I recommend the private tour of Chichen Itza through Mayans' Explorers. I arranged the trip before arriving in Cancun and all email correspondence was prompt. One is asked to pay a deposit through PayPal, and the balance in cash on the day of the trip. I opted to pay in full through PayPal before the trip, with an additional 5% added to cover the fee PayPal charges the vendor. We were picked up promptly at our hotel by Luis, our guide, and the driver of the van. The van was clean and comfortable enough but not luxurious. We were offered bottled water and cookies. The driver was careful and conservative on the road. We arrived early to Chichen Itza and had an amazing 3 hour tour before the heat and the increasing number of tourists arrived. Luis seemed to be very knowledgeable and carried books to show us pictures to supplement his talks. Next we were taken to swim in the Ik Kil cenote which was an amazing experience to swim in a sinkhole 150 feet deep. The buffet lunch served at Ik Kil was average. It was disappointing not to be able to climb the structures at Chichen, but this was compensated by visiting the smaller ruins of Ek Balam toward the end of the day. Here, we were able to climb the structures and scale the largest pyramid, the Acropolis, with its steep stairs and preserved stucco façade. The view from the top was breathtaking. We opted to skip the tour of Valladolid because it was getting late. The advantages of taking the private tour were no long bus ride to pick up other tourists at their hotels, arriving early at Chichen Itza, and the flexibility to spend more time in each place (we got to swim in the cenote as long as we wanted). It was expensive, but I highly recommend a tour through Mayans' Explorers.
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