know her she's not a liar." What kind of deformed business model is that? We refused and said it was his responsibility when he claimed she had nothing to do with him. Then the man showed us a text the girl sent saying "Don't give them a refund! I'm not a liar!"

Despite the intimidation and humiliation tactics they employed to get us to leave (there was 2 in my party and 6 men sat around us), we still asked for a refund. He said €20 and lunch was all he could do. Bare in mind we paid €70 for both of our tickets. Laughing, he said that he'll give us a panini as he wants us to leave happy. We took the partial refund and had no choice but to leave after spending a further half an hour arguing with him and his cronies.

Shockingly, this seems like general business practice. We asked another recruiter nearby the same things we asked to our original one, like how much information is available inside. He told us a story closer to the truth but still greatly exaggerated the price to make his own deal appear more economic.

I am honestly horrified by this blatant hunting down of tourists, who only want to admire the things these charlatans despoil with their draconian buisiness ethics. The girl who approached us specifically asked us if we were foreign/tourists and if this was our first time. Having been in Rome a week, this is by far the worst experience and I think the Maya and businesses like them are moist bubes on the face of such a beautiful city.

8  Thank Riversson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We were approached by a "sales-rep" for Maya Tours when we got off at the St Peter's Basillica stop on the 110 Open bus tour of Rome. He convinced us that we would be able to skip the queues to enter the Basilica and Vatican Museum and since we saw the lines to the Basillica along the way and since it was quite hot, we accepted. We then had to follow him to the Maya Tours office which was very far away (about 10 min walking at a fast pace). At the office, we paid our 100 Euros and waited for the tour guide to arrive. The office was cool, had several drink vending machines and toilets that we used in preparation for the tour. We waited about 20 minutes and were greeted by Saverio, our tour guide. He was a nice older gentleman that spoke English with a hint of a charming Italian accent.

He gathered the group outside the office and gave us some very helpful pointers. He explained what would happen when we entered the Museum and told us how to go through the strict security checks and even advised us about the size of the bags we could carry inside and correctly picked out one or two of our fellow tour participant's bags that he said might cause a problem. Beware that if you have to check your bags at the entrance, then picking them up at the end requires a very long walk back to the entrance to the Museum. Saverio mentioned this already before we went in. We had a 5-8 minute walk to the entrance to the Vatican Museum and the lines themselves were not very long, but we had no waiting to do outside except to collect and test our audio receivers.

Saverio did an excellent job in providing us with an abundance of information during the Vatican Museum visit. We didn't feel like spending too long in the Museum, Chapel and Basillica so this tour was ideal. He picked out several key pieces of art and gave us a lot of information about them and was more than willing to answer our daughter's questions throughout the tour. He always had an answer to the questions we asked and was very accommodating.

Before we entered the Sistine Chapel and Basillica, he gave us an in-depth briefing on the paintings and statues which we found very useful. The reason we got the information beforehand was because the Chapel forbade anyone from speaking and had ushers continuously calling for "silence". Before we entered the St. Peter's Basillica, Saverio bid us farewell and collected our audio receivers but not before giving us more information about some of the statues inside the Basillica.

The Vatican Museum, Sistine Capel and St Peter's Basillia are stunning! You HAVE to visit them if you go to Rome. We enjoyed the tour very much and learned quite a bit from it. I recommend getting Saverio if you can since he played a large part in ensuring we had a great experience.

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

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