Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
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Chacchoben Mayan Ruins (Best Costa Maya Cruise Excursion)

Want to visit the Costa Maya Mayan ruins? Awesome! Chacchoben Mayan Ruins is your best option for a shore excursion when visiting Costa Maya.  

We recently had a cruise stop at Costa Maya.  My sister-in-law really wanted to visit the ruins in Costa Maya. We decided to take a Chacchoben tour! It was perfect! 

In this post, we are going to help you decide if you want to book a Chacchoben ruins tour/shore excursion. We will also help you know what to expect when visiting the Costa Maya ruins and tell you a little history behind the discovery of Chacchoben. 

If you are cruising to Costa Maya and looking for a shore excursion, this post is for you! 

Let's learn all about the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins! 

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If you want to see the Chacchoben ruins you really will want to book a tour

We have rented a car in Mexico and it was a horrible experience, I wouldn't do it again! However, there is a Hertz located at the Costa Maya Port if you want to give it a try. 

I think booking a Chacchoben tour is a better option because they are inexpensive, come with a personal tour guide, and the stress is taken out of the equation. 

Should I Book a Costa Maya Mayan Ruins Tour through the Cruise Line?

When we decided we wanted to see the Chacchoben Mayan ruins, we started looking at different tour options.  We looked at the tours available through our Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise and Viator. 

Going through Royal Caribbean was double the price!  I still considered it because I was worried about the distance between the Costa Mayan ruins and the port.  At least if you book with the cruise line you know the boat will wait for you if anything happens.  

In the end, we decided to book with Viator because the price was just too good! It was a good choice! We did not have any problems at all and we made it back to the ship with plenty of time to spare. 

We went with Toucan Tours.  Overall it was a fantastic experience.  

Getting to the tour pick-up location was a little tricky.  You will have to walk through the port area and exit the shopping area.  You will then walk about a block from the port exit to the tour company site. 

We went in August so it was a hot walk but they had water bottles waiting for us when we arrived. 

Once you check in for your Costa Maya ruins tour, you will be assigned a passenger van and tour guide to take you to the Chacchoben ruins.  Our van had air conditioning and was really nice.  

Chacchoben Tour Provides

  • Air-Conditioned Van
  • Cold Bottled Water
  • Soda Pop
  • Tour Guide
  • Transportation
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour

They also offer a few more options for tours.  We just wanted to see Chacchoben but you can book a Bacalar 7-Color Lagoon Combo tour to see both. 

Tour Guide for Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Tour

Costa Maya Ruins - Mahahual

Before we went to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Tour we stopped at the Mahahual Beach.  This beach has some of the best snorkeling in Quintana Roo because it is located along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.  

This stop was to see the lighthouse and take a picture with the Mahahual sign. After the Costa Mayan ruin tour you have the option to go back and swim.  

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Tour guides

Our tour guide was great and spoke perfect English.  She was nice and kept the ride entertaining.  We had two tour guides.  One was the driver and then we were put with the Chacchoben tour guide at the site. 

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Chacchoben Mayan ruins in Costa Maya

The Chacchoben Mayan ruins is a archeological site that is believed to have human settlements dating back to 1000 BC. Around 360 AD it had became the largest community in the lake region with a large temple for rituals. Many of the ruins date back to 700 AD but many are much older. 

The Chacchoben Mayan ruins were buried for years! It wasn't discovered until 1942 when a farmer built a house on the land. An American archaeologist discovered the area and submitted his findings to the government in 1972.

Excavations are not complete however Chacchoben is one of the most visited Mayan ruins in Costa Maya and the Quintana Roo region. It is a popular tourist site and shore excursion option. 

Our guide was awesome in explaining the history and showing images. He said Chacchoben literally means “place of red corn.”

Temple Sites and Structures

Costa maya Mexico Mayan Ruins Chacchoben

Chacchoben offers a look into the ancient culture of the Mayan people. There are several well-preserved pyramids and ancient sites to explore.  

I have been to Chichen Itza and what I like more about Chacchoben is that you can actually climb on the structures.  It was very cool.  

On some of the temples, you can not climb all the way to the top but in other areas, you can.  

Structures at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

  • Grand Plaza
  • Temple 1
  • Temple 24
  • Las Vasijas – Temple of the Vessels
  • Las Vias – Ways
  • Los Gemelos – Twins
  • Gran Basamento – Basement

This might seem like a lot of structures but there are basically two areas where you can explore.  

Gran Basamento

Gran Basamento - Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

My favorite area to explore was the Gran Basamento. The stairs at the Gran Basamento are pretty awesome! It is actually a pretty tough climb! 

From the top you can actually see how step they are.  I did not want to climb down! There is another way you can get down that is a little safer.  

This was probably one of my favorite structures at Chacchoben Mayan ruins. 

Monkeys at Chacchoben Ruins

Monkeys at Costa Maya Ruins Chacchoben

One of the coolest things about the Chacchoben Mayan ruins is that there are monkeys everywhere! 

It is so cool to look up in the trees and see monkeys swinging around! This was a highlight for me! There are also other wildlife to observe in the jungle where Chacchoben is located.

Jungle at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Costa Maya Ruins Jungle

Chacchoben is located in the midst of a tropical rainforest jungle! 

I have to say, when we went in August it was so HOT! I have a feeling that it is hot and humid in the jungle all year round. 

We went to Chichen Itza in March and still were sweating.  Be prepared as you go into the jungle to dress appropriately! 

You might also want to bring an umbrella because during certain times of the year it may just start raining! The jungle climate is pretty crazy! 

What to Wear to Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Costa Maya Mayan Ruins Chacchoben

What you wear to the Chacchoben ruins is important.  Because it is very humid and hot you will need to make sure you have lightweight fabric and protection from the sun. 

What to Wear in the Chacchoben Ruins Jungle

Have fun at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Costa mayan ruins Chacchoben

Are you ready to book a tour to Chacchoben Mayan Ruins?  I think that is a good idea! We really enjoyed our tour! 

If you are planning a cruise that has a stop in Costa Maya, Chacchoben is a great option.  Have so much fun! 

Cruising in the Caribbean 

On our cruise, we also hit Cozumel, Mexico and Roatan, Honduras  If this is your first cruise or you are hitting similar ports, I have a few recommendations.

Maya Key and ziplining are awesome in Roatan. Xcaret, is fun in Playa del Carmen which is near Cozumel. Cancun is a little far to plan to much there when on a cruise. 

Facebook Community

If you have any questions join my Facebook Travel  Community.  You can ask any questions you have about upcoming trips and everyone is happy to help you plan your trip.  I also try to give exclusive travel deals that companies send me.  It is a great group to join!

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14 Comments

  1. I have always wanted to visit the Mayan Ruins in Chacchoben. I think this is such a cool experience!! Thanks for sharing the amazing pictures.

  2. I have climbed some ruins in Mexico. For me, climbing the Chaccoben Mayan Ruins would be monkey style — on all fours LOL.

  3. Thank you for the information about Costa Maya. We are preparing for a cruise and this will be one of our stops.

  4. I’m fascinated with the Mayan culture. Chacchoben Mayan Ruins looks like an awesome shore excursion when visiting Costa Maya.

  5. I have always wanted to visit the Mayan ruins! They have always been fascinating to me. I bet the pictures don’t do them justice either.

  6. I love all things historic, and this would be such a thrill to see. And the monkeys? I’m there. Sign me up!

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