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Tour guide very talkative. Everything very structured and guided. We made a special side tour to a "village" where we ate an authentic lunch and was greeted by a Shaman. They don't tell you that the water offered at lunch is $3.00 USD, even though they won't allow you to bring your own water/ beverage in. Vendors swarm you as soon as you get to Chichen and there are vendors all along the entrance. Many of the same items that you see with Cancun street vendors. However our tour guide dissuaded us from purchasing anything from Chichen vendors lest you have termites from wood products, lead from painted products and so on. Prices for the same items in Cancun was easily $10 less, and probably didn't have any defects. The vendors inside of the site were discouraging, as it is one of the seven wonders, every step that you take in the entry was coupled with people trying to sell you something. The cenote swim was a joke too, as you have a very limited space, it is mainly roped off, and several tour buses were their. You have to buy a locker and a life jacket before you can get into the water. So don't spend the money if you just want to see the cenote and not get in it. You won't be able to actually swim as space is limited.
Good tour for the price. Took 14 hours door to door. Actually could have been done in 10 hours. they take you to one of their own market place to try to sell stuff (stones, pendant, souvenirs etc) for ten times (literally) of actual price. They say lunch is included but charge $8 USD for coconut (water) and you cannot drink your own water. Almost compel you for tips at least 5-6 time during the tour, saying they the guides don't get paid and depend on tips. While I am all for tips and but I don't appreciate the fake stories. There are other better tours specially if you are with children, less tiring and save couple of hours. Overall recommended as $50 for a person + add $10 for tips.
The guides: The tour guides are great! Alex was my tour guide for most of the trip, and he was super great. He was energetic and informative. He knew a lot about Mayan culture and history, and a lot about world history in general. There were three more employees on the tour. At the Mayan village, I accidentally drank almond liquor Im extremely allergic to nuts and feared Id have an allergic reaction and all of the guides were very concerned and immediately sprang into action to make sure I would be okay. They checked on me thought the day after that. The thing about Alex is he needs the group to interact with him. He got a little pushy and moody right before we reached the first rest stop about an hour in because he began talking and people who were just waking up from a nap werent excited enough for him. The tour guide we were given at Chichen Itza Pedro was AMAZING! He is actually a part of the restoration team at the site and knows A LOT about the history. We didnt go see all of the structures on the site though which I would have liked.
The Structure: I have to take away a star off the bat because of the structure of the tour. FYI this tour is NOT run by Viatour. I naively thought that the tour was to be given by Viatour, its not, you are picked up by Allistour, and the tour is given by Baktun. I wish this was communicated more clearly since when I told my resort that I booked through Viatour they had NO idea what I was talking about. On the day I originally scheduled the tour no one showed up. They put the wrong resort on my confirmation email and it took me a full day to be able to reach someone to correct the mistake THEY made and reschedule no one ever apologized. On the new day of my tour the driver did show up on time, but when they drove to the next stop, no one was ready, so they waited for 15 mins which pushed everyone elses pick up back, which resulted in two no-shows. The driver actually got out of the van and took a picture to prove that they showed up in case of a dispute, but I doubt they would mention being 20 mins late for pick up SKETCHY. We were then dropped off at another location and had to wait 30 mins for another bus to come pick us up. There was an hour and a half between my 6:50 pick up and the time the bus actually left. They immediately hard sell you into upgrading to a premium package which is not really worth it. since the drinks at the village are between 3-12. BTW YOU CANNOT BRING DRINKS INTO THE RESTAURANTugh. So basically, this tour is a giant ploy to get us to spend money at the Mayan Village. At one point Alex said, If you can afford to come to Mexico, you can all afford to help these people. Im not going to lie, the living conditions around the village were rough, so Im not doubting their need, but the whole spiel felt really guilt-trippy. We spent WAY too much time and probably money as souvenirs were super pricey at the village, most of it just waiting around to eat.To put it in perspective, we were at the village for about an hour and a half, and lunch was only 20 mins of that time. There were about 1.5-2 hours allotted for Chichen Itza and only 45 mins for the cenote.
The Tour sites: No complaints! Chichen Itza is beautiful but very crowded. FYI some of the vendors are aggressive and will try to scam you. The Mayan village is kind of a joke- wholly unnecessary. The lunch was good those tacos were everything! and the dancers during lunch were super cool. The cenote was beautiful. We went to the Samaal Cenote and it was super nice. It wasnt too crowded when we went, but I could imagine that it would be had I gone during a busier season. The locker and the life vests life vests are required cost 1 each. FYI the changing rooms were super dark, and there are a bunch of stairs going down into the cenote. The last stop was the city center. Not necessary, but I wasnt mad because I got elote.
The bus: Seats are TIGHT and tiny. Im 52 and my knees touched the seat in front of me!
Tips: Bring a wide brimmed hat and LOTS of water and snacks. Bring a towel as there is nowhere to buy one although I fared just fine without one. The tour guides and staff at each location are somewhat pushy about tips so bring singles they deserve their tips, but are more upfront about it than in other countries i.e. USA. The guides on the bus and at Chichen, the staff at the restaurant, and the dancers will all request tips.
Overall: I would go on a different tour. READ THE REVIEWS BEFORE YOU GO. It's not a bad tour at all, but you should be prepared. Had I not read the reviews I would have been pissed the whole day.
the tour guide was very informative about the mayan culture and history. It was a very hot day but worth the experience to go. the small vendors are very pushy to have you buy things but willing to negotiate prices. the cenote zahamal was just AMAZING and refreshing to end the day wished we had more time to be there. would deff recomment to do this tour
It was an awesome day tour. Chichen Itza was the highlight of the day and the visit to the cenotes was top-notch. I wish we have more time swimming but its all good. The local lunch was delicious and filling but I really don't care for the shopping area stop. Overall great tour every dime.
Our tour guide Jorge, assistant and bus driver were all amazing. My husband, two kids(7 and 8) and I all like loved it! We visited a small Mayan reserve to have a buffet lunch, Jorge guided us through Chichen Itza and provided wonderful information, we swam in a cenote and finished the day at a small town. I only wish we had more time to spend at each but understand the time constraints since we got to see so much.
I loved the tour and the bus ride was very comfortable did have a very informative and patient guide ..
Bonus was the lunch at the small village near chichen itza where we stopped before heading to pyramid..
Overall, tour operator were punctual, friendly and professional. and the ride and other arrangements were done very well.