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Coba Mayan Ruins
Coba is now one of my favorite places to see Mayan Ruins. In fact, I thought these were the best Mayan Ruins I’ve seen in years. It reminded me a lot of the Copan Ruins in Honduras, just smaller. At its height, Coba was a large village with around 50,000 residents. The Coba site is the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world, and it contains many engravings that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900) of Mesoamerican civilization. One of the roads runs all the way to Chichen Itza.
Cost: 65 pesos aka $4
Hours: The ruins are open from 8 AM – 5 PM, 7 days a week.
Tips: Wear closed toe shoes if you are climbing up the temple. Take bottled water and a snack. You can take a local bus to the ruins, rent a car and drive yourself, or take a tour.
I visited Coba for the first time just last month with All Tour Native. All Tour Native will pick you up from your hotel and take you back at the end of the day when you are done with your visit. If possible see if Joshua can be your tour guide. He was our guide and I found him to be highly knowledgeable. I ask him a million questions (what can I say, it’s the history buff in me) and he knew all the answers to my questions plus elaborated a great deal on many of them. He probably was wondering why I ask some many questions, but I have a history degree with a focus on Latin America. At one point I did at least realize I was asking too many questions. Oops!
Climb Above the Jungle Canopy
At Coba you can climb to the top of one of the Mayan Temples. It’s 42 meters tall and a fairly easy climb. It looks super step, but it’s only 120 steps to the top. I hate heights and I did it, so you can too. I was surprised how well the steps have held up over the years. I think people will be able to climb to the top for many years to come.
I recommend having one of the many little bicycle carts take you back to the temple that you can climb on and then taking it back again to the front. Especially if you are pressed for time. The cost is 125 pesos for round-trip to the temple and back. You can also rent a bike and bicycle back and forth
Phones and cameras are allowed inside the Mayan ruins, but if you are using a professional camera there is a fee. I had to pay 45 pesos to use My GoPro. I thought this was stupid, but I wanted the photos. If you use your cell phone there is no charge.
I didn’t get to use my drone at all. In Coba you can only use a drone before 8 am or after 5 pm with permit.Coba made a great rainy day activity. It was pouring the day we visited, but everything was still accessible.
What if it’s raining?
They sell ponchos at the little shops right outside the main entrance. Even in the rain we were able to climb up to the top of the temple. I can just imagine how epic the views would have been though if it hadn’t been raining. I guess I will just have to go back one day.
If you want to see some more Mayan Ruins I recommend the Tulum Ruins. Many of the tours that take you to Coba will take you to Tulum during the same tour.
Are there cenotes here?
Yes, there are! After our visit I found out that though there are no cenotes within the ruins, there were three cenotes nearby. Cenote Choo-Ha, Cenote Multun-Ha, and Cenote Tamcach-Ha. They each cost about $3 to swim in.
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More About the Quintana Roo Area
- Pac Chen Mayan Adventure
- Tulum Ruins
- Ventura Park an Amusement and Water Park
- Sea Trek at Aquarium Cancun
Helpful Guide Books and blog posts:
- Quintana Roo: The Ultimate Family Adventure
- Moon Yucatan Peninsula Travel Guide
- Lonely Planet Cancun, Cozumel, & the Yucatan Travel Guide
- Things to do in Cancun
Where to stay in Quintana Roo:
Should You Get Travel Insurance?
Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a fan of Travelex insurance, because of the variety of options. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. I have gotten extremely sick twice now out of the country and Noah has had seizures in other countries, so I always recommend getting some sort of coverage. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance here.
If you are looking for a car rental I recommend getting the car at the Cancun Airport. It will make things easier. This entire area is easy to drive around in. Get a Cancun car rental for $11 a day!