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Old January 16th, 2007, 12:37 AM
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Default mayan sites need info on the following

I am considering a cruise that has Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya as ports. Some of the Mayan sites offered are Talum, Chacchoben, and Xunantunich, Altun Ha,Kohunlich. If any of you have been to any of these which ones were worth it, and can you actually climb the pryamids? I know in Talum you can only look at them (boring) Please let me know.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:17 AM
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Hi showcat,

I did the Tulum tour last Febuary. Be warned that the tour takes the entire day and you will not have time to visit Cozumel. From the Conqest we went by tender to the mainland, then it is around a 40 minute ride to the Ruins (air conditioned greyhound type bus). The time went quickly as the tour guide was excellent. There was a short stop on the way, for bathroom and "shopping". We had the same tour guide for the ruins as was on the bus who gave about a 45 minute speach on some of the more intersting "temples". I taped the whole thing, so I could digest it later.
If you do take this tour ensure you pay the few bucks for the tram from the entrance to the ruins site. It is not a long walk, but worth the money. Also bring some extra water, as it was very hot on the "rocks". This site is on the shoreline, and you can walk down to the beach from the main pyramid temple. You cannot climb the temple, and some areas are roped off, but others you can climb into. I found I had to rush to see the entire site, on the other hand my freind was more interested in shopping at the entrance - depends what you are intersted in.

I will be checking out Altun Ha in about four weeks, if your next trip is after that I can give you a comparison.

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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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Thanks let me know what you think of Altun Ha. I think I will be seeing Xuantunich in Belize instead. Even though that is an all day excursion and it will probally be the only ships tour I take. I am not going to Talum, I think I will do an ecco park in Cozumel, instead.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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I would recommend Chacchoben. It is only a half day, as we were back to Costa Maya by 12:30.

On any Maya ruins tour I would suggest bringing your own bottled water from the ship. Don't touch the stuff provided on the bus even it appears to be sealed. I did, and it was a mistake.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:31 PM
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SHOWCAT -- If you're thinking about Belize - you should consider the excursion to Lamanaii. It's in the jungle and you take a fast river boat to get there. They stop along the way to point out different things and then you get to a clearing and the Mayan site is there. The pyramid was great climbing and from the top you were above the canopy and could see all around the area. Have also been to Tulum but couldn't climb up. The only other pyramid I've been to was in Chichen Itza near Cancun which was also a great climb. Have fun!
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Thanks so much, I am considering Lamani in Belize but Carnival doesn't offer it, so Im thinking of Xuantunich instead which looks impressive and has the tallest pryamid.

If I do Lamani it would have to be a private excursion and I worry would I make it back to the ship in time, as I have to tender back. I did a private excursion last time and it was a close call got the 2nd to last tender back. Lamani and the boat ride sound wonderful though! I am considering it.

Chaccaoben I will probally do cause it's a half day trip which would leave some free time in the port. I might skip Talum and do a ecco/water park there instead. tHanks everyone for your thoughts I apresheate the info, if you have photos let me know where I can see them!
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Lamanaii was an all day excursion (was a little more than an hour bus ride to get there). We had to tender also. If you're booking on your own, it may not be the best bet with the tight timing.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Hi Showcat,

This link has some pictures of both Altun Ha and Xunantunic, along with some background information on them.

http://www.belizeexplorer.com/cgi-lo...s=1&nh=11&mh=1

I leave on my cruise in just over two weeks and will let you know what Altun Ha is like.

CC
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Old February 1st, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Thanks everyone! I know I can count on this site for great information and reviews from those of you who have been there already!
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Old March 5th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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We have been to Chacchoben, and it was great. I think primarily because we actually booked our excursion independently through the Native Choice (www.chacchobenruins.com). The guide we had, the land was at one time owned by his father, and he was very knowledgable about the Mayan culture and tradition, and we actually spent more time there than the cruise ship excursion did as he explained the pyramids. I heard that the people who booked this through the cruise line weren't as impressed by it--presumably because they weren't told everything they should have about the site. I would highly recommend booking this excursion independently if it's something that you would want to do.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Showcat - We have done both Tulum (which we were able to climb) and Xuantunich (can also climb). Tulum is much more impressive in my opinion. Both were nice and clean but Tulum was set against the ocean (you can swim if time). Xuantunich is also nice (in more of a jungle setting). It takes almost 2 hours to get there when it is advertised as a 45 minute bus ride. The lunch provide (after the ruins) is very tasty (authentic) at a "resort" area. Both took almost all the time in each port. Had about an hour to shop near the pier after returning. Enjoy.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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Showcat - I took the Altun Ha tour on Feb 20 and have posted some pictures in the Photo Gallery. It was about a 45 minute bus ride to the ruins. We were able to climb the largest one, but with the tour I took there wasn't enough time to really look around. It was with Carnival and was combined with a River excursion. To much river, not enough rock....I could have spent an additional hour or two looking around the ruins.

I actually enjoyed Tulum more than Altun Ha. Tulum has been fully excavated while at Altun Ha, only the front of the pyramids have been done. The rest of them remain covered by vegetation to protect them until they can be excavated properly. There were modern washrooms at the site and a few stalls selling items. A small group of people with the singles group I was with took a taxi to the site. I wouldn't recommend this by yourself, but with a group it would be OK. This would allow enough time to see the site properly. Enjoy your cruise!

CC
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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i have been to chacchoben ruins and i realy enjoyed them it was hour
ride to the ruins and we had tour gudie with us alot of intresting things
about the mayans and you can climb these ruins also bring some water
with you you can get bottle water right from the ship take one with you
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