Tours & activities by Sacred Destinations from Viator

  • Location: Costa Maya, Mexico
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
From USD $61.99

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When your cruise ship docks in the port of Costa Maya, embark on a 3.5-hour shore excursion to Chacchoben. Explore the ancient Mayan city, where mysterious pyramids and temples remained hidden until the late 20th century! Your informative guide will tell you about the original occupants of this significant archeological site, as well as the native animals – including toucans and jaguars – that inhabit the surrounding jungle. Round-trip transport by air-conditioned vehicle included.


  • All entrance fees included
  • Get inside tips from a local
  • Ideal choice for families
Start your shore excursion with pickup from the Costa Maya cruise port and head to the ancient ruins of Chacchoben, located in the jungle about 45 minutes from the coast. Upon arrival at the ruins, your experienced guide will lead your group on a circular path through this important archaeological site, explaining the significance of several excavated and restored temple pyramids, as well as the many walls and staircases that comprise the ancient city.

Hear insights into the mysteries of the Mayan civilization that inhabited the site, which lay buried in vegetation and was known only to local farmers until the 1970s. You’ll learn how the Mexican Institute of Archaeology and History (INAH) excavated and restored the site in 1994 and eventually opened it to the public nearly a decade later. Be sure to look for traces of red pigment that originally coated the structures, and try to decipher the hieroglyphic inscription at the base of the largest pyramid.

Chacchoben, meaning ‘red corn,’ was most likely settled by the first inhabitants of the Costa Maya region during the late pre-classic period around 200 BC. However, it wasn't until the early classic period (200-600 AD) that the monuments and main governmental buildings were built, only to be abandoned and then partially repopulated during the post-classic period (900-1519 AD).

Your guide will share knowledge of the area’s flora and fauna, including a wide variety of tropical plants, such as the magnificent Coroso palm trees, which are common to many Mayan sites. Keep an eye and ear out for toucans, spider and howler monkeys, deer, gray fox and armadillos that inhabit the tropical forest around Chacchoben, and learn about the jaguars, ocelots, pumas and tapirs that can be found deeper in the jungle.

After your tour, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the gift shop before your driver returns you by air-conditioned transport directly to the port.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Costa Maya cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Recent Photos of this Tour

Schedule details

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Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Tour departs from the Costa Maya cruise ship port. Exact directions will appear on your voucher.
Departure Time:
Tour coincides with your cruise ship's arrival
3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point

Pricing information

Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.


Pricing information

Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Chacchoben Day Trip

  • Local English- and Spanish-speaking guide
  • Bottled water and soda
  • Entrance fees
  • Port pickup and drop-off
  • Worry-free Shore Excursion guarantee
  • Gratuities (optional)
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At time of booking, Cruise ship passengers must provide the following information at time of booking: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
Voucher Info
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Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: banditjs, February 2017

I was a bit concerned on how and when to connect up with our tour once our boat docked at the pier. The time was not listed when our excursion was to begin. I would say you need to connect with them within one hour of when your boat docks. The directions were a bit vague to understand. When you come out of the pier and through the security gate, stay to the left toward town. Stay on the sidewalk on the left side of the road. Costa Maya Tours is in the first building you will come to. The sign in on the building and someone was out front to greet those that had an excursion with them by having family name signs. That was a great help since this was our first visit to Costa Maya. We were treated well before our guide and driver arrived. We were in our own group. I guess because it was large enough 4 people. We had a van with our own driver and guide. It took almost an hour to get to Chacchoben I think it was about 45 minutes. During the drive to and from our guide was sharing about the Mayan people and the culture of the area. Our guide was great aka:Lolli. She had so much knowledge of the Mayan people and of Chacchoben it was amazing. We could not have gotten this kind of one on one treatment in another excursion. While at Chacchoben, there was a large group there just wandering around looking at things, but we had Lolli telling us exactly what we were looking at. I felt so special to have this kind of treatment. When we were coming back, we asked if they could drop us off at the beach instead of taking us back into town. They said they could but could not pick us up due to the taxis rights to the beach. That was fine. We then spent a few hours on the beach, where the light house is, to round out our experience at Costa Maya for a full day excursion. The taxi charged us 2 per person to get back to the pier. We heard about a wagon ride that went from the pier to the beach and back for 1 per person each way, but we did not see where to get the wagon back from the beach it is down by the light house. What a great day in Costa Maya and Chacchoben. Thanks Lolli for the experience and the pineapple. If you do this excursion allow lots of time. We left at 9 and returned about 1 at the beach. We stayed on the beach until 345. Thanks again for a great memory Costa Maya Tours.

Reviewed by: Orville L, February 2017

Our only complaint was the difficulty in finding the office. We walked and walked., And walked some more before finding the place.
However, once we arrived Carlos jumped in and brought us water and found us a place to sit. We had to wait another hour for another couple from a different cruise, so our driver, Roberto Estrada offered to take us into town and show us around while we waited. Roberto gave us the history of the place and lots of insight into the local culture. Once we hooked up with the other couple, we were off to Chaccoben Once again Roberto told us the history and background of the area. I am a former history teacher so his knowledge was a wonderful bonus to our trip. Maria met us at the ruins and gave us an excellent explanation of the Mayan culture and the why of what were were viewing. My wife and I have mobility challenges. Maria set a comfortable pace as she talked and picked the easiest path as we went along. At the end of the tour, Roberto was right there waiting on us and gave us time to shop and use the facilities before the journey back to the ship. Did I mention that Roberto was an excellent driver? His acceleration and braking was smooth as silk.and we felt as safe as babes in a carriage. We had a little bar we had read about that we wanted to visit in Mahaual. Roberto graciously drove a few blocks out of the way and dropped us near our destination. We loved this trip and can't praise our hosts enough! The only suggestion we have is that you post a golf cart near the exit of the dock with a large sign!