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  #1  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:35 AM
Hatty324 Hatty324 is offline
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Default Tulum vs Coba Mayan Ruins (Cozumel)

I am trying to decide between doing the Tulum excursion over the Coba excursion in Cozumel. Both are the same length of time, Coba is a longer drive. Coba is more expensive but it has won a CRUISE Award.

What are people's experiences with either? Anyone prefer one over the other?
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  #2  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Google both, look at the pictures, read the reviews and then make up your decision. I have been to Tulum. The view there is fantastic. Based on pictures, the ruins in Coba are much bigger.

A totally different setting.
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  #3  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 06:31 AM
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One more thing to add. I would strongly suggest you take the cruise ship sponsored excursion to either one of these sites. You have to take a ferry to the main land and then get on a bus for a long trip. Too many things could go wrong and could result in the cruise ship leaving without you.
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  #4  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 07:56 AM
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We did Tulum and loved it. We mainly decided on this one because it was so much less expensive. When I was researching it I found that the ruins at Coba are much more spread out. So while there is more to see you would really have to hussel to see it all. I am sure that you will love either one.

Word of warning: The ferry that you have to take to the mainland is a small Mexican government ferry. The ride is very bumpy. Several people got sick (or almost) each way. We took meclazine on the way over and I still almost got sick. I took a double dose about an hour before getting back on to go to the ship and was Ok, but the person in front of me that had spent some money at Senior Frogs on margaritas was not.

Also, the photos that they take at the pier in Mexico are not taken by Princess photographers. They will try and sell these to you on the way back. I did not have any cash and did not realize that I could not just go and pick it up on the ship, so I missed out on a really good picture.
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  #5  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:45 AM
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If you've never seen any of the Mayan ruins, I would recommend Tulum to start.

While Tulum will be more crowded, it is totally excavated while Coba is still a work in progress, or at least it was when I was there a few years ago.

Tulum has no really big pyramid but it's location on the coastline is pretty dramatic.

My real recomendation is Chichen Itza if it's available on your cruise. It's well worth the price and the 4 hour drive each way. Unfortunately, because the excursion runs about 12 hours, very few cruises offer it. We did it several years ago when the ship made a brief stop in Playa del Carmen early in the morning to let those on excursions to all the ruins off and then went on to Cozumel where it stayed until midnight. After the excursion we took the ferry from the mainland over to Cozumel to join the ship. Now THAT was a wild ride!

If you ever take a land vacation to Cozumel, Cancun or Riviera Maya, don't miss the opportunity to see it.
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  #6  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:47 AM
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I would also recommend Tulum. It is fascinating, and the coastline view from up there is stunning. It's a long trip, but well worth seeing.
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  #7  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:52 AM
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We went to Tulum as well. I was so sick on the way over I wanted to die. Another woman could not get on the bus to the ruins because she was so sick. I was deter,mined to see the ruins so I was able to sit in the front seat of the bus!

Yes! Do take this tour through the ship as others have said. It was long but wonderful. We were exhausted when we got back and were only late to early dinner seating by 10 min. Our waiter had our drinks on the table for us ready to go. Oh he was terrific too!!!!!

So book the tour, take your meds of choice and enjoy the day!

Christapie
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  #8  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:11 AM
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We did Tulum and Coba in one day, during our most recent Cozumel land vacation, and while Tulum does have the nice coastal setting, the Coba forest/jungle setting was much more natural, and less crowded.

Also, at Coba you can climb to the top of a very tall pyramid and the view is quite impressive.

The translation of "Coba" means Blue (cob) and water (a).

Certainly was a bit longer trip, and after spending over 13 hours on a tour that day, the ferry ride back across the Yucatan channel was a welcome relief. Just take you seasick meds for the ferry, because it WILL NOT be a smooth ride..
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  #9  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Have been to both Tulum and Coba, and would probably lean more towards Coba. Don't think you would be disapointed in either one.
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  #10  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 01:09 PM
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We loved Tulum although of the orginal 45 people who gathered in the Princess Theater for our excursion, only 20 elected to go due to the staff's warnings of high winds. The ferry ride was indeed a wild ride and of the 20, only 2 didn't get sick - US. Tulum was breath taking. After about an hout of staying with the group and listening to the guide, we elected to leave the group and wander by ourselves. we did some shopping and rejoined the group at the bus for the long ride back. It was a great day.
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  #11  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Default for those who've been ....

We've booked the Tulum excurions for our upcoming Ruby sailing in December, and are really looking forward to it from all the wonderful things people have said. We toured Chacchoben (out of Costa Maya) a few years ago, and found that site amazing.

But, I was wondering if anyone who's actually done this excursion (especially with Princess) could tell us about the real timing of the bus ride each way, the ferry ride and how long you actually have at the site. The excurision description on Princess.com gives estimated timeframes, but I've heard on here that those may not be exactly accurate. It won't effect our decision to do the excursion, but it's always nice to know what to expect.

Muchas gracias for any information anyone may be able to provide.
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  #12  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Default Water and soda on the ferry ride

Funny thing I found last December when I took the ferry ride: they were showing a video of sights to see, as well as selling sodas, candy and water. The video said $10 each for the drinks, and everyone gasped!

Its really only $1 US , so just a heads up there. On the ferry ride back, there were locals selling silver jewelry as well.
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  #13  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatty324 View Post
I am trying to decide between doing the Tulum excursion over the Coba excursion in Cozumel. Both are the same length of time, Coba is a longer drive. Coba is more expensive but it has won a CRUISE Award.

What are people's experiences with either? Anyone prefer one over the other?
We took the ship's tour of Tulum and it was a highlight of our cruise. My avatar is one of my photos from behind the Mayan temple. We were lucky however as our ferry ride was uneventful. It took about 45 minutes to the mainland and then you had to walk quite a distance with your guide to get to the buses. The trip to the ruins was about an hour. We were there for about 1 and a 1/2 hours. The scenery was spectacular.
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  #14  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 05:09 PM
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There is a fast paced walk through the town streets to the bus, and a walk back from the bus at the end of the tour.

The ride to Tulum took about 1 hour and 45 minutes as we had a stop at a local Mayan store to taste tequila and look at hand carved items on the way there. They gave us a sandwich of white bread, a piece of cheese and a piece of bologna, water, and chips. The store also had snacks, sodas and water for sale and a bathroom! Yay!

It was very, very hot at Tulum, and you need to walk quite a bit before entering the ruins. For a couple of dollars you can get a ride on a rickety tram. The ruins are beautiful, and there are areas to sit under shady trees. You will see large lizards everywhere, but they won't get close to you.

I believe I was at the ruins, proper, for about 2 hours before walking back to the parking lot where there are shops and places to get ice cream and water and use a bathroom. The ride back to town took about an hour. There will be time to sit and have a margarita or shop before you have to get back on the ship.

Don't forget to tip your driver and tour guide!
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  #15  
Old October 4th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Default gracias

Thanks so much, folks, for the info on the timing of things. It's nice to know what to expect. I'm really looking forward to seeing these ruins. All the pictures of the vistas from the sight just look gorgeous!

We've booked the excursion with a little beach visit at the end, and are hoping that'll be a nice way to cool off.

Just over 2 months and counting!!!

P.S. -- Viviandr, I believe we're on the same cruise (Ruby, 12/13.) My hubby has posted in the Roll Call thread. Guess I should make an appearance there and say hi.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viviandr View Post
There is a fast paced walk through the town streets to the bus, and a walk back from the bus at the end of the tour.

The ride to Tulum took about 1 hour and 45 minutes as we had a stop at a local Mayan store to taste tequila and look at hand carved items on the way there. They gave us a sandwich of white bread, a piece of cheese and a piece of bologna, water, and chips. The store also had snacks, sodas and water for sale and a bathroom! Yay!

It was very, very hot at Tulum, and you need to walk quite a bit before entering the ruins. For a couple of dollars you can get a ride on a rickety tram. The ruins are beautiful, and there are areas to sit under shady trees. You will see large lizards everywhere, but they won't get close to you.

I believe I was at the ruins, proper, for about 2 hours before walking back to the parking lot where there are shops and places to get ice cream and water and use a bathroom. The ride back to town took about an hour. There will be time to sit and have a margarita or shop before you have to get back on the ship.
Don't forget to tip your driver and tour guide!
Yep, good summary and our experience as well. On the ride to the ruins, we were shown a copy of an "Aztec calendar" that we could have "engraved" with our names/anniversary, etc. We ordered on the bus and it was ready when we finished our touring. It's a very nice souvenier of a wonderful day.
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  #17  
Old October 4th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5:00_Somewhere View Post
P.S. -- Viviandr, I believe we're on the same cruise (Ruby, 12/13.) My hubby has posted in the Roll Call thread. Guess I should make an appearance there and say hi.
Oh, yes! Absolutely say "hi". Aren't you excited? I can hardly wait! And fyi, the vistas around Tulum are even better in person. Unbelievable blue sky and ocean! Not sure where your tour will take you for the beach break, but there are two lovely beaches below the Tulum ruins that lots of people go to. I believe there are wooden stairs going down to them. I would love to go down to the beach there, but my knees wouldn't make it to the bottom!

Then, back in town, stop at Senior Frog's for a drink. A crazy woman with a loud whistle in her mouth will pour your hubby a shot, and embarrass the heck out of him, pulling up his shirt and patting his belly, etc. A guy blowing skinny balloons will make him an anatomically correct Denzel Washington to wear on his head. Bring your camera!

Hope to see you there!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeBeGone View Post
On the ride to the ruins, we were shown a copy of an "Aztec calendar" that we could have "engraved" with our names/anniversary, etc. We ordered on the bus and it was ready when we finished our touring. It's a very nice souvenier of a wonderful day.
Yes, I bought one of those calendars, too. I believe it cost about $11 US. I love it. Unfortunately, I didn't bring much money with me that day, and regretted it. I had to borrow the $11 from my friend. Next time, I'm bringing my cash. I know better now. I'm going to pick up some of that delicious Mayan liquor made from flowers they sold at the Mayan store, some cold drinking water, maybe some silver earrings, and this time, I will be able to tip the guide better than I did last time. I felt so guilty!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:51 PM
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Well, I like to think that I'm game for anything...but I have to tell you that I didn't enjoy this excursion much. I wanted to, I love history and ruins but it was pretty tough going.

To summarize (and I'll suggest what you should do to help):
1. ferry is hell--take your seasickness meds, don't eat a big breakfast and sit near a garbage can, also stare at the horizon (it helps to stabilize your inner ear).
2. we brought a packed lunch from the ship (yes, I know it's illegal) because we did not want to eat anything in Mexico. We did not touch the boxed lunch which was included in the tour--very unappetizing looking too.
3. bring lots of water
4. bus driver has cooler with coronas which he sells for $1 US at the rest stop--endulge!
5. The tequila isn't great quality so if you haven't a stomach of iron, avoid it and drink Corona (see #4). also, no limes (see #2)
6. The ruins are amazing. ditch the guide (boring) and wander around yourself. it's very hot, so wear your swimsuit (or something that can get wet and not be see through!) and enjoy the beach at tulum after touring.
7. Coronas at Senor Frogs in town before boarding the ferry--do it! I was terrified of getting back on that ferry, and couple of those helped

8. My husband absolutely loved the tour, so go if you're interested. It's worth it despite the difficulties.

Ellen
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Old October 5th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Default Been to both, won't be disappointed

I have been to both Tulum and Coba although bothe were on land based vacations so I can't comment on the trip back and forth from the ship. You won't be disappointed with either but as a couple posters have noted they are quite different:

Tulum - rather crowded and less to do although somewhat more to see without doing a bit of walking compared toi Coba. Did not care for the guide on this trip but I am sure some are much better than others.

Coba - more of a true unspoiled park-like setting and you can climb to the top of the pyramid. It is about 10 stories equivalent height. The views are truly amazing. Less than 15 years ago most of that whole area was completely undeveloped. The ruins are still being explored and discovered. Guide was great here, lots of extra info and histrical perspective.

Just pick one and go, you won't be disappointed. Tulum much more passive vs Coba a bit more energetic.
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