Chacchoben is a great place to visit Mayan ruins if you are docking in Puerto Costa Maya. Find out what you need to know to plan your tour of Chacchoben.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
My husband and I visited Chacchoben on a cruise when we docked in Puerto Costa Maya. If you have an interest in seeing restored Mayan ruins, there are a few questions you may have about Chacchoben. The goal of this post is to give you an overview of Chacchoben and how you can go about visiting it yourself.
What is Chacchoben?
Chacchoben (pronounced chac-CHO-bin), meaning “the place of the red corn”, is one of the many Mayan ruins that can be found in Mexico. The ruins date back to 700 AD. It was excavated in 1994 by archeologists and some of the ruins were restored. The ruins opened to the public for tours in 2002. (source) Chacchoben is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and is about 110 miles south of Tulum and about 56 miles west of Costa Maya.
Are the Chacchoben Mayan ruins worth visiting?
Yes! While other ruins, like those at Tulum and Chichen Itza, might be more well-known, Chacchoben definitely holds its own. If you are on a cruise and stopping in Puerto Costa Maya, visiting Chacchoben is a great shore excursion. It is only about 50 minutes from the port and a great way to see Mayan ruins and learn the history of the area.
How can I visit Chacchoben?
We visited with Toucan Tours, which we booked independent of the cruise. (Our ship docked in Puerto Costa Maya.) This was preferable because the group was smaller and we got to ask more questions of our knowledgeable guide. However, you can always visit Chacchoben on your own and do a self guided tour, or book with a different tour company. Our tour was about 4 hours total.
What is the cost to visit Chacchoben?
The cost varies depending on if you visit Chacchoben independently or with a tour company. Tour companies generally provide transportation to and from the starting location, admission and water. We paid about $50/person for our tour (June 2022).
What ages will enjoy Chacchoben?
I would not recommend bringing kids younger than six to Chacchoben. There is no playground and while they may be tempted to climb on the ruins, they are uneven in areas, which could cause them to get hurt. The tour is more geared towards kids who are able to take in what is around them rather than doing a lot of exploration.
Can you climb the Chacchoben ruins?
Yes, but only in certain areas and you cannot climb to the top of any of the temples. The places where you are allowed to climb are indicated by the guides and are usually roped off so you know how far you can go.
What should I bring with me when I visit Chacchoben?
We visited Chacchoben in late May. According to our guide, this is the start of the rainy season. It rained for some of the time we were there but it wasn’t a downpour. We did get wet but dried quickly when the sun came out.
Based on my experience, this is what I’d recommend taking with you:
- Bug spray
- Light jacket
- Tennis shoes
- Cash (credit cards not accepted)
- Small bag or backpack
Our Experience at Chacchoben
My husband and I really enjoyed our tour of Chacchoben. We had never seen Mayan ruins in person before and thought the history of the ruins and people were interesting. Having a guide that is local and familiar with the area made the whole experience more enjoyable because he knew what he was talking about. You could feel his respect, connection to and love of the area.
One thing we wish we’d done is remember to bring cash. They had some food there, as well as souvenirs, but they only accepted cash. Our tour guide provided us with water but we were hungry after the 4 hour tour.
Overall, we would definitely recommend visiting the Chacchoben Mayan ruins if you are going to be in the area.