Having been to quite few Mayan ruins, you always think you are prepared for what is the next one... read more
Having been to quite few Mayan ruins, you always think you are prepared for what is the next one... read more
Do not let the long bus ride scare you away from this side trip from a cruise line. We signed up... read more
We actually wound up here by fate...security issues forced the cancellation of our plans in Cozumel. So we booked Dzibanche at the last minute...we are so glad we did.
The bus ride was lengthy, but by the time you got there you felt like you had actually seen a bit of real Mexico and not just the highly commercialized and relatively culturally sanitized cruise ports.
The site is truly at the backside of nowhere, but good thing is this means ( or at least for us meant) smaller crowds. There was only one other bus load of cruisers while we were there.
The ruins are impressive...multiple tall pyramids and a variety of other structures. A nice bonus here is next to nothing is roped off...you have free run to climb and explore at YOUR OWN RISK. Seriously, it’s a place you need to careful as the pyramids are deceptively steep. Some in our group who casually climbed were a little freaked out when they had to come down. It’s definitely not an area where you want to have need of an ambulance or emergency medical care.
We loved it.More
Do not let the long bus ride scare you away from this side trip from a cruise line. We signed up off of the Norwegian Getaway. YES, it was a 2 1/2 hour bus ride one way. Our guide gave us information during the ride to the ruins. It was informative and interesting. The bus was modern and had a restroom at the rear. It was well air conditioned. Prior to entering the ruins, we stopped to get our entry tickets and restroom facilities were provided and it gave us a chance to stretch our legs.
We were told that this is one of the only set of ruins that allows you to climb the temples in Mexico any more. It was interesting seeing workers restoring the ruins while we visited. The North South temple is extremely impressive. Some of the Temples still have the original red coloring on the stones to help you get an idea of what they looked like in their glory days.
If you go in July, it is HOT but there are a lot of trees surrounding the area to take refuge from the heat. The tour company provided us all with 2 bottles of water and a "bagged lunch". Lunch consisted of a granola bar, banana and a candy bar in the AM along with a small bottle of water. After visiting the Dzibanche ruins they gave us a Ham & Cheese sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise. (if you held the ham up it would be transparent LOL) and a larger bottle of water., however it did the job of sustaining us. We then traveled @ 1/2 hour (closer to the port) to the Kohunlich ruins. The Kohunlich ruins have the giant kohulich palm trees and these ruins have the beautiful Temple of the Masks.
Make sure you bring a brimmed hat and sunscreen. We also brought the Mosquito repellent bracelets to keep pests away. There are no ropes to hold onto while climbing the ruins. If you have balance issues, DO NOT CLIMB! Also take precautions by leaning toward to steps while climbing and descending and be safe coming down by scooting down on your butt if necessary!
Dzibanche is a major Maya archaeological site. Archeologists believe Dzibamche may have been the seat of the Kan/Snake dynasty that ruled before Calakmul. Whereas Chizen Itza and Tulum in the upper Yucatan are relatively "new" sites from the Post-Classic period, Dzibanche appears to have been the Kan capital in the 5th and 6th centuries. If you are a Maya history buff, you will love this tour.
We went on a tour that including Dzibanche and Kohunlich. The two sites are about 35 minutes apart. Seeing the two together made for a very interesting day as they each have their interesting aspects. We did this as a day excursion while on a cruise that stopped at Costa Maya. You spend a couple of hours on the bus each way and get about an hour at each location.
According to our guide (and my memory!), the ruins at Dzibanche include more ritual areas. They were pyramids used as part of religious activities. It includes several pyramids that you can climb to look around and a few include interesting carvings. I had previously been to San Gervaiso which includes much smaller ruins. Being able to climb these tall pyramids provided an interesting view and perspective on the impressive architecture of the Mayans.
The ruins at Kohunlich cover a wider area and include more aspects of Mayan life. They include residences, offices, religious activities, etc. There is also a pyramid there that is named the Temple of the Masks and you get a great view of masks that were carved into the rock. Walking around Kohunlich gives you more of a feel for what it must have been like for a Mayan person to walk around a town that they had built.
Together our group of tweens to adults found the sites very impressive and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. We felt it was well worth the bus ride.
The ruins of Dzibanche are totally amazing and astonishing!
If you are on the Yucatán peninsula you have to visit them, they are really breathtaking and something you do not see anywhere else on the Earth!
In the Dzibanche-area there are several ruins, some higher and some smaller.
If my memory does not fail me it was three big ruins and several smaller.
The high ones are really spectacular and outstanding, you lost your breath when you saw them the first time, but the small ones are also interesting and fun to watch.
You are allowed to climb and walk at all ruins, except one. There are two ruins that are high and gives a lovley view over the surrounding jungle, however you are allowed to climb at the smaller ruins, as well. I would recommend you to do that if you are there. However the steps are high and nothing for small children, elderly people, people with bad balance or people with fear of highs and people with leg- or kneeproblems.
If you fall and break a foot you have to travel a long distance to the nearest hospital, so please walk slowly and carefully on the ruins.
There are also carvings from the mayan indians on one ruin, however the masks and carvings at the nearby ruins of Kohunlich are more spectacular (even though the ruins of Dzibanche are more spectacular), but they are still fun to watch and to think that there acctually lived people at Dzibanche a thousand years ago.
Some ruins at Dzibanche are not fully archeologically searched and dug out, so you can see some ruins covered with soil and trees, so you can almost feel like an explorer, exploring the temples and jungles of Central America.
Around the ruins of Dzibanche there is jungle and forests, so you can get shade when you look at the ruins, necessary, since there is always hot and sunny at the ruins of Dzibanche (do not forget to bring water and sunscreen with you).
The paths and trails leading around at the ruins of Dzibanche are small, but not steep, and a bit uneven, since roots from trees are sometimes going over the paths and trails.
To visit the ruins of Dzibanche is possible for everyone, however persons with strollers, and wheelchairs may have big problems with the roots (see above).
Small children, teenagers and adults interested in history and culture will have a great time at the ruins of Dzibanche. It is hard not to like the ruins of Dzibanche.
The nearby (about 20 kilometers/30 minutes) ruins of Kohunlich are smaller, but whith much more carvings than the ruins at Dziabche. At Dzibanche you really lose your breath when you see the ruins the first time, you do not lose your breath at the ruins of Kohunlich.
However the masks and carvings are much more extensive at the ruins of Kohunlich, at Dzibanche there are only some smaller carvings and no masks.
At Dzibanche there are only ruins that are temples and tombs, but at Kohunlich you get to see more different constructions: one temple, palaces, ruins of houses and a ball court. So the ruins of Kohunlich is more extensive and there are more numbers of them, at Dzibanche there are fewer ruins, but those who are, are higher.
At Kohunlich you get a better understanding of how the mayans lived.
The ruins themselfs are more dramatic and more well preserved at Dzibanche, but the carvings are much more incredible at the ruins of Kohunlich. However the ruins of Dzibanche is not completely archeologially explored, which the ruins at Kohunlich is.
If you only have time to visit one of the ruins I would recommend you to visit Kohunlich.
If you are going to visit Chichén Itzá and only have time to see one of the ruins, I would recommend you to see Dzibanche, but if you will not see Chichén Itzá I would recommend you to visit Kohunlich.
If compare the ruins of Dzibanche to Chichén Itzá, the ruins of Dzibanche is much smaller, Chichén Itzá is both higher, wider, bigger and more breathtaking, but the ruins of Dzibanche are still outstanding and the fact that they are located in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of nowhere, far from big roads and civilasaition makes the ruins of Dzibanche even more spectacular, even though Chichén Itzá is more breathtaking.
Dzibanche is also not turistic, there are no shops or vendors there, which makes the atmosphere more stressfree realxing and natural. At Chichén Itzá there are vendors and stores everywhere.
At Dzibanche there is almost no people at all (when I where there my group where the only one that was there), however at Chichén Itzá there is always a lot of people (even though it is not crowded).
The ruins of Dzibanche are located in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Mexican jungle, far from big roads and towns, it is really remote, on the countryside.
It takes about two and a half hour from Costa Maya to the ruins of Dzibanche and on your way you pass sugarcane fields, banana-plantages, small villages where the locals sells pineappels, so as you can see, it is a charming trip, even though most of the trip is on very straight roads only with view of the jungle and very thick jungles (but then you can take a relaxing moment to sleep, so you are well rested when you arrive to the ruins). The roads are good and not bumpy and people drive rather carefully, so you can have a safe trip. Our bus had seat-belts.
I where at the ruins of Dzibanche (and Kohunlich) on a shore excursion, booked thorugh Norwegian Cruise Line and we had an amazing day, both at the ruins of Dzibanche, and at Kohunlich. We had an air-conditioned bus, which was very comfortable and a sandwhich (not vegeterian) and water bottles were provided.
Our guide, Arturo was really good and told us everything we sought to know about the ruins.
If you are to visit the ruins of Dzibanche (which I hope you will) you really must bring water bottles with water, sunscreen, sunhat and something to eat with you, since there are absolutly no shops at the ruins of Dzibanche or nearby and there is often very hot and sunny. When I where there in April there were no mosquitos or nasty insects, but if you are to visit the ruins of Dzibanche I would still recommend you to bring insect repellent, since you never know if there is going to be mosquitos.
There are toilets, that you can use for free.
I would really recommend you all to visit the lovley ruins of Dzibanche!
You will not regret it!
Our transport was spotlessly clean, I thought it brand new, but I was told it was 2 years old. We left dust footprints on the floor when we embarked. THAT is clean!
Enrique could not have been a better guide. He covered so many things on the 2 hr ride it amazed us. I worry about his neck from turning backwards the entire time. They should put a swivel seat in for him.
Our driver, Abel, made the trip easy as well. Never worried about his skills.
Our bus held 10 but beside our group of 6, only 2 others joined us. Fantastic.
We saw everything without any other interference (great for photos).
Next time, we'll take a longer tour with these two to lead us.
The lunch was excellent and very wlecome. (loved the Costo bottled water) and fresh.
Everything was handled impeccably and Enrique is VERY proud to work for Native Tours. He praised them several times for their concern for safety, customer service and dedication to having happy employees.
Don't go with anyone else. THese folks are the real deal. WELL WORTH THE SHORT WALK.