Followers and good friends frequently question me which I’d endorse when touring to the Cancun and Riviera Maya places: going out to explore on your possess, or reserving a tour?
This earlier weekend, I had the opportunity to go on an structured tour with my good friends at GoMexico, a Cancun-dependent firm that provides tours in several of Mexico’s prime travel locations. We took the Tulum + Cenotes In addition tour, and I Loved IT. The day’s itinerary would just take us very first to the Maya ruins of Tulum, then to a cenote park named Aktun Chen just north of Tulum. We ended up taken everywhere on a relaxed, air conditioned bus, and I regularly identified myself comparing the expertise to a identical working day very last year when I had taken my sisters on a Tulum/cenote working day vacation utilizing the public van technique. Which expertise was improved? Which expertise would I be much more probably to endorse? The relaxed and hassle-free structured tour? Or the self-produced household itinerary with no one but me as the key tour manual?
When I took my sisters to Tulum very last year, we obtained there by utilizing the public van technique out of Playa del Carmen, with affordable “colectivo” vans that just take you up and down the principal Riviera Maya highway (go through much more on that expertise here). When affordable, the vans ended up considerably not comfortable and normally full… Not essentially a problem if you’re only going on a 50 percent hour vacation, but a little something to think about for men and women with mobility troubles. The region’s principal locations (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Akumal and Tulum) all have specified spots in town wherever you can find the vans, but when on the highway after checking out a cenote, you have to flag them down by the side of the street. It is a little bit frantic to determine out the very first time, but quite straightforward when you know what you’re performing. By contrast, the bus with the GoMexico tour was air conditioned and quite relaxed with reclining seats, great for napping. Tour buses normally decide you up straight from your hotel, or from an straightforward-to-accessibility spot in a well known vacationer place. From there, they just take you to just about every of the day’s tour destinations, then back again to your hotel, or close to it. Uncomplicated peasy. And bonus: They’ll normally serve you a boxed breakfast and/or lunch together the way!
I’ve been to the Maya ruins of Tulum above my earlier 10 years dwelling in Cancun, but this was my very first time checking out the web page with an structured tour. Having a tour manual was Wonderful. Thanks to our ruins manual Cesar, I figured out so significantly about why the historical metropolis of Tulum was constructed a specific way (frequently relating to the sun’s positioning all over the year), as properly as its background and way of life. Cesar even took us to spots around the web page that I’d never imagined to pay a visit to just before! If you go to Tulum on your possess, you can continue to retain the services of a manual at the entrance to just take you via the web page, and if you have all working day with nowhere else to go, you can even devote the afternoon at the seaside down below the ruins, 1 of my favorite locations in the environment.
A tiny language trivia: When we ended up at Tulum very last weekend, some Mexican good friends and I obtained into an attention-grabbing dialogue on the use of the word “ruins”. In Mexico, they tend to want the phrase sitio arqueológico (archaeological web page), while ruinas (ruins) may be regarded an insult. On the other hand, in English the word “ruins” has a sensation of thriller and romance and has come to be the much more most well-liked phrase, while “archaeological site” is rarely used at all… and when it is used, it sounds a little bit chilly, scientific and impersonal.
The next leg of our tour with GoMexico took us to a put named Aktun Chen. In this article, we ended up provided a Mexican-type lunch just before we ended up taken to see some of the characteristics of this place: a twenty-moment walk via amazing caves, adopted by an hour swim and snorkel in what is, to date, the most magnificent cenote I have ever observed. The cenote at Aktun Chen is practically completely enclosed within just a cave stalactites hang above crystal clear, blue waters, and beautiful stalagmite formations lurk down below to build a unforgettable snorkeling expertise. Scheduling a tour will frequently enable you pay a visit to some of the region’s most wonderful cenotes situated deeper in the jungle (like Aktun Chen), and using the van technique limits you to the cenotes situated nearer to the highway, like Jardin del Eden or Cenote Azul. When renting a auto, you have no restrict to your choices.
My Verdict: Solo Exploration or Structured Tour?
Effectively, I guess in the conclusion I do not have a big desire either way as it generally is dependent on who’s asking!
If you’re a vacationer: Go for the structured tour. There’s no stress, no problems, no questioning if you’re going in the proper way, no losing precious getaway time receiving shed, and you are going to in all probability get to see the area’s much more spectacular attractions, even if they’re tougher to access. You won’t have to determine out wherever to get lunch, your bus will be relaxed, and your decide-up spot will be straightforward to find.
If you’re a resident or a repeated customer to the place: Do generally solo discovering to save income and see locations other tourists may not ever get to pay a visit to, BUT guide a tour every when in awhile to see some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful and tough-to-access destinations. If you have a auto – or can hire a auto – or have a community buddy with a car… properly, that is the ideal of both equally worlds.
No make any difference which possibility you pick, I hope you have exciting discovering Cancun and the Riviera Maya!