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The Ultimate Guide to the Coba Mayan Ruins in the Riviera Maya

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If you’re thinking of visiting the Riviera Maya, in that case, a tour of the Coba ruins is an ideal occasion to get to know one of the most surprising architectural relics of the ancestral Mayan culture. To make your experience unique, discover the ultimate guide to the Coba Mayan ruins in the Riviera Maya.

How to Get to Coba

The archaeological zone of Coba is located east of the Mayan town of Coba, in the city of Solidaridad, within the state of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s located 2 hours from Cancun and an hour and a half from Chichen Itza, by car. From Playa del Carmen, you take the federal highway 180 Cancun-Chetumal and, arriving at Tulum, take a detour for 30 miles to the town and the archaeological sites.

History and Cultural Heritage

The ruins of Coba are some of the archaeological ruins of Yucatan with greater artistic and cultural value. They have a long history with social and political fluctuations, something common in large and powerful cities such as those of northern Yucatan. If you’re visiting Coba, you should know that much of the city was built between 500 and 900 AD. Coba was a city with remarkable political, economic, and social power with extensive territorial control.

Mayan Ruins

Although at the time of the consolidation of Spanish control, Coba was uninhabited, the city was never forgotten. Archaeologists did not study the Coba ruins until the early twentieth century due to difficulty accessing the place inside the jungle. Archaeologists continue to research this impressive site, probably one of the largest and most important sites since there are still more than 5000 points with possible ruins buried in the jungle. This archaeological site is located in the middle of the jungle and has the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan peninsula.

Exploring the Coba Ruins

Upon entering the site’s enclosure, there’s a beautiful walk through the jungle of over a mile. If you don’t want to walk, you can ride a bicycle or hire a bike taxi for several passengers. On the right, you’ll see the Temple of the Church and, although it’s not as large as the main one, it’s worth visiting, even if you’re not allowed to climb it. A little further on, after passing these Coba ruins, there’s an exceptional ballgame field that’s very well preserved and other buildings, such as a tunnel in the form of a Mayan arch. The great pyramid or pyramid of Nooch  Mu – the most famous ruin of Coba without a doubt – stands 138 feet above the jungle and has 120 steps. This temple-pyramid was an important ceremonial center.

Tips for Visiting Coba

  • The site is open Monday to Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • Entrance fee is 80 pesos (4 USD).
  • Bring cash to pay the parking fee (2.50 USD approximately) if you’re driving to Coba.
  • Weekends are busier; we suggest you visit during the week.
  • Arrive early in the morning to avoid large tour groups.
  • Dress appropriately, and bring water. Coba is always hot, and we cannot stress this enough.
  • You can walk; however, the site is spread out. You can also rent a bicycle or bike taxi for 2 passengers. Prices vary between 100 pesos (5 USD) plus tips.
  • You can hire a guide, but if you hire a bike taxi, your driver will guide you, so you can relax and enjoy your visit without pedaling.

Coba Cenotes

There are 3 cenotes in Coba that are well known; the closest to the town is the cenote Choo-Ha. This cave cenote is ideal for visiting with children since they are shallow and perfect for swimming. Another cave cenote is Tamcach-Ha, whose attraction is to dive from a platform to its deep and crystalline waters. The Muul’Ichi  Ts’Ono’Ot cenote is an impressive cavern with a wooden platform over its waters. To get to the cenotes, you can do it by car, taxi or bicycle.

Enjoy your tour to the Coba Mayan ruins and everything that the Riviera Maya offers: culture, history, and much, much relaxation. Absorb the Mayan culture and the paradisiacal beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.

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