excursions

Angel (Loaiza) was great!

Jeremy was our guest recently and had this to say:

Good Afternoon,
My wife and I recently took and excursion to Uxmal with your guide Angel. He was great! We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed his company. I’ve left a comment on your webpage but wanted to make sure you know how much we enjoyed our experience.
Thanks,
Jeremy
— email

We had a WONDERFUL tour!

Old Chichen

We did a last minute tour for some folks attending a conference in Merida. Her group started with one or two and quickly grew to 16! Here is what the tour organizer, Sophie, had to say about her excursion to Chichen Itza with us.

I meant to write to you earlier but the end of our conference kept everyone quite busy.

We had a WONDERFUL tour! Pepe was an awesome guide, super knowledgeable, funny, witty and full of good advice. Jose Luis’ picnic was very good, his driving smooth and we had all the water and coca-cola we could ask for.
Everyone was very pleased with the afternoon!

I would definitely recommend your agency to any acquaintance who came to Merida and I’m sure so would my colleagues.

Thanks again for the great tour and for your flexibility all along the planning !
— email

Speaking of Saul...

Abbie and John were here back in March and Saul took them to Sisal. They evidently loved their day with us!

I hope all is well! We had a fantastic stay in Merida, made more amazing by our time spent with Saul. He was a safe, professional driver, a highly informative guide and an all-around great guy we enjoyed getting to know. We could not be happier with our decision to use your company, as it truly elevated our experience in Merida by allowing us an intimate glimpse of life and history just outside the city. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now I’m just trying to figure out how a foreigner can live in Merida - we absolutely fell in love with the city, history and Yucatecan culture!
— email

"If you're going to see the Yucatan, see it with Lawson's"

Fran, her husband and another couple were on a major 17 day tour of the entire peninsula. This was their experience.

In Jan. 2015, our party of four took what I guess would be the “grand tour” of Yucatan. I’m interested in the architecture (ancient and colonial) the crafts, the Maya people, the flora, and the history. For 17 days Angel, our guide, and Jose Luis, our driver, accompanied us.
Our itinerary began at Merida, then to Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Tulum, and Campeche, returning to Merida for the flight out. We visited seven archeological sites.
Having our guide and driver enhanced the efficiency and enjoyment of our trip. First, you can see much more within a given time; second, no worries about how you are going to get from one place to another. The whole thing is seamless.
Angel has an in-depth command of English and an exceptionally broad-based knowledge of the topics I was interested in. He can discuss in detail not only the obvious — Mayan history, architectural styles, etc., but also economics, sociology, botany and politics.
He routinely went beyond what was expected. The inevitable misplacing of my husband’s glasses initiated a sprint throughout the entire Uxmal site to locate them (they turned up in the van). If we had a day or afternoon we wanted to ourselves to wander around, he made sure we could contact him instantly if our plans changed by leaving his cell number with hotel reception.
He took us to remarkable out-of-the-way places, exquisite tiny churches, cenotes where only the locals were enjoying a swim, a Merida German/Jewish deli with 20 (I counted them) kinds of pate, the city market where he led us through a small door into a scene that I can best equate with the grand bazaar in Istanbul, a convent where the very air seemed pink from reflections off the rose-painted walls. I wanted to hear Yucatan’s traditional “trio” music, but concerts didn’t coincide with our schedule, so one night on the way back into town, he called up a friend, then stopped just off the grand plaza, led us through walkways, under arcades, and came to a stop in one small shop, where, on one lower shelf, was one three-disc packet of trio music for me to take home. Could I have ever found this on my own?. He recommended several books for further reading. He was conversant with the archeologists/explorers — from Landa to Stephens and Catherwood,the Thompsons, and on — who have worked in Yucatan. All this, plus a tray with terry cloths scented with orange and spice offered by Jose Luis to revive ourselves when we had concluded a hot, humid tour of the ruins.
Of course, we four were all agile, despite our advancing age, and did, in fact, scamper up the ramps at Edzna. But at Coba, while we rested on a bench in the shade, Angel climbed the Nohoch Mul with our cameras, capturing for us the jungle panorama from the top, plus the details of seashells in the limestone blocks on the way down.
Then there was his detailed explanation of the Mayan number system and exactly how one reads the dates on Mayan stelae. This was of especial interest to my husband, who is a mathematician. At my request, he read aloud in Mayan a description on one of the displays at an archaeological site.
My perception is that, as we said our goodbyes at the airport, both Angel and Jose Luis were genuinely sorry to see our adventure come to an end.
Bottom line: If you’re going to see Yucatan, see it with William Lawson.

Visited January 2015
— TripAdvisor

The perfect guide for us.

Jim was in Merida and wanted to see the Puuc route so we sent Angel out with him to explore Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labna. Here is is comment, short and to the point. Kind of sums up what people are saying about Angel:

Angel was the perfect guide for us.

Jim
— email

Do it right, do it with Lawson's

Randy and his crew joined Angel and had a most spectacular time. Read Randy's review of his trip!

I’ve been visiting the Yucatan since the seventies, have met some wonderful people there, and I actually really feel at home when I’m down there. Recently I was talked into going on my first ever cruise and it included Progreso as a port of call. While some cruisers have expressed disappointment with Progreso excursions, If anyone ever goes there and says that they didn’t like it, well they didn’t do it right. They didn’t do it with William Lawson’s. From my first communication with Adriana, I knew we made the right choice. Rather than advise me of our tour itinerary, she asked me about our interests and they sculpted our excursion around our desires. Our group (2 couples) were interested in seeing some ruins and more importantly experiencing cenotes. But I didn’t want to stand in line to visit crowded tourist attraction type places. In Progreso we were greeted and introduced to Angel, our guide /driver. Our excursion included a visit to a rustic but beautiful old church in Tecoh, the Mayapan ruins, and a very special visit to a magnificent cenote hidden in the jungle that we had all to ourselves. All very wonderful experiences that we will cherish the memories of forever. Our guide was very professional and knowledgeable. But what Angel is most is passionate. Passionate and proud of his heritage and very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of it and Mayan culture with us, as well as his love for family and our environment. On the way to the cenote we picked up Charly “The Lifeguard”. Charly was to be our escort for the wet part of our cenote experience. After the cenote we unexpectedly stopped back at Charly’s for the best part of our excursion and the most memorable part of my vacation. We were greeted by Charly’s happy family and his “Mommy” welcomed us into her humble “kitchen” where she showed how she prepared meals and even let us help make the best tortillas ever. Then they served us a moderate yet spectacular meal that we I’ll never forget. I can’t express how touched we were by the love this family has for each other and showed us. I am so grateful to Angel for introducing us, and to Charley for sharing them. We were introduced to Angel as our guide but we adios’d him as un buen amigo.
Thanks to Lawson’s Original Yucatan Excursion’s
Randy West
aka “Scott”
— https://www.facebook.com/randy.west.581/activity/10204752056193265

Gener was FABULOUS!

Robert took a tour with us to Mayapan and the nearby spectacular cenote and his comments were most enthusiastic:

First Gener was FABULOUS! If you want to book the tour I would HIGHLY recommend you ask for Gener. He is a great guy and a pleasure to listen to. He loves his his Mayan culture and knows it and its history well. Anyone can take you to the ruins, but he tells you why the ruins are the way they are and why they were built the way they were. Mayapan was awesome with only one other group showing up after we had been there about an hour. We were the only ones at the cenote and he took us through a small town on the way there and described everything. He was extremely patient with us and our questions. The cenote was beautiful and the swim was awesome. We asked him to stop a place for lunch and he brought us where he and his family often eat. Brought I right to the boat to drop us off even though he only had to bring us to the bus station.
— email

I cannot say a single negative thing!

Here is the happy group INSIDE the taco kitchen with some of the staff!

Jennifer and her fellow cruisers took our food-filled excursion to Merida and Dzibilchaltun, and they loved it! 

I cannot say a single negative thing! We had an absolutely amazing time. David and our driver (I can’t for the life of me remember his name) were so nice and professional. It was the highlight of our trip. I will certainly review you on Trip Advisor. I have already given you rave reviews on all the Carnival groups I follow on Facebook! We look forward to traveling with William Lawson again!!
— - email -

and

I am so impressed with your company. I am a business owner myself and can definitely tell when someone has their act together. I already reviewed you on Trip Advisor. You should be proud of your staff!

Jennifer
— - email -

and the TripAdvisor review:

5 of 5 stars

Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

We visited Progreso on the Carnival Elation on Tuesday the 26th of August. After hearing horrible reviews of this stop I began searching the internet for something outside the box to do. I stumbled across William Lawson Tours on the internet and I am so glad I did! I emailed with the company representative and explained a little bit about what we wanted to do. He suggested a tour that meant my wants and I sent a small deposit through Pay Pal and as easy as that we were set up. I received an email a few days before my cruise with complete instructions of where to meet and a map. Our guide and driver where at the meeting place as promised and me and three of my friends began our private tour immediately upon arriving to the port. We were driven in a private air conditioned van to all the places we requested to see. David, our guide told us all about the city and it’s history. We toured Merida, went to the large market, and then saw some ruins AND swam in a cenote! We were then driven safely back to the boat, with plenty of time to do a little bit of shopping and sip a beer! The cost was $130 a person and we felt this was very worth the money. Auto Progresso was offering tours which were cheaper, but you traveled with 30 other people and only offered one of the things we saw. If you want to see it all and do it at your pace, this is the way to go. Our price covered everything including authentic tacos and admission to the ruins. Our guide even paid for a piñata for my daughter because the vendor did not accept $$. This is a wonderful local company, that definitely has their act together. It was by far my best excursion ever and I have been to a lot of ports. Do not count this wonderful port out, you just need the right guide and William Lawson is the way to go.

Visited August 2014
— http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g150811-d256079-r226348855-Progreso-Merida_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

David... a fantastic tour guide!

Sally and her group to our excursion to magical and under-visited Mayapan and the now-famous hidden cenote, a Lawson's favorite. They were very pleased! Here's what they had to say:

I wanted to let you know how wonderful our experience with David (and our driver) was on our Mayapan/Cenote excursion. Everything went so smoothly, from the pickup to the driving - we found David immediately and he made us feel right at home. He’s a fantastic tour guide - so knowledgeable about culture, history, and flora and fauna of the area. We all enjoyed his information on the cities and areas we visited. The trip to the markets at Acanceh was a good way for the kids to see how life in semi-rural Mexico is lived and we all enjoyed the fruits and vegetables that David procured. We were pleased that part of our tour fees went to support the local towns and communities. The Mayapan tour was excellent - David knew so much about the architecture and history of the buildings, and was smart in directing the kids to safe places to climb and explore. The highlight was the trip to the cenote; what a lovely, magical place to swim. I think we all will remember the trip forever.

I won’t hesitate to recommend Lawsons to anyone traveling in the area. It was a 5 star experience and a great value. Thank you so much for all your efforts in making it happen.
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The largest pyramid at the site of Mayapan is very similar to the main pyramid at Chichen Itzá. Probably because it was constructed by the folks from Chichen Itza who left there and came to Mayapan around 1200 AD.

Angel was... amazing!

Lucas and his family took a tour to some Mayan ruins and followed that with a visit to a pretty, hidden cenote. Here's what they had to say...

Thank you for checking on us and I’m sorry for taking so long to respond... We had an absolutely great time!!! Angel, our guide, was amazing!!! Please keep him working with the company as he is awesome!!! The van he picked us up in was in great shape and air conditioned... We felt completely safe the entire time... The Mayan ruins were gorgeous and we had the place almost all to ourselves... I have taken the “boat tour” and this is trip was worlds better!!! We then headed to the cenote, and WOW... Again, almost all to ourselves... Only one other small family there... The was was super clear and soo refreshing!!! Angel had a small lunch prepared for us that was unexpected and very delicious!!! Angel was very cognizant of getting us back to the boat in plenty of time to board...

Please keep Angel working with your company as he is a huge asset!! We will be using William Lawson again and will be referring people to you... We will be adding a Trip Advisor comment as well... I am going to send you a few pics from our tour... I do not have the Mayan Ruin pics with me right now, but will send some of those soon as well....

Thank you, your company, and Angel for a great and unforgettable time!!!!
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Glad we chose you!

Kari came to town with her family and loved her excursion!

I am very glad we chose to use your company while in Progresso.

We had a great time. Your tour guide and driver were very professional and informative.

I will tell my friends to use your company if they visit Mexico.

Thanks again for answering all of my questions. I know I had a lot of them!
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Lawson is the best!

Lisa came, saw and conquered, took a lot of photos too - and she and her little group had a great time! Read their comments below...

Photographing in one of many churches on the Convent Route

My husband and I, along with a friend, visited Merida in July of 2014. It was really hot, and had it not been for William Lawson tours, we would not have enjoyed our two week stay nearly as much. It is the most personable and fun tour that we have done. William Lawson is the best!!!
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Exactly what we had hoped for...

Pete and Jim took a private tour from Merida to see Uxmal and the surrounding area. Here is what they had to say...

Hi Mr. Lawson:

We made it back to Wisconsin! We drove home in a snowstorm from Milwaukee and said to ourselves, “We are really going to miss the Yucatan!”.

Thank you so much for being our guide on the Puuc Route and choosing so many wonderful things to see along the way. The tour was exactly what we had hoped for…a little glimpse into the culture and people of the Yucatan, a little history and a LOT of fun! Your knowledge of and sensitivity to the people, culture and environment of the Yucatan clearly was the highlight of our trip.

Jim keeps telling friends and family about swimming in the cenotes and I tell them about the monkeys at the cacao farm and feeding the iguanas those fragrant yellow blossoms at the Uxmal ruins. We also stopped by and tried your wife’s cookies and carrot cake too! It was so very nice to meet you…if you’re ever in Green Bay, we’ll take you on an Original Green Bay Excursion! Deep-fried cheese curds, a tour of the Packer Hall of Fame and a swing up to Door County for a swim at Cave Point!

Take care and thanks again!

Pete & Jim
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Best excursion... anywhere!

William and his group of 16 arrived via Carnival and we also took them to the Mayapan & cenote tour... here are William's comments:

Thank you so much. It was by far the highlight of our trip and easily one of the best excursions we had been on anywhere. Everyone was very pleased.
— - email -

The view from inside the cenote...

Really enjoyed our trip...

The magical cenote you visit after seeing the Mayan ruins at Mayapan...

Lori and her family came to Progreso on Carnival and we showed them Mayapan and a beautiful cenote. Here's what they had to say:

This is Lori and I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our trip with your company. Angel was a great guide and was very nice. We really enjoyed the mexican fruit that he shared and he was very informative.
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Exceeded our Expectations!

Bob had this to say about his excursion with us, from the Carnival docked in Progreso recently...

Merida's wet streets after an afternoon shower.

Kudos to Angel and Jorge!

The tour exceeded expectations. The agenda was very flexible an followed our requested timeline. Angle and George were very attentive aiding the older members of our tour group. The local tacos and hot sauce were great.

What a pleasant experience
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Angel made sure we were safe!

The Temple of the Magician, Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico - photo by R Hollmann

Bridget came to Progreso on the cruiseship and with 19 (yes, nineteen) of her friends, had us take them all out in two vans to see the sights around Uxmal Here is what they had to say:

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who had a part in making sure our excursion was awesome.

Angel and the drivers were amazing. They made sure we were aware of what was happening step by step. They were very professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and caring. We never crossed the street without Angel making sure we were safe.

Most of all, they were with us the entire time. Our entire family enjoyed the excursion and we all learned so much.
— - email -

Blown away by Lawson's!

Candice, a professional photographer who took some stunning photos that she has generously offered to share (gallery below) on her excursion with us, had this to say about her tour:

I just wanted to say that my boys and I were blown away by your team. We enjoyed our tour SO much. I really can’t express how amazing our guide Jose was.

It’s not easy being in a different country alone, with two small children, but he made us feel so safe and well cared for. I’ve never experienced a tour this tailored to just us and should I ever return to the area (which I may make a priority), we will absolutely book through you again.

Progreso is not highly regarded amongst travelers online, but it was the highlight of our trip thanks to Jose.

By comparison, Cozumel was boring!

Candice K
— - email -

Angel did an Amazing Job!

Ken and Sue allowed me to post their review of their recent trip to the area, where they visited Uxmal with everyone's favorite guide, Angel. Read on...

Upon disembarking with the first group from the cruise ship, we were able to immediately board a bus to take us to the bus terminal in Progresso. Unfortunately, we waited on that bus for more than 45 minutes before it finally left for town. It was waiting till it was full with passengers before leaving. If we had known this information a head of time, we probably would have requested a taxi so we could have started our tour faster. When the bus entered the terminal, Angel was waiting for us so we didn’t have to waste any time trying to locate him, which we appreciated. Angel was very personable and knowledgeable. We appreciated that he shared with us many details of life in Progresso and the surrounding villages. Our main goal was to see the Mayan Ruins at Uxmal so we elected to drive around the tiny town square filled with market/vendors, but not shop so we could spend more time at the ruins. Fortunately we did that since we could have easily spent more time touring Uxmal.

Angel did an amazing job of explaining what we were seeing at Uxmal and has a fantastic grasp of the English language. He definitely gave us insight into the people that once lived here that we wouldn’t have acquired by just walking through the park. Even with the information signs being printed in English we would have missed so many details that Angel was able to share with us. We were disappointed that we ran out of time during the tour so we couldn’t climb the one pyramid at the back of the park. Wish we could have stayed another couple of hours! We were very impressed with this National Park and it’s cleanliness. Your country has done an outstanding job of preserving these awesome ruins with so much history.

We were shocked that your company used a large passenger van just for us. It would have been fine with us to share this tour with another couple or two, while maybe lowering the tour price. What a pleasant surprise to be dropped off at the shipping port since we thought we were going to have to catch the bus a second time to get back to the boat.

Thank you for an incredible experience in your country. We would definitely recommend your company to any friends or family traveling to Progresso.

Ken and Sue Hayes
Arkansas, USA
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