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El Caracol

El Caracol: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chichen Itza, Cenote, Valladolid Day Trip with Lunch

1. Chichen Itza, Cenote, Valladolid Day Trip with Lunch

Dive into Mayan culture on a guided day trip with optional hotel transfers from Cancún or Riviera Maya to Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the world's best-preserved ancient cities. Enjoy a Mexican buffet and tequila tasting, and stop at Valladolid and a cenote. The fun will just get started with a panoramic visit as no visit to the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Then, a visit to the area would not be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people. Then, enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch and a tequila-tasting experience. Finally, once at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage.

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

2. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

Experience the mysticism of the historic city of Chichen Itzá with a visit to its archaeological site, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Take a detour during your trip to Yucatán and join an excursion from Mérida to learn about history, swim in a sacred cenote, and taste authentic food. Head directly to Chichén Itzá on a bus ride from Mérida. Make the most of your travel time by hearing about the Mayan civilization and its history from your expert guide. Reach Chichén Itzá while it's still early before the crowds arrive and the heat sets in. Admire the perfection of El Castillo, recognized as the masterpiece of the complex. Visit the old field where the pre-Hispanic ball game was played, the Mayan astronomical observatory known as El Caracol, and the Temple of the Warriors. Take some time to explore at your own pace. Up next, taste a delicious Mexican buffet lunch with vegetarian options and recharge energies before heading to your next stop. Discover a beautiful cenote, a natural freshwater pool, where you can swim in its cool waters, sacred to the Mayans. Hop back on the bus and return safely to Mérida.

The Ancients: Chichen Itza & Ek Balam Audio Self Guided Tour

3. The Ancients: Chichen Itza & Ek Balam Audio Self Guided Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. NOTE: This comprehensive tour takes you through the heart of Chichen Itza & Ek Balam, covering their rich history and cultural significance in approximately 2 hours. Once downloaded, immerse yourself in a journey through time. Understand the profound effects of the Spanish Conquest on the ancient Mayan civilization. Walk the Sacbe, a white limestone pathway, connecting ceremonial platforms and temples. Discover the significance of the protective Defensive Wall, and marvel at the grandeur of the Entrance Arch, symbolizing gateways to sacred precincts. Witness the gripping history of the Mayan Ballgame as you approach the Ballcourt, where high-stakes games once decided fates. Delve into the wonders of Mayan Architecture, from intricate designs to monumental structures, and feel the spiritual essence at the Ceremonial Circular Steam Bath. Deepen your insights into Mayan Religion as you approach The Acropolis, Ek Balam's primary temple, and wonder at the artistic Hieroglyphic Serpents. Pay your respects at The Tomb, housing the remains of a significant ruler, and then ascend to the Top of the Pyramid for breathtaking panoramic views. The journey continues through the serene South Plaza before bidding a silent Farewell to the site's spiritual remnants. But the exploration doesn't end there; the majestic El Castillo awaits, followed by the haunting Tzompantli or the Wall of Skulls. Refresh your senses at the sacred Cenote Ik Kil and stand in awe of the Temple of the Warriors, a testimony to Mayan valor. Continue to the Ossuary, an ancient burial chamber, and then marvel at the astronomical genius of the Mayans at El Caracol, the observatory. Concluding at Las Monjas, this tour offers an unparalleled dive into the legacy and mysteries of a civilization that once flourished on these lands.

Mayan Echoes: Chichen Itza & Tulum Self-Guided Audio Tour

4. Mayan Echoes: Chichen Itza & Tulum Self-Guided Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. NOTE: This extensive journey spanning Chichen Itza and Tulum covers about 3 miles and is optimally designed to be completed in 2-3 hours. Upon activation, your expedition begins at the Tulum Archaeological Site, an emblem of Mayan coastal civilization. Your first encounter, Casa Cenote, introduces you to a freshwater sinkhole vital for Mayan rituals and daily life. Journeying forward, dive into the heart of the Mayan Port City Ruins. Unravel the significance of Pyramid El Castillo, also known as The Lighthouse, a beacon for ancient sea travelers. The Temple of the Frescoes stands next, a canvas of Mayan cosmology and daily life. A pause at Tulum Beach allows a refreshing interlude amidst turquoise waters. Transitioning to Chichen Itza, you're greeted by the magnificence of El Castillo, a pyramid echoing cosmic events. Nearby stands Tzompantli, a platform displaying intricate carvings hinting at sacrificial ceremonies. A short stroll leads you to the stunning Cenote Ik Kil, a natural pit revealing insights into Mayan spirituality and ceremonies. Venturing forth, stand before the Temple of the Warriors, a testament to ancient military prowess. The Ossuary unveils cryptic messages about life and death, and as you proceed, El Caracol showcases the Mayan astronomical mastery. Las Monjas, an elegant structure, caps off the tour with narratives of Mayan rituals and governance. By the tour's conclusion, you will have traversed time, gaining a holistic understanding of two of the most pivotal Mayan sites in history. Safe travels!

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What people are saying about El Caracol

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 579 reviews

The transportation took a long time as we had to collect everyone from their hotels. (Not too much of an issue for me as I used that time to sleep a bit more) But once everyone got picked up it was smooth sailing. The Cenote was okay-- Photos online looked better than IRL but still a good experience. Chichen Itza, however, blew my mind way more than I expected. The guides were incredible! Overall, I enjoyed the tour.

The excursion was very good, the cenote was just impressive. On the other hand, I find it extremely tiring personally, we were dropped off at 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The guides Pastor Tortilla and sexy Marcela are very funny and friendly.

Frank was amazing! Very funny and knowledgeable. Did a great job leading and having everyone one engaged the whole time.

The excursion was very good and varied. Guide Martin explained everything to us very well.

great experience!! The bus however is made for midgets.