Can only respond to Cozumel. We toured the San Gervaso ruins (on the isle of Cozumel). It was short and sweet and on to the beach. I wouldn't go again, but husband found it interesting.
We took the ship's tour to Tulum a few years later. Tulum is amazing. BUT: it is on the mainland. 50 minutes by "power ferry"--a craft the holds a couple hundred people and has no stabilizers--it was a relatively calm day and people were throwing up right in their seats--and we were outside/topside--many travelers had to remain "below". Then a forced 8 block march to the waiting bus for a 45 minute ride to Tulum (broken up by a bathroom/giftshop stop that was about 1/2 and hour). A tour of the ruins and about 45 minutes on our own to explore and utilize the amazing beach at Tulum, then reverse the order of the above trip (eating a box lunch on the bus). Hint: the ferry terminal sells Dramamine in small packages for $8 and you will pay up and thank them before crossing back over to Cozumel.
I cannot recommend to anyone spending a great day in the port of Cozumel to leave there for the mainland. No matter how great Tulum is, and it is, it was just too much travel time and too little at the place we went to see.
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I agree about not leaving beautiful cozumel for the mainland. But if you decide to any way this is what I would do.
We rented a car from enterprise for 40 dollars a day. we drove to the talum ruins. It was awesome. absolutely awesome. If you take a tour it is going to be very very hot. the heat coming off of the ruins is almost unbearable and you will only be going as fast as the slowest person in the tour. One our own it cost I think 2 american dollars to enter the ruins. Doing it on you own is the way to go as far as I am concerned. You get there, see the ruins, do a bit of the shopping there and leave. and still have the car the rest of the day.
If you do rent a car study the passing and turning laws for mexico. they are totally different then america.
the ruins are very very easy to find too.
I vote for Tulume:-)...how many T-shirt stores do you need to see....I've seen almost all of the ruins and Tulume is one of the better ones...not as nice as Chichen Itza but close...you can do the ruins and still get back in time to shop....You will have to run a gauntlet of sellers at Tulume, but keep your head down and push on....We spent at least 1 1/2 hours at Tulume....some great pictures of the ruins with the ocean in the background and you can walk down to the ocean and look up at the main building...It's the only ruin built on the ocean....Happy time in Cozumel....
I don't know that Grand Cayman has any ruins at all, not sure about Belize or Roatan having them either. The Tulum ruins are really nice, but there is travel time involved. We did the excursion for Tulum/Xel-ha, it was an all day excursion. Totally worth the money, but it was every bit of 8+ hours. I, personally, would not drive the road to Tulum on my own, but I'm not that brave. Hope you have a wonderful cruise!
Progresso--you can go to Chichen Itza-the ultimate.
Belize--Xunantunich. Long trip but awesome!! The ruins are on a mountain top overlooking the rain forrest. You have to ride a hand cranked ferry over a river to get to them. Plus you eat lunch at a horse ranch in the rain forrest with parrots all around you, unbelievable day. My teenage son and I still talk about how awesome it was and that was 3 years ago.