This intriguing full-day tour from Playa del Carmen combines two prominent archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula: Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. A professional guide points out El Castillo (The Castle), aka the Temple of Kukulcan, among other landmarks, then accompanies you to Ek Balam with free time to climb the main pyramid. In between, visit Hubiku Cenote for a swim and dig into a buffet lunch. Numbers are limited to 10 people to provide a small-group experience.
Full-day guided tour of Chichen Itza and Ek Balam from Playa del Carmen
Visit two top archaeological sites of the Yucatán Peninsula
See the Pyramid of Kukulkan, Temple of the Jaguars, and more
Eat a buffet lunch and swim in Hubiku Cenote
Hotel pickup and drop-off included
Small-group tour limited to 10 people ensures personalized attention
We loved our small group excursion and we were thrilled with all the outings. We felt lucky to make it to Chichen Itza before the heat of the day and our guide Ulises was just great! I have forgotten our driver’s name but he got us safely there and back and was a really nice guy. Highlights were the cenote swim, the lunch and then the Ek Balam visit. Great adventure. I’m so happy we booked this.
Trip December 2018.1 - Safety of vehicle - appeared to be in good repair. The driver was excellent.2 - Safety while on tour - Myself and other tourists were picked up from our hotels and driven directly to Chichen Itza and safely driven back to our hotels at the end of the tours. The tour guides bought tickets and they were given to us to enter the sites. We parked close to the venues. -3 - Water: As promised there was water supplied and the tour guides encouraged us to stay hydrated.4 - Language: I had a dedicated tour guide who spoke English named Joel. He was easy to understand and passionate about Mayan history. He was excellent.5 - Cost/Value: I did not have the chance to discuss what other tourists paid. However, for the quality of service and outstanding guidance I received it was well worth it.6 - Overall: The sites were beautiful, I wished there was more time to explore Chichen Itza, and it was exciting to climb the ruins in Ek Balam. Based on my experience, I would highly recommend Mayan Riviera Tours.
This tour was great, we had a wonderful, knowledgeable and passionate tour guide Joel who shared the history of the Mayans and the Aztecs. Ek Balam was a great part of the trip really enjoyed being able to cling the temples. It’s a long day but worth it if you want to see a lot on a short trip.
Chichen Itza was an amazing site. Disappointing that you can't climb the great pyramid, so adding Ek Balam was a bonus since you can climb that site. It is a much smaller pyramid though, not nearly as impressive as Chichen Itza is. Hubiku Cenote was amazing, cool and beautiful, and just what we needed after dying of heat stroke at Chichen Itza. If you do this tour, you must bring an umbrella. There is NO SHADE almost anywhere at Chichen Itza, and providing or at least recommending an umbrella to all guests is something the operator should do. 2 guests nearly had heat stroke, and by the end of a long day this was the first stop of the tour you could see they were suffering from the high morning heat they endured. The lunch at Hubiku was very tasty as well, guides were knowledgeable and the bus was comfortable and cool.
1 STAR for morning travel time..... 5 STARS for the tour itself. This started out to be a very frustrating day. Before I booked this tour I read a review from April that said their transportation time was four hours each way because they were the first passengers picked up. I booked the tour knowing I could cancel if needed and contacted Viator about this scenario to make sure it wouldn't happen to us. Viator emailed the local tour company for me on two occasions, but I never received an answer as to how long our drive would be. Viator even tried to call the company for me, but could not get through. When we arrived in Mexico I received a text from someone at the local company who confirmed my pick up time - 5:40AM. I wrote back and asked them how long my family would actually be in the van and was told there were 3 additional pickups that would take ten minutes each and that we were leaving so early so we could get to Chichen Itza by 8:30. That was fine with us. Well, the additional pick ups took one hour and twenty minutes then we still had a 2 1/2 hour drive to Chichen Itza so we were in the van from 5:40 until our 9:30 arrival. WAY TOO LONG and very frustrating since this is what I was trying to avoid. If they had been honest with me, I would have booked with a different company.
OK... now to the 5 star part..... Jesus was an awesome tour guide, very pleasant and knowledgeable. Chichen Itza is an amazing site to see and I'm glad my family made the trip. We absolutely loved the Hubiku Cenote swim!! You're underground, in beautiful water, surrounded by cute little catfish ? with bats flying overhead... what could be cooler??? If we could do it again, we would have brought our snorkeling gear with us - so bring that if you have it. The water is freezing but it is amazing how quickly your body gets used to it. Ek Balaam was one of our kids' favorite activities of the trip. They are 17 and 19 and loved climbing to the top - even though I was a nervous wreck! A tour to just Chichen Itza alone would definitely not have been as good of an experience for us. If you are coming from Cancun or PDC - you might as well book this tour to get the two additional activities to make it worth the travel time. I think my family would agree that we liked the other two stops more than Chichen Itza.
When we stopped in Chichen Itza I spoke privately with another guide in our group Hugo and told him I was disappointed in the long travel time and that I felt like the company hadn't been upfront with me. He made a call and our trip home took the amount of time it should have in the morning because they met our van at two different points to shuttle passengers to their hotels. We did not have to make all of the side trips like we did in the morning. They need to do this every time if the pickups are so spread out. I was very grateful as this made the trip home SO much faster. Shout out to Aldo who was our excellent driver! I would highly suggest this tour if you can make sure the transportation times will be reasonable.
The trip was very good, our guide was informative and was helpful through the whole adventure. Our
Chichen Itza experience was excellent, awesome ruins so detailed. Our experience at the cenote was average an
our meal was satisfactory. As for ek balam again the ruins were awesome, our guide was knowledgable and patient.
Overall the trip was good. As for any negative comments, our early stop in the morning was at a cafe which had only
one bathroom for 12 people and there counter service was dismal. But we continued and made it through
The tour went as scheduled, on time. We saw all three sites, Chichen Itza, Cenote Hubiku, and Ek Balam, via Maya Tours. I was contacted a few days before to arrange pickup and was picked up as scheduled. Our tour guide, Wilbert, was very knowledgeable and informative. The buffet lunch was the standard, decent kind you get on these kinda tours I did a couple of other tours and this food was one of the better ones. Wilbert, Fabian, and Jesus also had water and drinks on the bus and gave us a snack in the morning.
Overall, the content of the trip was good. The negative being that we were the first people picked up and it took almost 2 hours to pick up the rest of the passengers before we were on our way....and we were last dropped off...so 4 hours of pick up and drop off plus 4 hours of driving round trip.
I have been very impressed with Viatour trips we have taken - this one was outstanding again! It is a long day - pick up at 5:15 AM and return to resort at 9PM but well worth it. The information from Joel very knowledgeable and passionate about the Mayans and the culture literally painted a picture of the way of life from this culture. I would not hesitate to recommend this excursion to anyone keeping in mind the long day and potential for climbing a lot of steps.