I'll start with the fact that the Light and Sound show was really really great. HOWEVER, There is A LOT to be desired on this excursion. First this tour states that it starts at 12 noon and pick up commence 1 hour or more prior to this start time - their words, not mine. When I contacted them to confirm pick up time I was told we 11 of us would be picked up at 1:35 in the afternoon. Hello, that's after the start time in case ya didn't notice.....this already tells you there's a problem. Amigo Tours arrives to pick up and we embark and leave for Chichen Itza' or so we thought, until 45 minutes later we pull up to a PEMEX gas station and are told we're waiting for other passengers coming from Riviera Maya. We estimate to be there 15 to 20 minutes.....40 minutes later the passengers arrive, embark and we leave again...for lunch which is 2 hours away. We arrive for lunch at 4:00 are escorted through the grounds and given demonstrations and a lunch consisting of spaghetti, who knew that was Mayan? shredded pork, which was really greasy but delicious, black refried beans and white rice that still has hard uncooked rice or it's stale from sitting out. There are frozen potato wedges and bagged salad. Drinks are additional. We have lunch and now are leaving for Chichen Itza at 445pm. The site closes at 6pm. So, here lies my issue....we arrive at the park and are told to run to the pyramid as soon as she hands us our entrance ticket so we still have light for the photo. After we are regroup she proceeds to take us around the site, in the dark, explaining sections and asking guess to use their phone to illuminate the area so we can see. We are pushed out of the park by officials and now wait in another line to enter the park again with a different ticket. One or we wait so does everyone else to enter....the show starts at about 740 and goes to about 830 and then we embark on the bus/van to drive back to the PEMEX and then back to Cancun. We arrive at our hotel at 12:30 in the morning. The show is great but I sure wold've liked to have been in the park during the day, like the description says, like what I paid for. This is a World Wonder and the tour is set up as if this is next door to the hotel. 5 hours on a bus/van to spend a total of 2 hours in an archeological site in the dark. Not impressed. I could've rented a van, driven there, had lunch where I wanted to, spent the afternoon canvassing the site, bought my light show tickets, reentered and still have been back before 12:30 in the morning and seen more and paid less. Very Disappointed in how this is marketed as it's very misleading.
First off....the organization of the tour has a lot to be desired. I could of zinged it by deducting a star for that, but the experience was too good to do that. To explain - confirmation of the tour and hotel pick up has to be confirmed the day before. I tried to do that, but the numbers listed would not work! Probably using a US cell phone to call a local number that is blocked outside of Mexico. Not sure - whatever - had the concierge do it for me. When they called, they couldn't find my reservation at first - but eventually found it. Gave me a pick up time of 12:50. The problem is the sheets of the tour say PU time is to be 30-60 mins BEFORE 12:00 tour time. Needless to say I had the concierge call back the next morning to confirm. Yes 12:50. But I was not alone with all of that confusion - the guy in front of us had the exact same experience!
The tour started a little rocky....8 people in the van...a bit hot...driver didn't seem to speak a lot of English...had no idea where we were going. About 20 mins into the ride, we picked up the tour guide didn't know he was different than the driver. Then it all became clear!!
Tour guide Augusto Navarro hope I got it right was awesome! Got us comfortable, got us a pit stop, explained everything. A good 2 hour ride from there....but no wasted time! The guide is Mayan and gave us a great look into his culture from HIS perspective not from a book. Interesting to me a little long for my teeenage girls - haha. Took us to a Mayan store local crafts, jewelry, clothing, etc., ate some fresh coconut, sampled some local alcohol, and had our purchases blessed by a Mayan Shamen - all cool! Ate lunch by now - more like dinner...and then back in the van to CI.
There - he gave us a great tour as the sun was setting which was so cool - who gets to do that! for about an hour. Had to exit the park to wait for complete darkness for the night entry maybe 45 mins. When we came back in, all the structures were lit up! Self guided tour for about 45 mins - then the laser show was in Spanish for about 20 mins. Really awesome!
Back on the van for 2 1/2 hours back....slept most of it.
Both the guide and the driver Manny were great!
Seriously....slow start - but it turned out really awesome - like I said previously...who gets to tour a Mayan site at night with it lit up? I did!!
Great day excursion. We were picked up at our hotel and brought back, on time. The minivan was in very good condition. We had the opportunity to shop for souvenirs at a stop en route to Chichen Itza. We were given time to swim in a cenote, and have lunch at the place. Good buffet lunch with many choices. The archaeologist was very knowledgeable for the day visit of the site. The light and sound show was beautiful. We just wished we could have seen more of the site during the day, but we did see the essential.
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