Mayan Explorer (CEM) Questions

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Mayan Explorer (CEM) Questions

Postby scarl » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:26 pm

I've just about decided on this for my first GAP trip. But I have some questions for others who have already been on it, as I kind of want to maximize my time at the Mayan sites. I've never been on a trip like this, so all I know is what I've read here in the last couple weeks.

Do you find you have enough time at each of the Mayan sites visited? I love the idea of having time to explore, climb (if permitted), and take photos/video. If most of the visits to sites are of a "whirlwind in and out" style, I might look at a different tour... Active Yucatan Jungle and Ruins (CMAY) probably... but this one seems to cover all the highlight sites, and is a perfect length to match my holidays.

I was also wondering about purchases. I would love to pick up some Mayan reproductions to bring home, but I probably don't want to have to lug them 14 days from Merida... are there opportunities to find interesting items to buy late in the tour? If not, I would appreciate any recommendations on how to pack and lug items during the remainder of the trip.

Finally, I'm planning on going outside of "high season", as I would rather risk more rain for smaller crowds. Is this a good idea?

Any and all advice would be very welcome!

Stephen
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Re: Mayan Explorer (CEM) Questions

Postby voidczech » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:04 pm

Hey Scarl....

This link might answer some questions for you:

http://wateringhole.gapadventures.com/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=10598&p=46025&hilit=mayan+explorer#p46025

- Simone
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Re: Mayan Explorer (CEM) Questions

Postby jensyucatan » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:29 pm

HI, Stephen. Just saw your post. I live in Merida and know all the sites on your tour very well. I think four or five hours at each with a guide should be sufficient, unless you are a serious Mayanist. The sites are beautiful but in general the restored areas are fairly compact and easy to cover. You will want to do most of your buying in San Cristobal and in Guatemala - Merida is a beautiful city but doesn't offer very much in artesanias from other parts of Mexico. This does mean lugging a lot of stuff, unless your hotel can help you find someone who can pack and ship your purchases. Textiles are a good buy both in Chiapas and in Guatemala and are fairly convenient to carry with you.

Another alternative, if you have the time, is just to fly into Merida and use it as a base to explore Chichen, Uxmal and many other sites on the Puuc route which are not offered on this Gap tour. It will be very easy to arrange this with any local tavel company....or rent a car, take your guide book and do it alone. Yucatan is very friendly, safe and easy to get around even if you don't speak Spanish. There are first-class buses from Merida to Palenque and from Palenque to San Cristobal. If you are traveling in rainy season, Misol Ha and Agua Azul are not really worth a stop - there will be a great deal of water, but muddy brown
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Re: Mayan Explorer (CEM) Questions

Postby scarl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:40 pm

Thanks for the link, Simone, I somehow missed that one and it was a good read!

And thank you, jensyucatan! I really appreciate the help! I was considering a trip to Merida to explore the Yucatan on my own before I found GAP... and I just might on a subsequent trip to Mexico, but my previous trips abroad were solo and I am kind of looking forward to having a small group and someone else to worry about hotels and transport.
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