private tours

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

Jorge is more than wonderful

Ngan was here and took a whirlwind excursion to Dzibilchaltun, Uxmal, Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza in two days! Jorge was her driver. Here are her comments:

Thank you so much for your service! We are so happy to find such professional service like yours. Jorge is more than wonderful, so kind and responsible, eager to help us with the million requests we have. We cannot thank him enough!
— 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

A classy company!

Splashdown at the cenote near Mayapan

Another happy family of cruisers enjoy Angel and a Lawson's tour!

Recently, my friends and I arrived in Progreso via a cruise ship. We have been regular cruisers for years, and always avoid the over-priced and crowded “excursions” through the cruise ship. After reading the reviews of Lawson’s on Trip Advisor, we decided to give them a try. What an amazing day! Angel was right there waiting for us at the cruise bus terminal, and escorted us right into a spacious air conditioned van to whisk us away. First we went to the Mayapan ruins, and we were the only people there! The ruins were amazing, with Angel giving us the history of the Mayan culture. We could even climb to the top for the gorgeous views of the country. Next we went to a cenote for swimming in crystal clear water, and once again, we were the only ones there. It felt like Angel reserved these locations exclusively for our small group. After some time swimming and cliff jumping, we were taken to a local home for a delicious traditional Mayan meal, made by a true Mayan family. We were even taught how to make tortillas over an open flame. We had just enough time left that Angel took us to an area to view flamingos in the wild.

This was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Angel and his crew catered to us the entire time, providing bottled water and adult drinks. If we wanted to see something or do something, Angel made it happen. If I am ever in Progreso again, I will take another tour with this classy company.

Visited September 2015
— TripAdvisor

Better than swimming with dolphins...

Some great people all the way from Tuscaloosa spent their cruise ship stop time with us. Here is what they had to say about their experience:

I wanted our kids, ages 15 and 11, to see Mexico for more than the usual cruise shopping stop. Our guide, Pepe, picked us up and took us on the tour of a lifetime. We climbed Mayan ruins, swan in an amazing cenote, ate authentic Mexican food in a family home and toured Pregresso. It was the perfect combination of adventure, culture and education. Kids loved this excursion best of all, even better than swimming with dolphins.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g668864-d7168699-r312421066-Lawson_s_Original_Yucatan_Excursions-Progreso_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#
— TripAdvisor

Saul: knowledgeable, experienced and friendly

Some friendly Texans came to town and took a tour out into the countryside with Saul.

Our guide was Saul, and he is clearly incredibly knowledgable about the history of the peninsula. Not only is he very experienced, but also incredibly friendly. We usually do not prefer to take guided tours, but this was worth it. The tour was very flexible and personalized. We never felt like we were on someone else’s time schedule. I suggest you book here for your tour of Uxmal—one of my favorite parts of our Yucatan trip.
— Tripadvisor

Unforgettable experience!

Victoria had this to say about her cruise excursion to the ruins of Mayapan and the little town of Pixyah...

Subject: “Naya Cenote in the town of Pixyah has no words to describe its beauty!” “What an unforgettable experience to live with for the rest of your life”

Message: Very helpful individuals!! On my next trip I will make sure I book my excursion with you!! We were new to our cruise and not sure what we wanted to do. Feel grateful to have found your website!! Will definitely share your information with future friends and family. I can’t wait to have another opportunity to explore with your company!!! Thank you!!!!!
— website comment form

Angel was an amazing guide!

Marshall and Christy were here last week, on the Carnival cruise ship. Here's what they had to say about their private tour for two...

My wife and I took a private tour of the Progreso area with Angel as our guide. He was so great to talk to, knew the area and took us to 5 beautiful cenotes and a small Mayan temple. The entire trip was perfect, with us getting a great cooling swim in a gorgeous cenote and lots of pictures. Angel provided snacks and drinks for the car ride (in a great car, leather interior and good A/C!). One of the highlights of the trip was eating lunch in an open air restaurant where Angel ordered us Mayan Tamales and Panuchos. The Panuchos were amazing... the best food we ate on the entire trip, including the cruise ship dinners!

We were a little nervous at first about booking something not affiliated with the cruise ship, but we are so glad we did. Not only was this the highlight of our cruise this year, it was one of our best vacation experiences ever. I can’t say enough good things about Angel and how he made us feel welcome in the Yucatan.
— Lawsons Original Yucatan Excursions website

David and Roberto, beyond hospitable

Thank you to Tracy who sent in this wonderful comment on her recent excursion from Progreso, where she arrived on the Carnival cruise ship. David was the friendly guide and Roberto the professional driver who were in charge of making her day the best it could possibly be.

We really wanted a unique and private experience with our short time in port in Progreso. Our hopes were beyond met with our tour from Lawson’s Original Yucatan Excursions! Our group had 5 children ranging in age from 8 to 18, and every one of us was enthralled with David’s knowledge of the culture and history. He and Roberto, our driver, were beyond hospitable, and anticipated and met our needs before we even asked for anything! Everything was catered toward our pace too. If we wanted to stay a little longer at one place, they were very accommodating. We never felt rushed even though our debarking in Progreso was delayed due to fog. This excursion was everything that we had hoped for and more! I will recommend Lawson’s Original Yucatan Excursions to anyone going to the Yucatan for any reason! And we will definitely be returning to them if/when we return someday!!

(Sent via Lawsons Original Yucatan Excursions)
— website comment

Most memorable experience...

Paul and his family also came to the area via Carnival and Progreso. Here is their take on the private tour we provided them.

I recently took my girlfriend and her children on a Carnival cruise. We were trying to plan some fun excursions while in Cozumel and Progreso. We looked through the cruise sponsored excursions, and nothing seemed to really jump out. Many of them had some positive reviews, but all of them also had their share of negative reviews. I happened to search Tripadvisor for things to do in the 2 ports, and that’s where I discovered Lawson’s. I knew that we were wanting to snorkel in Cozumel, and honestly I was way more excited about that originally. I thought we would do some amazing snorkeling in Cozumel, and it would be better to do some site seeing in Progreso, and so I clicked on “Things to Do,” and Lawson’s was number 1. Let me just say, it’s number 1 for a reason. While the snorkeling was fun... it didn’t touch our tour in Progreso.

I checked their website, and the photo of Cenote at Sotuta de Peon Hacienda blew me away. I sent an email to Ralf, and he asked what the 5 of us wanted to do while in Progreso. I said that we wanted to see some ruins and we 100% wanted to swim in a cenote. He was very upfront and honest, and told me that our scheduled time in port would not allow us to visit Cenote at Sotuta de Peon Hacienda, but he had some other ideas that would be perfect for us. I gave him free reign to plan our trip.

We left the port and boarded a bus down the 4 mile pier in Progreso. We were dropped off at the bus terminal (not the flea market thankfully), and were immediately greeted with someone holding a sign with my last name. Ralf introduced himself, and our tour guide David and our driver Roberto. And we were off. It was literally just 5 of us on the tour with them. It was OUR personal tour, just the 5 of us in a private van. David took us to a small village to walk around and have some local fruits and see what a typical village and market was like. We got to have some guaya and dragon fruit fresh at the market. The dragon fruit was an unreal neon pink, with small black seeds in the white flesh. We squeezed a little lime on it, dipped it in some chili salt, and enjoyed these local fruits.

After leaving the market, we went to our first planned stop, Mayan ruins. Most of the cruise lines go to Chichen Itza, but over 10,000 people visit that site a day, and no one is allowed to climb on the ruins. Next we passed signs for Dzibulchaltun, but we kept going. Then we saw signs for Uxmal, but again, we kept going. I had heard of these 3 sites during our trip planning, but hadn’t heard of our destination, Mayapan. David told us that it is a smaller, lesser known ruins, but well worth it. We arrived at the site to find a whirlwind of butterflies gathered around a puddle of water. As we walked up to them, they flew around us in a cyclone of yellow and white.

We then walked into the ruins, and had the entire site all to just ourselves. It was literally our ruins to explore. Seriously, there were only 6 people in the entire ruins! David told us about the culture and the temples, as iguanas ran and hid from us at every turn. When we got to the God Temple, David said that we could climb it if we liked. My girlfriend’s youngest son was already a quarter of the way up before he finished his sentence. I decided to join him, and the view was amazing! After spending a good 5-10 minutes on top, it was time to descend the frighteningly steep steps. There were definitely no building codes back then! As we left the site, David provided us some fresh mango to enjoy.

Next was the trip to the cenote. I don’t know the name of the cenote that we visited, nor the village that was nearby. If I ever went back to Progreso and could find that cenote, I could swim in it all day long. We met up with Charlie in the village, and he biked ahead of us with his snorkeling gear to the spot. There was a scuba diver at the cenote, and David apologized for us not having private access to the cenote, but we didn’t mind. The sun streamed down into the cave at just the right angle to illuminate the surface of the water. It was a good 40-50 feet (I think it was that far) from the surface to the water down below. We walked down a wooden staircase built into the wall of the sinkhole and got to a platform at the water’s edge. I didn’t even test the waters, I just dove in. There is about a 20 foot section that is open to the sky above, and then a good 100 foot radius going into and underneath the cave, though the roof of the cave is a good 40-50 feet above your head! As we were swimming, one of the locals jumped in from a landing on the wooden stairs, probably a good 20 foot drop. So we decided that we should participate as well. The 2 boys and myself each took turns jumping from the stone wall into the clear blue waters down below. Finally David said it was time to go. But as we started to leave the waters, the scuba diver’s headlamp started illuminating the water down below us, it was a pretty amazing site. We came up to dry off, and enjoyed some cucumber and jicama for a snack.

I mentioned Charlie because some of the other reviews talked about eating a home-cooked meal at his house. While we wanted to enjoy some local cooked food, we just didn’t have time with our time in port to do so. Maybe next time.

It was a sad 1.5 hour drive back to the pier, knowing that our amazing day in Progreso was over. I honestly couldn’t have conceived of a better way to spend our time in port. That night back on the cruise ship, our fellow table mates at dinner were jealous to hear of our extraordinary excursion, and were a little disappointed that they hadn’t done a little more research to be able to have a similar experience.

I can honestly say that our private excursion was about the same price as most of the other full day excursions offered by Carnival, but ours was just that... ours. It really was one of the best vacation highlights that I have experienced in my life, and I want to thank Ralf, Roberto, and especially David. If we are ever back in Progreso, there isn’t a moment’s hesitation that we won’t book another trip with Lawson’s. 100%. Absolutely.

Perfect.

Visited June 2015

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g668864-d7168699-r285189134-Lawson_s_Original_Yucatan_Excursions-Progreso_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#
— http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g668864-d7168699-r285189134-Lawson_s_Original_Yucatan_Excursions-Progreso_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#

Angel and Pedro... fantastic!

Natalie and her group came in on the Carnival cruise ship to Progreso. Another happy guest! 

I am so sorry that I am just now getting around to sending this email. But I wanted to let you know that our time with Angel & Pedro was fantastic! That was literally the best excursion I have ever been on and we made a ton of memories. Your guides are fantastic and very knowledgeable. The next time we are able to head that way we will definitely be checking out what new and exciting adventure we can go on with William Lawsons.
Thank you again for everything!
— email

"Victor Hugo is a great guide."

William and Co. visited Progreso on the Carnival cruise ship and had this to day about his tour with us:

Just wanted to let you know we really enjoyed our tour. Victor Hugo is a great guide, and very likeable. If we return, we’ll definitely request him! Your prices do seem a little steep, but the private tour is a good experience.
— 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

AMAZING Dive Master!

Our first diving experience! A group of cruisers included two who wanted to dive - yes, actually dive, in a cenote. That is with the fins, oxygen tanks and all that. So we got a divemaster and set that up for them and apparently it went quite well! Read on...

We had so much FUN!

We are going to try and come back on Dec 26th

Can you see if the AMAZING dive master you guys found is available? It will just be me diving. My hubby and daughter will be with me too.
— email

Mr. Vallejos (aka Gener)... awesome tour!

Yvonne and her cruising group stopped in at Progreso and chose us to show them around. It was Mom's birthday so we made it special.

My family and I have returned safely to our home. I wanted to thank you for your assistance in booking our Uxmal tour. Mr. Vallejos was an amazing guide and so knowledgeable about the ancient stories of the Mayans. My family enjoyed hearing the stories of the Mayans and their culture, games and lifestyle. The kids and my brother in law were fascinated with the Cenote and enjoyed swimming there. My mother is grateful for the wonderful gift and beautiful flowers which made her feel so special. A special thanks to Mr. Vallejos for introducing us to his mom and the corn tortilla making process. We all enjoyed watching how they make tortillas and tasting them. On behalf of my family and I please accept our most sincerest gratitude for the awesome tour.

Regards,
Yvonne
— - email -

The Yaxcopoil Hacienda - photo R. Hollmann

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!!!!
— - email -