This ancient Mayan site is about two hours and half from Cancun, and is different from the other archaeological big sites in Yucatan. First of all, it’s situated by four natural lakes, which is a rare sight in the Yucatan. These lakes are believed to have given the city its name, which means “Waters stirred by wind”. Furthermore, it is not as excavated nor reconstructed as Chichen Itza or Tulum. Coba still has a number of big structures covered with the growth of the jungle, making it a wild place that truly triggers your imagination. It doesn’t see nearly as many visitors as Chichen Itza or Tulum and if you’re early you might be all by yourself with only birds, monkeys and the dense jungle to accompany you at these mystical ruins.
Only in recent years has the importance of Coba come to light; now archaeologists are convinced that in time it will prove to be one of the largest Mayan excavations on the Yucatan Peninsula. More than 5,000 mounds have yet to be uncovered!
Coba is situated in the jungle, and all along the paths are mounds overgrown with vines, trees, and flowers. The fact that the jungle hasn’t been cleared away here nor all the mounds uncovered adds a feeling of discovery to your visit. A typical tour to Coba includes a tour to Tulum or an adventure in a Cenote as well, so you can hit two ancient sites in one day!
Climbing The Pyramid
The largest pyramid at Coba is called Ixmoja, part of the Nohoch Mul group of buildings. The pyramid is 42 meters (138 feet) tall and was the heart of the city. Unlike other Maya sites, you can still climb this one, if you dare!
The 120 stone steps are much steeper than they look…
This is why there’s a thick rope in the middle for safety. But the view from the top is totally worth the climb. A light breeze cools you off from the summit while gazing at the lush jungle landscape stretching out in all directions.
Plus, there aren’t many places where you can climb a Mayan pyramid anymore. As a site gets more popular and tourism increases, authorities eventually restrict climbing to preserve structures and reduce accidents.
Be careful climbing down the pyramid, it’s more difficult than going up!
How to get to Coba
There are tours available departing from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s also easy to rent a car and go there yourself. It’s an easy drive of about 160 kilometers from cancun and around 100 from Playa del Carmen. To get there you just get on the highway down south, towards Tulum. Once in Tulum get gasoline, drinks or snacks, this is the place to get it. A little further down you wil find crossing with a traffic light and a sign to Coba.
After your visit to the ruins, may we suggest eating at one of the restaurants by the lake, they serve excellent traditional food and it’s good to support these little off-the-beaten-track places.
This article is written by Mexico Mayan Tours on behalf of mexicomayantours.com; this is having topics on Chichen Itza tours, Playa Del Carmen excursions, Cancun whale shark tours, Cancun adventure tours and many more.