The Best Chichen Itza Tours from the Riviera Maya

Bus tours, pirvate tours, small tours and tours with a cenote!

things to do
The main pyramid of Chichen Itza called "El Castillo".

The Best Chichen Itza Tours to take

What is the best Chichen Itza tour for you? Well everyone is going to be different in what they want so we are presenting you with our best recommendations for tours. Here you can find tours that are smaller, ones that visit a cenote, private tours, large bus group or budget tours. Whatever tour you choose, it is good to book in advance. Some of the tours will give you a discount of 15% off if booking ahead of time. Since all Chichen Itza tours require the tour companies to coordinate hotel pickups and transportation, booking in advance will guarantee the day you want to go and your spot.

Tours to Chichen Itza are popular since about 5,000 people a day visit these ruins. Since this spot is so popular there are many people offering tours here. We try to help narrow it down for you so you can enjoy your time here. We even have videos of some of the tours below so you can see what it is like.

Here are a few tips for tours to Chichen Itza for you

  • From all points in the Riviera Maya the travel time is about 3 hours each way to Chichen Itza. It is a full day of touring, so be prepared.
  • Take comfortable walking shoes because the ruins are large. It is also out under the sun, so take a hat and sunscreen.
  • If visiting a cenote, take biodegradable sunscreen since this is the only type allowed if any at all. This is to keep the water clean.
  • Don’t worry too much about the weather. Remember that tours to Chichen Itza take you to another state. The weather can be different and during your day you might experience sun and some rain. Most tours work with the weather. Some will coordinate the ruins for the morning or afternoon depending on the weather. The best tours to Chichen Itza have large umbrellas for guest if needed. Also, you are at the ruins for 2 hours or more. It usually does not rain for hours at a time so even if it is a little rainy, you should have some break.
  • Whatever tour you book, look at the details. All of the tours below except one will pick people up from all points from Cancun to Tulum in the Riviera Maya.
  • Take some money for souvenirs, tips, and snacks.
best chichen itza tour
Yes, sometimes you can get a photo with no one in it! Continue reading for the best Chichen Itza tour options.

The best small tours to Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza and Cenote Maya tour

This small group tour will take you in a van to either stop at Cenote Maya first or Chichen Itza. A certified guide will take you around the ruins and you will have some time to self-explore a little. The Cenote Maya part is fun because it is only available to visit with this tour and is the largest cenote in the Yucatan! At Cenote Maya you will enjoy a buffet of reginal cuisine. The tour of the cenote involves rappel. swimming, and zip lines all in the cenote.

This tour is special because the tour company operates Cenote Maya and it is only visited by their tours. They also focus on the Mayan heritage of the area and the tour feels a little less touristy.

best chichen itza tour

For more about this Chichen Itza tour see our article here.

See also below in the private tour section about information on private group tours. These can be very affordable Chichen Itza tours to take.

The best bus tours to Chichen Itza

Most Chichen Itza tours are by large buses. This can mean groups of about 40 or 50 in a tour. We were skeptical about going in a large group but the best Chichen Itza tours are well organized and even though there is a large group, you still move around pretty easily. Large buses also offer you a more comfortable ride since the transportation time is about 3 hours each way. Here are two bus tours to choose from.

Chichen Itza Xichen Deluxe tour

This has been one of best tours to Chichen Itza in recent memory. The guides are very well informed, bilingual, and organized. Often there are two guides that help everyone get around during the day.

What makes this tour deluxe is the nice bus, very good reginal buffet at their own restaurant, drinks included during the day including beer, large sun umbrellas to use and some more extras. This tour is worth the price since going to Chichen Itza is a highlight of many people’s vacations. You do visit a cenote but do not have an opportunity to swim in it. If you want a cenote swim the next bus tour has that.

 You can book and get more information in this link: Tour Xichen Deluxe with Transportation

For more about the Xichen Deluxe tour see our article here.


Chichen Itza Xichen Clasico tour

This tour is by the same company above and is a little less expensive. People like this Chichen Itza tour because you get to stop at a cenote and swim. Lunch is at the cenote as well but not the company’s restaurant, so it is more basic.

The guides are very good for this tour, and you will be in good hands for your day of exploration.

 You can book and get all the information here in this link: Tour Xichen Clasico with Transportation

For more about the Xichen Clasico tour see our article here.


Chichen Itza and cenote tours

Cenotes are one of the stops that really excite people when coming to the area. Visiting the ruins is good but a good compliment is a cenote. Cenotes are a natural area of water in the ground. They are fresh water and are either enclosed or open. Some tours stop just to see a cenote but most people want to have the option to swim in one. These two tours take you to the best cenotes in the area around Chichen Itza.

Cenote Ik Kil and Chichen Itza tour

Cenote Ik Kil  is one of the most visited cenotes near Chichen Itza. It gets the most photos taken of it because it is unique and beautiful. Many Chichen Itza tours stop here because it is close by and has the facilities to host many guests. This tour stops here where you can eat at the buffet and swim. We recommend this tour because it is well organized, there are good guides and offer good service. This is the same tour as above in the video of the Xichen Clasico tour.

best chichen itza tour

For more about this Chichen Itza tour see our article here.

best chichen itza tour
Cenote Ik Kil.

Chichen Itza and Cenote Maya tour

Cenote Maya is a great stop on the way or coming back from Chichen Itza. This is the largest cenote in the Yucatan and is enclosed. You can rappel down into this cenote, take zip lines and swim in the fresh water (see photo below). Besides a visit to this cenote, the tour offers a small group size and a focus on quality and a more authentic look at local culture.

best chichen itza tour

For more about this Chichen Itza tour see our article here.

best chichen itza tour
Cenote Maya, the largest cenote in the Yucatan. Enjoy this cenote and tour of Chichen Itza.

Budget tours to Chichen Itza ruins

If you are traveling on a budget and want to visit Chichen Itza, here are some of the best tours to take. Just remember that with the price, the quality of the buffets and stops might not be the best, but you do get to visit the marvelous ruins of Chichen Itza. We tried to suggest budget tours that have an established reputation. There are always new cheap tours starting, but they come and go. We want our readers to have the best options to choose from.

Budget tour from Cancun to Chichen Itza

This tour includes pick up from most Cancun hotels buffet lunch, entrance to Chichen Itza with guide and a stop at a cenote.

best chichen itza tour

Budget tour from Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya to Chichen Itza

This tour includes a pickup from most hotels, buffet lunch, visit to a cenote, and tour of Chichen Itza with guide.

best chichen itza tour

Private tours to Chichen Itza

If you want to go by yourself and just have a guide for your group, a private tour is what you want. We will say that many “private tours” offered online or in person are just small groups of different people in a small van. This is not what we call private. A truly private tour is just for you and individualized.

One really good option is a private van with driver that will take you and your group to Chichen Itza and then to a cenote. If you have a group, this can be very affordable. Prices can range from $55 USD to $115 USD per person.

What is included in this tour to Chichen Itza and not included

  • Roundtrip air-conditioned van just for your group with English speaking driver.
  • Toll road and parking fees included.
  • Free time at Chichen Itza ruins site.
  • Cooler with drinks including beers.

Not included are:

  • Food and beverage at restaurant.
  • Cenote and Chichen Itza entrance fees.

best chichen itza tour

best Chichen Itza tours
The nunnery as it was nicknamed by the Spanish. Just one of the things you can see on a Chichen Itza tour.

More information on visiting Chichen Itza

If you want to read more about visiting Chichen Itza, see our article here.  We have enjoyed going here many times and each time you can learn something new. Each tour we have taken, the guides share different aspects of the amazing Maya civilization.  We hope you get to go while visiting the area and have one of the best tours!

Most people take a tour to visit Chichen Itza because it can be complicated to rent a car, worry about filling up on gas and driving in a foreign country. There are also the tolls for the road, paying for a guide at the ruins and entrance fees to the ruins that add up. If you do decide to drive yourself there, see our article on getting from Playa Del Carmen to Chichen Itza here.

Thank you for reading our article about the best Chichen Itza tour to take. Let us know if you have any questions or comments below. 

For more tours and places to visit in the area, see our interactive map below. Click each location to see what is there and an article about visiting there. We also have this article here; it includes the most popular tours from Playa Del Carmen.


best chichen itza tour
Chichen Itza Mayan ruins.

About The Author


  1. Highly recommend Mayans’ Explorers. They do small van group tours that go to Ek Balam, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and a cenote. It is a long, full, awesome day! They have certified, knowledgeable guides. They also offer private tours. Great tour company!

  2. These are some good options. I took the Deluxe tour from Xichen and really like the restaurant, full service drinks, and quality of the tour. We visited a cenote but it was not available to change and swim. It was ok since it was too cool that day to swim. The ruins are a must see when in Mexico. Really worth the trip.

  3. Hello. I headed your way in May. I want to book a tour to Chichen Itza. How is the weather in May? Waht can I expect? Thanks.

    • Hello Kaley

      May is more of a dry month and can be hot. The tours of Chichen Itza will spend about two hours walking around and of course time for yourself. So take water if you are not on the deluxe tour and sun hat. Other then that you should be good to go.

  4. I normally don’t like big bus tours but did not mind it for the tour to Chichen Itza. The trip is longer and it is nice to sit back and relax. Some tours they try to sell you a lot of extras but that is just part of the deal.

  5. I do suggest the bigger bus tours to Chichen Itza because the amount of time you ar eon the bus. You have more space and it is not bad going around the ruins site with a bigger group. Brining snacks is also good since meals are spaced out.

  6. We took the tour to Chichen Itza and the Cenote Maya and we really enjoyed it. It was a nice property and cenote to visit and we even got to taste Mayan food! It was a pretty authentic tour.

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