Coba Ruins

Are you looking for a day trip that allows you to explore some of the great history of the Riviera Maya? In today’s blog we will introduce you to the Maya ruins of Coba, located between Tulum and Valladolid in the neighboring state of Yucatan. This is the place where you can climb the highest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan and explore the fascinating remains of an amazing ancient city.


The name Coba means ‘waters stirred by the wind’, due to the fact that it is located in an area that is between two large lagoons. It was a Maya city that at its peak had approximately 50,000 people living there between 500 and 900 AD. The location was chosen due to its ability to connect the coastline of the Mayan Riviera and the various cities that are further inland, making it ideal as a commercial center.


Unlike Chichen Itza or even Tulum, Coba is actually a large group of sites that connect to a central pyramid. There are three main areas in the Coba Ruins:

The Nohoch Mul structures constitute the main pyramid, which is about 130 feet high. Visitors are allowed to climb it, but be aware that it is very steep and challenging for those who are not in the best of physical shape.

The other two structures are Conjunto Pinturas, which is the spiritual area and Macanxoc, which can be found close to the lagoon. Coba hosts a number of different buildings that have been excavated, as well as many that have not.

If you decide to walk around the site it may take up to 2.5 hours, however this time can be cut down significantly if you decide to rent bicycles rentals. They even have something called a Mayan limo, a tricycle with its own personal driver who will drive you around, leaving you to take in the sites in relaxed comfort.


Renting a car and driving to Coba is the best way to plan your journey, since you can get there early and beat the rush of a visitors who will be arriving by bus. Drive to Tulum and from there go west for 30 minutes along the Coba road.

If your only option is to take the bus please note that the ADO has a bus departing from Playa del Carmen at 9.00am with a drive time of approximately 2 hours. The ADO bus which brings you home departs from the ruins at 3.10pm.

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Tags: coba, maya, nohoch mul, pyramid, ruins

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