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Chacchoben
Chacchoben

Chacchoben

Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Basics

Located about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Tulum, the Chacchoben ruins site includes two main temple pyramids, which date from 200 BC to AD 700, plus a third, smaller pyramid. After the collapse of the Maya civilization, it’s believed that Chacchoben remained a ceremonial center, with rituals continuing to take place at the temples. Eventually, the site was completely abandoned. In 1942, a Maya man discovered the site, and it now serves as a popular destination for day trips from Cancun and the surrounding cities.

Because the Chacchoben ruins are a popular half-day shore excursion for cruise ship passengers, many tours depart from near the Costa Maya port. Those staying in Cancun can take full-day Chacchoben tours that include a visit to nearby Lake Bacalar, called the Lagoon of Seven Colors. For those venturing to the ruins on their own, on-site guides are available for personal tours.

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Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip
Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip
$64.11 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent Customer Service
We had conflicts beyond our control and Costa Maya Tours was excellent to work with as we worked through our problems. Their customer service was fantastic. The next time we are in Costa Maya we will absolutely be using them again. They were a pleasure to work with.
Brent_J, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Merida

star-5
Fantastic experience
Christopher_D, Nov 2021
One Day Tour to Chacchoben Mayan City and Bacalar Lagoon with a Certified Guide
Chacchoben was wonderful to visit. Our guide and driver were fantastic. I think his name was Ederre. He was very friendly and very knowledgeable. Bacalar lagoon was also a very nice stop. Some of the best tacos I have ever had. Absolutely amazing sauces. Very friendly, small kitchen staff.
star-5
Great Experience in Costa Maya
Linda_P, Sep 2021
Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip
Met our tour person Ismael. Good directions to meeting place. Van very clean, Ismael very informative and congenial. He taught us so many things we did not know about the ruins and the area. Will ask for him when we return to Costa Maya. Thank you Ismael and Viator!
star-5
Good time.
Andrew_M, Nov 2021
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins from Costa Maya
Great excursion!! We had. Great time on this excursion. Best of all, we saw monkeys! Guide was nice and very knowledgeable.
star-5
Best trip so far!
Jamaica_J, Nov 2021
CHACCHOBEN – Mayan Ruins Excursion with transportation from Costa Maya
We had an absolutely wonderful trip led by our guide Lorenzo. He was very knowledgeable about everything we wanted to know and we learned so much from him. I HIGHLY recommend this company and this guide. We felt safe, secure and well taken care of the whole trip. Don’t hesitate, book this trip now!
star-5
Great alternative to cruise line tours.
Robert_B, Oct 2021
Ancient Chacchoben Mayan Ruins + Traditional Mayan Family Visit from Costa Maya
We especially liked the guide's narrative of the history of the Mayan people and their religion. We also enjoyed the meal in a Mayan home and learning of their culture.
star-5
Exciting and informative!
Jacie_T, Oct 2021
Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip
Our tour guide was incredibly informative and kind! We had a great time, and he even took us to the 7 colors lagoon after spending so much time in the heat! Watch out for mosquitoes of course. They’re persistent :/
star-5
It was wonderful
Mark_A, Sep 2021
One Day Tour to Chacchoben Mayan City and Bacalar Lagoon with a Certified Guide
The well informed and friendly staff The food at the lagoon was the best I have had in a long time Thank You so much
star-5
Great tour.
Sabata_D, Sep 2021
Ancient Chacchoben Mayan Ruins + Traditional Mayan Family Visit from Costa Maya
The company is not a cruise terminal company so there is a little walk, but worth the reward. The trip to the ruins was great. Great photos. Our guide Edden was very knowledgeable and explained everything. The visit to the Mayan family with lunch was excellent too. Great food with natural spices
star-5
Excellent Experience, Highly Recommended!
Mike_H, Oct 2021
CHACCHOBEN – Mayan Ruins Excursion with transportation from Costa Maya
Took a tour of Chacchoben with friends and family - total group size 7, which fit nicely into their air conditioned van for the travel to and from the archeological site. Moises was a driver, Leo our guide. It's about a 45 minute drive from Mahahual to Chacchoben - and I don't think Leo stopped talking the entire time we were driving. He was extremely knowledgeable about the area, local flora and fauna, the history of the area - recent and ancient. Arriving at the site, Leo continued to share his knowledge about the structures, architectural styles of various groups, local plants and their various uses historically, as well as their role in tradition, culture, and spiritual/religious beliefs. We were able to spend as much time as we wanted at the site and did not feel like we were being rushed or that we couldn't take what time we wanted to see the various structures there. On the drive back to the port, Leo's information and stories continued - though much less structured and more directed by our questions. We are pretty sure that Leo "has a friend" involved in anything you could ever think of, giving him a connection and knowledge about a huge variety of topics. Also on the way back to port - we stopped at a local fruit stand and were able to try a variety of local fruits and juices - all included in the price of the tour. Moises and Leo also had a cooler full of water, soda, etc., for us to drink during our travel and back and forth. Speaking with Leo during our drive back to the port, we learned that he is a guide for other tours Chak Ek Costa Maya provides in the area - and we, as a group - all agreed that we would love to return to the area and enjoy hearing his stories and knowledge of those as well. As a parting gift - we were given a small hand-crafted turtle painted by Moises' children to remember our time in Mahahual. I Cannot recommend more highly - you wont go wrong with Chak Ek Costa Maya
star-5
Great guide!
Nicole_D, Dec 2019
Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip
This was a 4 hour excursion from Costa Maya. Info and instructions online were accurate. Roberto was our guide and was very knowledgeable about the Chacchoben ruins and Mayan history and culture. He was very attentive to the passengers. Aaron was the driver and was on time and the van very clean.
star-5
A memoralble family excurssion.
owen_b, Oct 2021
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion
Our Tour Guide, Ismael Martinez and Driver were exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable. Ismael made the tour very personal not only to him but to us. They made sure that each of us was well taken care of. The driver pushed my wheelchair so that my husband did no have to worry about me and he could enjoy the tour. Ismael provided bottled water, snacks and potty breaks as needed. Most importantly we could tell that Mr Martinez is totally invested in his job and has a desire to improve and expand his tour to accommodate other physically challenged customers. I will definitely recommend him to my fellow physically challenged travelers. My family had nothing but high praises of Ismael and his driver.
star-5
Everything in one!
DeVere_V, Sep 2021
CHACCHOBEN & BACALAR COMBO with transportation from Costa Maya
What an incredible experience! We were struggling to decide if we wanted to visit the ruins or Bacalar, whether we wanted one that included lunch or drinks, etc. This excursion had it all! We met at the exit of the port just past the gates into the city and from there we had a van ride to the ruins that was not boring, but filled with history from our passionate and knowledgable tour guide. The ruins were incredible with so much history and first-hand experiences with plants and animals. From there we drove to the beautiful & colors lagoon of Bacalar taking a boat around and stopping for the Gram-worthy photos on some in-water hammocks and swings. But we weren't finished yet as we stopped for lunch on the way back which was delicious. The whole time we were comforted by our charming guides and their gracious bottle of tequila and snacks whenever we wanted. 20/10 would recommend to everyone!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Since the ruins are mostly unexcavated, visitors should wear sneakers or hiking boots, not flip-flops.

  • Mosquitos may be abundant, especially during rainy season, so remember to bring insect repellent.

  • Keep your eyes open for deer, peccaries (piglike animals), armadillos, gray foxes, and spider and howler monkeys, which inhabit the surrounding jungle.

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How to Get There

The Chacchoben ruins are about a 50-minute drive from the Costa Maya port, which is located right outside the village of Mahahual. Typically, tours include transportation to and from the ruins site. Keep in mind that public transportation is not always reliable. If traveling from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or elsewhere on the Riviera Maya, head south along Mexico Highway 307 until you reach Chacchoben; the trip takes about 3.5 hours.

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When to Get There

In order to avoid the crowds, visit the Chacchoben ruins early in the morning or later in the afternoon. In the early morning hours, you’ll have a better chance of sighting exotic birds and spider monkeys. During the rainy season, which occurs from May to December, the ruins may be off limits or under cover for protection.

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Other Ruins to Visit on the Costa Maya

In addition to Chacchoben, the Costa Maya contains two other archaeological sites—Dzibanche and Kohunlich—both of which are located about two hours from Mahahual and roughly 35 minutes apart. Ruins tours exploring both sites are available and are also popular shore excursions for cruise ship passengers. These sites aren’t as heavily visited as Chacchoben, so you can explore Maya ruins without as many crowds.

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