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!
— - email -

Everything was Amazing!

Jessica and her hubbie came in on the Carnival cruise ship and visited the cenotes. Here are her comments!

Everything was amazing, we were totally blown away. It was a culture shock to see the village of Cuzama, but overall it was a great experience that made us very grateful for what we have in life. And the cenotes.. OH MY GOSH!! Amazing, so unique and just right up our alley of what we love to explore. They were just breath taking, words just can’t describe how special the cenotes are. And Jorge was wonderful, a true joy and just so nice. Shepard jokes around a lot so I hope Jorge didn’t think we were silly Americans :)
Thank you again for everything, your business really made our trip special and priceless. The balloons were so thoughtful, that was very sweet of you, thank you so very much. We are definitely going to spread the word of your awesome business and review you as much as possible online. Thank you again for everything, we will for sure contact you if we are in the area again.

— email

Y'all are the best!!!

Jen, who visited for a day from the cruise ship, booked a tour for her family to the cenotes ( and had this to say about her day:

Horse-drawn rail platform called a "truck" takes people into the cenote at Chunkanan

The trip was amazing! Angel is an awesome guide! He totally put us at ease and we could tell he really wanted us to see the non-tourist view of the Yucatan! Angel went out of his way throughout our time with him. From making note that my daughter had mentioned she had ridden a horse before and putting her on a mini ride with one of the the horses at the cenote, taking pictures for us of our family as we played in the water, to explaining the culture and life of the towns we went through. It was great going through an actual Mercado.

We will definitely tell everyone about our excursion using William Lawson Guides! Y’all are the best!!!
Thanks so much and God Bless!
San Antonio, TX
— email

Tour was AMAZING!

Octavia and her group, from the Carnival cruise-ship, opted for a private excursion to Uxmal and from her comments, I think she liked it. You be the judge. 


An example of the famous "Mayan arch" buried under vegetation, Uxmal, Yucatan

Just wanted to give you a heads-up that our tour was absolutely AMAZING!!! Angel was great! Very informative, accommodating, and funny! José was joy as well :)... Thanks so much for making this experience a memorable one. We had a family group (parents-pushin’ 50 & children- early 20’s) and somehow we ALL managed to have a blast! I will recommend your company, without a doubt. Best wishes with your future endeavors & please give Angel & Jose our warmest regards! :)
— via hotmail

David was an excellent guide!

Kristen and her "boat people" from the Carnival ship in Progreso recently visited Uxmal and stopped at the Hacienda Ochil for a bite of real Yucatecan food. Here's what Kristen had to say. 

Meeting Gonzalo and David in Progreso

Meeting Gonzalo and David in Progreso

Yes we all had a wonderful time. David was an excellent guide and we had a lot of fun. The best and biggest surprise were the cold peppermint towels after our stops! It was just so perfect and welcome.

I will of course endorse you and should we ever return we will call again.

Thank you.

At the Hacienda San Pedro Ochil, Yucatan

At the Hacienda San Pedro Ochil, Yucatan

We enjoyed ourselves so much!

Jessica and her family opted for the Chunkanan and Homun cenote excursion on their recent visit off the Carnival cruise ship. Here is what they had to say...

Getting ready to take the horse-drawn rail platform into the Yucatan underbrush to see the Chelentun cenote in Chunkanan

Hi. We enjoyed ourselves so much. It was such a private experience. We didn’t have to share or wait in line. It was great. Thank you so much. Our tour guide Gener, was really great also. He took lots of pictures and was able to beam them to my phone right then and there. I didn’t have to worry about taking pictures. Yay! Thanks again.

Cruise Critic Visits Progreso. Tours with Lawson's!

Chris from the website Cruise Critic, affiliated with TripAdvisor, visited Progreso and we had the pleasure of showing her our Mayapan and hidden cenote excursion. Here's the write up.

I just returned from about seven hours spent with William Lawson and his Lawsons Original Yucatan tours. Even though there are no ships in Progreso today, I asked him to give me as close an experience as I could get. I chose the company because it seemed that many people on this board were curious about him, and what he had to offer.

A caveat about this company: They specialize in private, small group tours. They don’t believe in mixing strangers together, although Ralf (the owner, originally from Canada) says that he does get groups who came together from CC roll calls. This is the company to call if you have a specialized interest, want to go somewhere off the beaten path or want to make sure you can do things at your own pace. He uses air-conditioned vans that seat a dozen to 16 people, although he can get a larger bus if the group is big enough.

I love swimming in cenotes, and know that Yucatan has some of the best. So Ralf suggested that I take his Mayapan and Cenote tour that caters to cruise tourists. It gives you a little bit of everything, and still gets you back to the ship by 2:30.

Mayapan is not as grand as Chichen Itza or Uxmal. What it is, however, is unspoiled. You won’t find vendors or crowds, and you could even have the site to yourself. While I was underwhelmed with the lack of stelae or details that you see at some sites (apparently hacienda owners and thieves carted off the more intricate stones), I did appreciate the peacefulness. You can still see pottery shards on the ground.

What’s also great about Mayapan is that you can climb the 90-foot main pyramid, if you aren’t afraid of heights (there is no railing and some of the rocks are uneven, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re the nervous type). I’m not the fittest chick in the world, but I didn’t have problems climbing at all. The view from the top gives you a good look at the surrounding jungle. Ralf had a driver with us who is Mayan in ancestry, and we had an interesting discussion about the Mayan calendar and hoopla surrounding last year’s alleged “end of the world.” On my visit, it was cloudy; normally, you’ll want to pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat as there’s no shade at all. Some bug spray would be also be appropriate.

After checking out Mayapan, we drove a short distance to the tiny town of Pixyah. A crowd of children greeted our van, most of them speaking Mayan (which you don’t see in Merida; most people in Yucatan’s cities speak Spanish, at least in public). We visited a small grocery store, where Ralf picked up a bag of sweet and savory pastries known as hojaldra. I found them addictive.

From the town, we followed a local guide down an unmarked road (bumpy but not obnoxiously so) to what Ralf calls the “hidden cenote.” I promised that I wouldn’t tell anyone exactly where it was, as tour guides have been known to poach other peoples’ routes. Suffice it to say that you’re pretty deep in the woods by the time you get there.

The cenote itself looked in great shape. On my visit, the skies were gray because of Hurricane Ingrid, but when the sun is shining, the light makes the cenote water turn blue. You take some steep wooden steps down to a platform, where you can leave your clothes and towel for a swim. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, Ralf provides life vests, as the water gets deep pretty quickly (I didn’t have any problems). I spent about 30 minutes happily paddling around the clear water, which had a temperature of 75 degrees or so. It felt good on a cloudy day; on a typical steamy Yucatan afternoon, it would feel like bliss.

Some logistics: I wore a swimsuit under my clothes and closed toe water shoes around Mayapan (which does have a modern, clean bathroom). After the cenote dip, I changed into my underwear in the van; Ralf and the driver stayed a respectable distance away (and the windows were tinted dark). Towels were provided, as were drinks and some snacks.

If there’s time before the ship leaves, Ralf will take visitors to a second cenote. I had wanted to do part of his “taste of Merida” tour instead (I’ll write that up in a separate post). He’s very open about tailoring the tour to your group’s needs, and welcomes suggestions. In short, if you’re the type of cruise passenger who really wants to experience something different in Yucatan and have an adventurous streak, this tour would be a great choice.
Chris Gray Faust
Destinations Editor, Cruise Critic