Your day trip to Chichen Itza begins at the Cozumel ferry dock; board the ferry to Playa del Carmen, where you’ll meet your tour guide and hop inside the plush Mercedes-Benz van for the 155-mile (250-km) drive inland to Chichen Itza.
After the 2.5-hour drive, enter the archaeological site through the private entrance from Mayaland Hotel, a resort built in 1923 on the grounds of Chichen Itza, allowing you to skip the regular line and begin your 2-hour tour straight away. With your guide, explore Chichen Itza’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed pyramids and other structures, including El Castillo (aka the Temple of Kukulkan), a 79-foot (24-meter) pyramid that sits majestically in the center of the ancient city and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Your tour also takes in the Temple of the Warriors, the Ball Court, the Observatory and the Nunnery, as well as several smaller temples that dot the site. As you walk, listen to your guide’s commentary about the historical significance of Chichen Itza, which dates back to the 6th century, historians believe, and hear stories about the Maya civilization, who inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula from 2,000 BC until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century.
When your tour ends, follow your guide back to Mayaland, where you are free to enjoy its facilities at your leisure until it’s time to head back to Cozumel. Relax by the pool and go for a swim, stroll through 100 acres (40 hectares) of tropical gardens, and enjoy a relaxing 5-course lunch at any of Mayaland’s three restaurants, which serve authentic Yucatan cuisine and international dishes. Your meal comes with soft drinks, bottled water, wine and beer, and is accompanied by traditional music and dancing performed by the Mayaland regional ballet.
If you wish, you may re-enter Chichen Itza to admire the temples again on your own (you don't have to pay to enter again), or just continue to relax on the hotel grounds. In the late afternoon, begin the drive back to Playa del Carmen, enjoying beverages (including beer!) on board the van. Then return by ferry to Cozumel, where your fun and fascinating day trip comes to an end.