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Visiting the Mayan Ruins in Coba

On our second day in Mexico we rented a car so that we could pick up our friends and go visit the Mayan ruins in Coba. Coba has smaller ruins than the more widely know Chichen Itza but the crowds are generally smaller & you can still climb the largest pyramid called Nohoch Mul. You can read more about Coba here.

The first part of our adventure was getting a rental car & going to pick up our friends in Playa del Carmen. We had hoped to all stay in the same resort but they ended up at the Iberostar Quetzal in Playa. When we got our rental van, the air conditioning worked but the check engine light, the traction control light & one other light I can’t remember were all on. Hmmmm….and we’re planning to drive for at least an hour to Coba and an hour back? Hmmmmm. We set out on our grand adventure. Driving in Mexico is fun. Right up until you get to the first speed bump (Tope). They aren’t kidding. It’s more like hitting a wall. They are GINORMOUS! We quickly figured out that you have to slow WAY down, pretty much stop or else the wheels will probably fall off. Otherwise, though, the drive was pretty uneventful.

Unfortunately we picked the one rainy day of our vacation to visit Coba. Thus the super stylish ponchos. Ugh!

Here we are learning all about Coba from our tour guide. I know you are jealous of the ponchos!Our friends Daniel, Nancy, Andre & Katherine. They live in Austin. Dewey and I used to work with Andre. Andre also played in a band with Dewey in Austin.

Me & Dewey in front of one of the smaller pyramids.

There is no evidence of human sacrifice at Coba (unlike Chichen Itza). Dewey thought we could remedy that!

Me & Dewey getting ready to climb Nohoch Mul. It’s REALLY big (and I’m a really big chicken!).

I made it to the top! Now what?

How did I get myself into this??????

One more picture before we head down.

I’m already at the bottom of the pyramid at this point. I climbed down one stair at a time on my butt just like Katherine & Nancy in this picture. The stairs are very uneven and very steep. At some points you couldn’t even see the stairs that met the ground. Going down was DEFINITELY scarier than climbing up!


After exploring we stopped for a quick beer & then hopped back in our lovely rental. We headed back to Playa del Carmen via Tulum. We had hoped to stop at the ruins in Tulum but they closed at 5 and we didn’t get there until 4 so there wasn’t much point in going. We went to 5th Avenue in Playa to do some shopping and grab a bite instead. The guys were happy because they got to see part of the Canada vs Slovakia Olympic hockey game. All in all it was a great day and we recommend the visit to Coba. Renting a car & driving yourself saves alot of money especially if you have more than 2 people (most tours charge ~$99 per person while the rental car was ~$130 total).

Have any of you been to any Mayan/Aztec/etc ruins? What did you think?



Monday 8th of March 2010

We wanted to go to Tulum but we arrived too late. We didn't realize that they closed at 5 & we didn't get there until 4:15. We decided not to pay the entrance fee only to be shooed out 45 minutes later. We will definitely visit Tulum next time we visit Mexico!


Monday 8th of March 2010

I've beem to Tulum. We rented a Jeep. It was hotter than hades and we all fried, but i was 21 and there with friends from CEGEP. needless to say, it was a good time.

i also have been to the sun and moon pyramids outside of mexico city. that site is incredibly impressive.

looks liek you had a great time.