Hello. My family of four is sailing on the Sensation, with a 9-hour stop at Calica. (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.). Carnival offers a bus tour to the ruins at Chichen Itza which they describe as a 9-hour excursion. We would like to see Chichen Itza but would prefer the freedom of our own rental car.
My questions, for those in the know:
1. Is 9 hours enough time to comfortably get a car, drive to Chichen Itza, have a few hours to tour the ruins and make it back to Calica, without risking have the ship sail off and leave us behind(!)?
2. Are cars readily available at Calica, or would we need to taxi to Playa del Carmen?
I know no one's shy on this board, so feel free to chime in with alternate suggestions if you like. (I'm aware there are ruins much closer to Calica, but we keep hearing that Chichen Itza is an incomparable sight.)
Chichen Itza is about 100 miles from Calica and is about a 2 hour drive each way. The bad part is that you won't have enough time at Chichen Itza to do it justice but I still say do it.
I strongly suggest taking the ship tour on this one. If you run into any car problems, etc. and miss the ship you will be out of luck. I am no great fan of ship tours but on this one doing it yourself isn't worth the risk.
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As Mike said, the ruins are a long way from the port and they are very extensive ruins. If you go, go through the ship but I would recommend that you save this for a time when you go to the port of Progresso or a land vacation in the Yucatan. What you do have correct is that these are very impressive ruins and you could easily spend two entire days there and not see it all.