It’s practically impossible to think of Mexico and not think of Chichen Itza. Mayan Ruins and Mexico are fairly synonymous with one another, and Chichen Itza is the most famous of them all. It’s even one of the Wonders of the World. So obviously, it was on our ‘must do’ list of adventures during our recent trip. We also knew we had to hire a guide. We wanted to see the ruins properly, and to understand what it was that we were seeing. Enter Alma’s LDS Tours.
Everyone in my family has raved about Alma’s LDS Tours during their trips to Mexico and Chichen Itza. Them, and everyone else in the world. Alma’s LDS Tours have over 1,000 reviews on Tripadvisor. They offer such a phenomenal experience their ratings are nearly all 5 star, with a few minuscule scattered 4 star reviews. I’m not sure what more you could want from a company that you hire – and after using their services, we wholeheartedly agree.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
When we came to Mexico last year and visited Tulum we hired a guide outside the entrance that didn’t speak very fluent English. His accent was incredibly thick and we couldn’t understand anything he was saying. We recognized when we came home how much we missed out on. We didn’t want to visit Chichen Itza and make the same mistake.
Our experience with Alma’s LDS Tours was exceptional. We booked Tour 3 that visits the ruins of Ek Balam, the ruins of Chichen Itza, included a lunch buffet and the cenote Ik Kil. It was a full day experience that lasted 12 hours. They picked us up and dropped us off at our hotel and provided all transportation and guides. The tour was was replete with information about customs, culture, behaviors, beliefs, rituals, games, agriculture, practices, religion, worship, animals, lifestyle and more.
What made Alma’s LDS Tours so great? They were beyond descriptive and instructive. Our guide made the tour come alive with illustrations and stories of ancient times, and compared the life and journey of the people there to our own. We envisioned exactly what they did, as much as is known, and were able to really understand what a thriving metropolis these cities once were.
Lunch was offered mid day near the ruins of Chichen Itza; a full buffet that included one drink. There were live Mexican dancers on stage plus beautiful table settings and tons of tortillas. It was delicious. Towards the end of the meal, the restaurant lost power as a rainstorm filled the sky and poured downward.
The LDS portion of Alma’s LDS Tours stands for Latter Day Saint. This tour offers a religious perspective in line with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint faith, including scriptural Book of Mormon teachings that provided scriptural emphasis in line with the physical and temporal basis of the ruins. In this manner, the experience was even more poignant as we heard and read the language of the time period. Having a knowledge of the the specific customs that were practiced during this time, we were also able to use that to reflect upon what was visibly before us.
Our tour guide offered pictures and slides to represent what we were seeing from a historical and anthropological point of view. As we toured the buildings he discussed the nature and purpose of each one. He pointed out hieroglyphics and etchings on the buildings that each told a story and depicted culture in these cities.
Alma’s LDS Tours made everything we were seeing and experiencing make sense. Our guide answered questions and took his time with each of us. He was patient. The purpose of the tour was definitely about experiencing these ruins on a very personal and individual basis, and that is exactly what we were able to do.
► For Kids: The reality is that Chichen Itza and many other ruins during the Mayan period were places of extreme spiritual worship. There are events that transpired here which are difficult to explain and difficult to imagine. You’ll have to consider for yourself where your child falls in their understanding of these concepts, and how comfortable you are in the graphic nature of what was done here. Our youngest daughter was oblivious. Our twins, at the age of 7, were fully capable of understanding. We believe that even ancient history is an integral part of understanding our purpose here on Earth, and we did not shy away from teaching them about the practices that went on here. It is impossible to world school without an increased emphasis on culture and history. We fielded a lot of questions, and offered a lot of explanations in the days that led up to this tour and the days following to ensure that concerns were validated and understood.
We recommend Alma’s LDS Tours for anyone coming to the Riviera Maya to experience the ruins of ancient civilizations of Mayan ancestry. One not need be of a particular faith or understanding to benefit from superb tours offered by this company and we cannot recommend them enough!
► Nap-Time Version: Our review of Alma’s LDS Tours as we visited the ruins of Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Ik Kil.