It all started when we received a chat from Robert and Eleanor writing us they would arrive in Cozumel by by Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas and were interested in the excursion Chichen Itza by Air. This week Robert wrote a very thorough review about the trip. We decided to share his words as it really describes what you can expect traveling to us to this impressive archeological site by Air from Cozumel.
How did we feel using an independent company?
“When investigating options for excursions in Cozumel during a Cruise, I noticed that Chichen Itza was offered via the Cruise. However, as Chichen Itza is located from Cozumel, I was not looking forward to a three hour bus ride, a site packed with busloads of tourists in the heat, and a three hour ride back to the ship. I researched other options and came upon Fly Cozumel. A little weary of dealing with an independent company in another country, I checked them out and saw their amazing reviews from satisfied customers. I am proud to say I am now among them.
How was the booking process with Fly Cozumel?
I contacted a representative via the chat feature on their website a few months before our trip. I didn’t realize I was speaking to Leo, the owner of the company at the time. He answered all of my questions promptly and fully, making sure the trip he designed met my needs. We were able to arrange a private excursion Chichen Itza by Air for my fiancé and me and added on lunch and a visit to a cenote for a small additional fee. All arrangements made before the trip were as smooth as could be, especially since I can be a difficult customer and had plenty of questions.
The day of the Excursion.
The only minor issue occurred the day of the excursion. We had set up the start time for 8am. Unfortunately, I was on Royal Caribbean Cruise time (EST) and Cozumel is an hour behind. So we waited in the plaza outside the port for about 45 minutes, but that’s my own fault (make sure to check time zones and work that out ahead of time). Fernanda met us promptly at 8am, arranged transportation to the airport, and followed us in her personal car. At the airport we me tour pilot, Abraham, and Fernanda finalized the necessary arrangements with the airport personnel. In no time we were on our way to Chichen Itza.
Flying to Chichen Itza
The airplane was a little tight for me (6’6″) but not uncomfortable. We flew a single prop plane that seemed to have room for 6 (2 up front, 2 mid, 2 rear). It was nice that it was just my fiancé and me, but if I would have thought about it I would have asked if I could sit in back to give us each a little extra shoulder room. The flight out was one of the calmest I’ve ever been on. No turbulence at all. The views from the Air were stunning. Abraham flew us around our Cruise ship for some pictures, then out to playa del carmen and the mainland. It’s amazing to see the vast forests surrounding Cozumel, and then the same on the mainland. Over the inter coastal waters, in my mind I was imagining the packed ferry coming from our ship to the busses that would carry everyone else visiting Chichen Itza that day, making the flight that much more enjoyable.
Landing at Chichen Itza International Airport was a little surreal. It’s a fully operational airport, but we were the only ones there (aside from the staff). It’s like it was opened just for us. We had a spacious van waiting for us to take us the 10 minutes to Chichen Itza, where we met Jorge (aka Tortuga).
What did we do in Chichen Itza?
Tortuga would be our guide at the site, handling our entrance for us and immediately making the most of the day, providing information about the site as we made our way past the vendors setting up. Tortuga was an excellent guide, leading us to shade where available, sharing his knowledge of the site, and entertaining us with stories of his past (ask him about the alien enthusiasts). It was nice to have our own private guide, as opposed to the large groups we saw. We were able to go at our own pace, pause at areas we wanted to spend more time at, and have a resource to ask questions. Tortuga really knew the site. Everyone we passed knew him and you could tell he was passionate about his work. We got explained the Mayan calendars, mayan culture, we saw the great ball court, the thousand columns, the temple of the warriors, el castillo and so much more.
After our exploration of Chichén Itzá, we traveled to Cenote Il Kil for lunch. This appears to be a private resort area with a maintained cenote. Fortunately we arrived when we did and were able to have a quite lunch, because just before we were finished a large tour group arrived. Lunch wasn’t anything special, but it was nice to have a place to cool off and relax after Chichen Itza. We opted not to climb down and swim in the cenote as it was a little busy for us (20-30 people).
From there it was time to head back to the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. The flight back was a little rougher due to the incoming weather, but Abraham handled it expertly. On arrival Fernanda handled the arrangements back to our boat.
Our final thoughts about Chichen Itza by Air.
The whole trip Chichen Itza by Air was well organized and could not have been more relaxed. I can’t have imagined how it would have been if we went through the Royal Caribbean Cruise, via the bus route. Not only did we have a private experience, we arrived early before the site was packed from the buses, before the local vendors were set up to pressure us to buy, and before the real heat of the day. I know if we had a three hour ride there and arrived to a mass of people in the midday heat, we would have been miserable, especially with the prospect of another three hour ride back. Instead, we were at the site within an hour of leaving the Cruise ship, had time to enjoy a nearly empty site, and had an amazing view on the way home.”
Thank you Robert & Eleanor for flying with us to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, and thank you for taking the time to write about your experience.
Arriving in Cozumel by Royal Caribbean Cruise yourself? Chat with us, write an e-mail or give us a call. With pleasure we inform you about the Chichen Itza by Air Excursion.