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Review of Your Private Tour

Your Private Tour
Ranked #3 of 374 Tours in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We snorkel the Caribbean and tour the Mayan Ruins, Chichen Itza, Coba and others,snorkel, Zip Line through the dense jungle over a huge centoe,canoe,cliff jump,visit a Mayan village and explore underground river system called Cenotes and much more!! We use newer vans,bi-lingual guides, new good quality sanitary equipment,exceptional quality food at a beach restaurant while providing lots of fun, new experiences and safety.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

My wife and I swam with the whale sharks (words can't describe how cool that was) and we also did the snorkeling tour on a different day (also a really great experience). But that's not what I'm commenting on. My wife will post about those experiences in greater detail.

As a business owner myself, what gets high ratings from me is when I see a well-run business. Anybody can put on a "tour". But what makes for a great tour experience is how well the company deals with issues (no matter how small) when they arise.

Jay is a caring and compassionate business owner who genuinely wants his clients to have a great experience. For example, they recommend that you bring reef friendly sun screen to the snorkeling tour. My wife and I brought "Reef Safe" sunscreen in the States - the brand name. Unfortunately, it was not actually reef safe (despite the name). When one of the mexican reef keepers started to tell me that my "Reef Safe" wasn't reef safe, I thought he was BSing me, just so he could sell me some overpriced sunscreen. Jay heard this interaction and before I could even think about getting annoyed with the reef keeper, Jay stepped in, checked out my sun screen, confirmed that it wasn't actually good for the reef, let me know that the guy wasn't trying to sell me sun screen and that they really were trying to protect the reef. Jay then went to his van and let us use his private stash of sunscreen (that he normally sells to you, if you don't bring any), for free. That's a small example of how this tour company works. My little problem was resolved, before it even became a problem.

The culture of the company is instilled in the tour guides, the drivers, the boat captains, literally, everybody involved. When one group of girls started getting seasick on our whale shark tour, the tour guide was right there with water, crackers, and anything else that could make them feel better.

Because the groups are kept small, you can get more personal attention than you would get in a big 30 person tour. The tour guides are in constant communication with Jay to resolve any issues that come up, but also to report back when they tried something new that turned out to be really cool (that way the tours keep getting better).

This company is just really well run. They will bend over backwards to make sure you have a great experience. If you have a bad experience on one of these tours, it's because of some act of God that nobody could have any control over (and even then, I think this company would figure out a way to deal with it) or it's because you are just an insufferable person who hates everything. The activities are fun. The people are friendly. The food is great. The customer service culture is truly outstanding.

When we come back to Playa, we will definitely be booking again with this company.

Visited July 2012
6 Thank Matt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,037 reviews from our community

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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Adventure of a liftetime....don't miss out on this expereince!”
Reviewed 11 July 2012

My husband and I booked two tours with this company (whale sharks and tulum..with all the extras) for our honeymoon based on the reviews that we read on Trip Adivsor and we had the most AMAZING experiences! We booked everything through Jay and he was so helpful and friendly. He responded immediately to all of my questions and reassured me that everything would work out perfectly. He even came out to meet us on our second tour which was really nice.

Our first tour was the whale shark tour with Rod and Hector. They picked us up exactly on time at our hotel and greeted us with big smiles. They even had a few breakfast treats to offer since it was such an early pick-up time. During our ride to the dock, both Rod and Hector outlined the day for us and answered all of our questions. They both had a lot of great stories to share and really know the history of the area. Once we arrived at the dock they fitted us for our snorkeling gear and introduced us to the captain and his first mate (Mario). After we set out to find some whale sharks a few of us started to feel the effects of the ocean but Rod and Hector had some great tips to ease the nausea. They were so comforting and helpful!

After going about 15 miles out into the ocean we spotted our first whale shark and I couldn't believe my eyes. They are so big and beautiful! I have to admit that I was a little anxious/nervous on the way, but as soon as I saw them I couldn't wait to jump in! We went in two at a time with each tour guide and and did about a 10-15 minute rotation. I had just as much fun watching from the boat as I did swimming with them so I really didn't mind waiting for my turn. We saw at least 15 whale sharks and swam within inches of them. One actually swam right beneath me....absolutely breathtaking!!! The whale sharks are truly gentle giants...so docile by nature...so don't let their size intimidate you. We spent a little more than an hour in the ocean swimming with the whale sharks and then headed to a reef to do a little snorkeling. After that we docked the boat at Isla Mujeres (the beach and water at this island is so beautiful!!) and had lunch. The captain of the boat and his son prepared shrimp ceviche (so delicious) and it was the perfect ending to the most amazing day thanks to our amazing tour guides! They really worked hard to help us feel safe and comfortable and we couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity.

Two days later my husband and I set out on our second adventure to do the basic tour, Tulum, zip-lining, and sea turtles. We were delighted to see that Rod was our tour guide again for this trip because we had such a positive experience with him during our whale shark adventure.

On our way to Tulum Rod provided us with an outline of the day and even more history of the area. My husband and I ended up being the only ones on the tour this time so it was really personal and private! We arrived at Tulum at the perfect time. There were no lines or crowds and the weather was perfect. Rod escorted us to the train (he can't go into the ruins with you) and we spent an hour touring the ruins and taking in the beautiful scenery. It really was perfect timing because as we were leaving Tulum the line quickly grew and it was about a 15 minute wait to get into the park.

After Tulum we headed to a Mayan village for a tour. We also zip-lined and cliff jumped while we were at the Mayan village. I really enjoyed this part of the trip. We had the whole area to ourselves and had a lot of laughs zip-lining and cliff jumping. The water was crystal clear and felt so refreshing after touring Tulum. As we toured the village, I really felt honored to be a visitor in such a beautiful community that has so much history. As always, Rod did an excellent job providing us with a history of the area and we even got to meet one of the little boys that lives in the village, Miguel. He was adorable!

Our next stop was Dos Ojos cenote. I have to admit I was a little nervous about this part of our tour, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to explore the cenote. It was AMAZING! The water is a little chilly but crystal clear so you can see all of the stalagmites and stalagmites. Rod was very comforting on this part of the tour. He stayed close by the entire time and constantly checked on us to make sure we were okay. At one point we could see scuba divers swimming underneath us...so cool! Swimming through the "bat cave" was quite a rush!

After exploring the cenote, we headed to Akumal Bay to swim with sea turtles...just when I thought the tour couldn't get any better. The beach in this area is beautiful...something you see in a magazine. We spotted our first turtle within minutes and it was awesome! You float on the surface the whole time while the turtles munch on grass a few feet away. We saw 4 turtles during this adventure which really surprised me because the beach was pretty crowded. We also saw a lot of beautiful fish while searching for the turtles.

Our last stop for the day was the natural aquarium...oh my goodness! We saw SO many beautiful fish in this swimming area. There were schools of colorful fish swimming around us the entire time. Words can't describe the colors that we saw under water. Again, the water was crystal clear and I am so glad they provided us with such great snorkeling equipment. I had been snorkeling one time before but my experience was hindered because my mask kept fogging up, etc. We didn't encounter any problems with our equipment.

We ended this tour with another delicious lunch at La Lunita. The view of Half Moon Bay was absolutely beautiful...it looked like it was straight out of a Corona commercial..ha! I highly recommend the ceviche and calamari for an appetizer and the fish tacos for your main course. I also recommend the coconut ice cream for dessert....yummy!

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend that you book a tour with Your Private Tour. Trust me you won't regret it. The staff is amazing and our experience with Rod was exceptional! He was very friendly, kind, and knowledgeable. He went above and beyond to make us feel safe and comfortable and he took us to the most amazing spots to guarantee that we would have fun. Thank you Jay, Rod, and Hector for providing us with this most memorable experience! It's one that we will talk about forever :)

I also highly recommend that you purchase the picture package with your tour. We have the most amazing pictures from both of our tours. The underwater shots are crystal clear and something that your typical CVS underwater camera could never provide. Also, it was so nice to just enjoy the tour and not have to worry about trying to capture every moment on camera. They provided us with about 200 pictures between both of tours...well worth the money!

Visited June 2012
4 Thank Tara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Get ready for a busy day!!”
Reviewed 11 July 2012

We packed a lot into our tour doing the basic tour plus adding all 3 other acitivities. It turned out to be a very busy day and each experience was unique. I really thought the cenote snorkeling was great because it is such a different experience. This area of Mexico is beautiful with so many things to see. Our guides were very informative and helpful. We felt completely safe. I would use the tour again to see Coba or Chichen itza.

Visited December 2011
3 Thank lmstrait
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, Virginia, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“BEST Tour Guide - No need to look further”
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Top Notch Service for an amazing experience! We booked an excursion with Jay based on recommendations we had seen on trip advisor and knew we made the best choice from the very beginning. We emailed him for info and received an immediate response.

When we arrived we were discussing how excited we were to go on this adventure with a couple we met at our resort. They asked if they could go so we emailed Jay and he was able to accommodate them as well. We had a blast with the 4 of us on our private tour. Jay handled every last detail and told us what to expect and when every step of the way.

The Tulum ruins and view of the ocean were beautiful. He sent us on our way to stroll at our leisure and was waiting on us with our cold beer when we got back. When we arrived at the zip lining location, Jay explained everything, helped us into our gear and encouraged us to try a second time going upside down. Jay delighted us with stories of the area, his life and was very open and friendly. The cenotes were a bit daunting for one of our group so Jay held her hand the entire time we were snorkeling, literally. I don't think she would have been able to experience it without Jay's kind consideration of her fears.

Lunch was included with our excursion and I have to admit it was the best meal we had our entire stay! Thanks again, Jay! We ended our trip swimming with the sea turtles. Jay was able to lead us out into the ocean and right over many of them. We still talk about this excursion and Jay nearly a year later and I recently realized that I hadn't written a review to let other travelers know "Your Private Tour" is the only way to go.

NOTE: Our resort would not let Jay enter the gate to pick us up so we had to meet him out front. The gate guards were trying to hold us behind the gate telling us they would let us know when Jay arrived and were trying to get Jay to pay a fee to send us out. We just walked right out and ignored their ridiculousness. It was definitely worth meeting him out front to avoid the huge bus tours and be provided with intimate, personal service from such a knowledgeable guide. We were always one step ahead of the groups and never had to wait in any lines. Thanks Jay! We hope to see you again in the future!

Visited August 2011
2 Thank Dianne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Excellent tour of Chichen Itza”
Reviewed 10 July 2012

We really enjoyed our trip to Chichen Itza with Your Private Tour. It was a nice quiet trip with one other couple.

It is a bit of a drive from Playa, but well worth it. The ruins are great and there is a lot of history. Also, be prepared to be approached by a few of the MANY merchants selling crafts, etc. around the grounds.

Since you go as a couple or group of 4, you can choose to take a detour and whatnot. It was great to be able to stop and shop for a bit after visiting the ruins.

Overall, we had a wonderful time and would HIGHLY recommend this tour over a big bus tour.

Visited May 2012
3 Thank Lovetotravel0830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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