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  • Writer's pictureKay

Do you need a tour guide in Mexico?

You have booked your dream vacation in the Riviera Maya, and now for the fun part, planning what to do while you are here. Chances are as well as chilling on our beautiful Caribbean beaches and relaxing with a Mojito (or four) by the pool, you are going to want to get out and about and see some of the local area. If so you may be wondering if you need a tour guide in Mexico or if you should go do it alone. In this weeks post we are going to break it all down to help you decide if it is worth hiring a private tour guide or going it alone.

A mayan tour guide at Coba Archeological site in Mexico

There are many factors that play in to this, so to help you decide here are some simple YES/ NO questions.

  • Do you speak Spanish?

  • Have you ever been to Mexico before?

  • Have you visited the Riviera Maya before?

  • Do you have a good sense of direction?

  • Do you see getting lost as an exciting adventure?

  • Does learning about the history of a place send you to sleep?

  • Do you prefer to travel like a local and navigating your way around on public transport?

  • Are you on a very tight budget?

If you have answered YES to most or these questions then grab your copy of Lonely Planet Riviera Maya and good luck to you on your crazy Mexican adventure.

If you answered an even mix of YES and NO then there will be some things you are going to want to hire a guide for and some things you will want to do alone.

If however you answered a hard NO to most of these questions then you my friend are going to need to book yourself a tour guide! Read on for more advice of finding the best private tour guide in the Riviera Maya.

Why hire a tour guide in Playa del Carmen

The Riviera Maya has some incredible excursions and you will be spoilt for choice for private tour guides in Playa del Carmen. You can also rest assured that as long as you book through a reputable company your tour guide will be a trained professional.

To be able to work as a tour guide here in the Riviera Maya you must hold a license which requires you to attend training and pass an exam. A bit part of this training is learning about the rich local history. So, unless you are only heading to Chichen Itza for the sole purpose of taking a photo for your instagram account then you are going to be really missing out without a tour guide.

But there is more to hiring a tour guide than just learning about history. Many people hire a private tour guide in Playa del Carmen because quite simply they are on vacation and they don’t want the stress and inconvenience of figuring out public transport to get to the places they want to go to.

They also lack the local knowledge to know the best places to go.

What you can expect from a private tour guide

Kay from Kay tours relaxing with some happy Kay tours guests

First and foremost you can expect a stress free experience. The guide will organize everything for you. They will help you to decide where to go and when, they will even advise you of the best time of day to visit. They will take care of organizing everything for you so you can relax in the knowledge that all you have to do is turn up.

One of the biggest bonuses of a private tour rather than a group tour is your guide is going to pick you up from your accommodation and drop you back off at your accommodation.

Don’t speak Spanish? No worries, you have your own personal translator who can take care of everything you need on your tour.

Remember these private tour guides are trained professionals who will know the place they are taking you to like the back of their hand. They will know the best views, the secret locations free from other tourists, and they will make sure you get to see everything the location has to offer.

But I have a guide book, do I really need a tour guide too?

Yes, ok pretty much everything the guide is going to tell you can probably be found online or in a book with enough research. But let's be honest you're on vacation. Do you really want to be studying Mayan history before visiting Chichen Itza? Probably not. Plus reading a book isn’t going to bring the history to life like being stood in Tulum Ruins learning about the history of the site from a Mayan guide.

a maya archeological guide at Coba ruins in Mexico

Final Thoughts

You may not need to hire a private tour guide in Playa del Carmen for everything. It can be a lot of fun hopping on a collectivo to visit Cenote Azul for example. But trust us when we sat attempting to take public transport to somewhere like Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen is no one's idea of fun while on vacation.

We really hoped that you enjoyed reading this article. Let us know your experience with going it alone verses hiring a private tour guide in the comments below.

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