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“Not to be missed!! Awesome!!”

The Native Choice Tours
Ranked #1 of 30 Tours in Mahahual
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Costa Maya Shore Excursions for guests from all cruise lines.
Reviewed November 16, 2009

Met by Ivan and Katherine at the pier, our tour guides. Our small group of 10 were taken by van to the Chacchoben ruins for an extremely informative tour with adequate time to wander and explore on your own. The tour takes on special meaning when being presented by Ivan who is extremely knowledgeable and has lived most of his life in the area. Our group then split up to do various other tours. We had chosen a trip to a Mayan home, an adventure that we will always treasure. It as made extra special since we were the only two who had chosen this tour. We were taken to a private home in a small village. We were privileged to meet the family, tour their home and gardens, be their guests for a home cooked meal of their native foods. I was even taught how to make tortillas, not very successfully. We were treated like royalty. This was the best meal we had on the entire cruise!!! It was an adventure we will never forget. The highlight of our vacation!! On the return trip to the pier, Ivan continued to discuss the culture of the area and the life of the villagers. If visiting the area be sure to book with Native Choice - they are the best!!

1  Thank lmc1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"mayan experience tour"
in 154 reviews
"extreme tour"
in 147 reviews
"chacchoben ruins"
in 345 reviews
"mayan culture"
in 273 reviews
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"great tour"
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"bacalar lagoon resort"
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"mayan family"
in 92 reviews
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"seven color lagoon"
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"cruise ship"
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in 28 reviews
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2,104 - 2,108 of 2,169 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2009

I was skeptical about planning an excursion outside of what the Cruise Line offered based on safety issues, but I read the reviews on Tripadviser and thought that we'd take a chance based upon the feedback, price, and description of the tour. We chose the Mayan Experience (5.5 hr tour). We arrived at the meeting spot at 8:30 a.m. and Ivan arrived on time before the scheduled 9:00 a.m. To my surprise, there were about 8 other couples from our cruise line that also booked with The Native Choice, so I felt a bit at ease. Part of our group was split because they chose the other tour, which David. Ivan was very friendly, courteous, professional, and genuine. His air-conditioned van accomodated 10 passengers comfortably. Ivan drove about 45 minutes to the Ruin. He was very informative of how Costa Maya began, the surrounding areas, and a few local jokes. He also advised when there would be a period of distance of nothing important so you can sneek in a nap. When we reached the Ruin, I was happy to see a restroom and about 10 vendors selling goods. Ivan led us to the Ruin and throughout his tour from leaving the vendors to the Ruin and back to the Van (about 2 hours), Ivan educated us on the history of the Ruins, the trees and the plants that contribute to some of today's medicine. In addition, Ivan also provided visual drawings on a dry-erase board to help us understand. He answered every single question anyone asked. From there, we left the Ruin and headed to Chacchoben to meet with a family for lunch. This was an unforgettable experience. The family consisted of a mother, her 2 adult daughters, and her 7-year old granddaughter. As you will learn from Ivan and see with your own eyes, this family used their Mexican-government money to update their living area to accomodate us visitors rather than spend the money for personal reasons. This family cared about where they lived and how tourists viewed the area. The garden area leading to their 1 room house was well groomed and nurtured. They had a very clean conjoining outhouse for a man and woman's restroom. They had a sink and soap area to wash hands before we had a lesson to make tortillas. While 1 of the daughters was cooking our tortillas, the other displayed the food that they prepared for us. To much surprise, it was a feast. We practically had a 6 course meal including desert. This meal was fresh, clean, authentic, tasteful, and delicious. Ivan is too modest in his description of this part of the tour. Lastly, the daughter entertained and danced for us. Before parting, I felt like family to them. They welcomed us into their home and fed us a fulfilling meal offering us seconds and thirds. As we headed back to the port, my husband said to me that I did a great job in picking this tour with Ivan and enjoyed every single minute of it. He commended that the food was better than the cruise ship and I agreed due to the authenticity. I have to admit that this was the best tour/part of our 7 day cruise. Just fyi, the cruise ship excursion was behind us at the Ruin and there was 1 guide for about 40 tourists. Those tourists didn't get at least 1/4 of the information that Ivan provided and not the attention of each tourist since our group was smaller. I highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Costa Maya. Ivan and David will not disappoint!

1  Thank Tannedhawaiian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

We were in Costa Maya for one day as part of a cruise. We took the Native Choice tour with Ivan, to the Chacchoben ruins. The ruins were very interesting and Ivan was a great tour guide. He grew up on the ruins (before they were uncovered) and had a lot of interesting anecdotes. He was very knowledgeable about Mayan history and culture, and we learned a lot. Following the tour, we went back to the fisherman's village of Mahahual and had lunch at El Delfin. We had a whole fish with garlic sauce, chips and guac, and a couple of beers. It wasn't very expensive, and the view from the top floor was incredible. No walls, open, airy, wonderful. The beach is beautiful, and from what we heard you could get a very cheap massage right on the beach. I'd love to go to Costa Maya again and just sit on the beach and have lunch at El Delfin again!!!

1  Thank murphalina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2009

When you take the Chacchoben ruins tour also take the Maya village . You learn how to make tortillas and eat a genuine Maya meal. Tortillas are very important to the Mayan diet.
The ruins were awesome and large.
I did not fair well making a tortilla but luckily for everyone.......... I did not cook the meal. It was delicious and a lot of food including dessert. All was cook on an outside pit, which is considered their kitchen. Everything was fresh because the do not use refrigerators. The garden was impressive and had sections for different plants and trees for each use. All in all it is a MUST SEE!!!!!!!.

3  Thank whoas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2009

One of the best tours I've taken. Ivan was an excellent tour guide. Being Mayan and living at Chacchoben ruins growing up, he knew the history well and did a superb job sharing it with our small group. The ride to the ruins went quickly as he shared the Mayan culture with us. The ruins were larger than expected from the pictures on the web site. The best part of our tour was going to the Mayan village. One of the Mayan hosts showed us how she makes tortillas and cook them over the charcoal fire. Then we got to practice! The meal was delicious. We even got to see some dancing prior to leaving. This tour was well worth every dollar spent. Pay a little extra to get the Mayan experience. You won't regret it.

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

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