Tulum Private Tours

Coba Adventure: How to Get There and What to See

Coba mayan ruins view

Coba Adventure: How to Get There and What to See

Are you ready for an exciting adventure exploring ancient Coba Mayan ruins deep in the jungle?

Then pack your bags and head to Coba, one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s most mysterious ancient cities. Just an hour from Tulum, Coba is an easy day trip that will transport you centuries into the past. Once you arrive, rent a bike to cruise down the shady trails leading to massive pyramids, as Nohoch Mul, rising up from the forest canopy. After working up an appetite, grab a bite at one of the local restaurants serving fresh regional cuisine. With ancient ruins, cool cenotes, and a lush jungle setting, Coba is a perfect escape for adventure and discovery.

What are you waiting for? Adventure awaits in the Mayan kingdom of Coba!

Coba Ruins Travel Guide 2024

Where Is Coba Located and How Far Is It From Tulum?

Coba is an incredibly captivating and awe-inspiring ancient Mayan city nestled in the breathtaking region of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

This remarkable archeological site is situated approximately 30 miles (45 km) to the north of the enchanting town of Tulum.

Getting to Coba: Transportation Options

Driving Yourself

Rent a car in Tulum or Playa del Carmen and head west. It’s an easy 45 minute drive from Tulum – 1h45 from Playa del Carmen.

The route to Coba is simple, a single straight road through the jungle, passing through small villages. Don’t hesitate to stop off en route in these villages to buy fresh fruit (mangoes, coconuts, dragon fruit are delicious) and handmade souvenirs, such as hammocks, ceramics, wooden masks, dream catchers.

Parking at the ruins is 70 pesos.

The freedom to explore at your own pace makes the drive worthwhile!

Taxi

For a straightforward option, take a taxi from Tulum. Ask in advance for a round-trip fare and waiting time. The cab will drop you off at the entrance, then you can explore the site at your leisure.

Guided Tours

Join an organized tour to learn about Mayan history from an expert guide. Many tours offer hotel pick up and drop off, eliminating hassle of renting a car or finding public transportation. Group tours on busses are budget-friendly. Private tours allow you to customize activities. No worries about navigating or parking – sit back and enjoy the ride! Keep scrolling to discover more about the exciting tour options available!

Coba Entrance Fee and Open Hours

Coba is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm and entrance fees are very affordable: 190 pesos (less than 15 USD). It is advisable to have cash in pesos on hand since the availability of card systems can be limited due to signal issues.

Get there early and beat the crowds – this popular attraction can get quite busy, especially in the high season from December to April. An organized tour from Tulum or Playa del Carmen is a convenient way to visit Coba if you don’t want to drive yourself.

Coba
On your way to Coba

Visiting the Impressive Coba Ruins: What to See and Do

You’re in for an adventure when you visit the magnificent Coba ruins! As one of the largest ancient Mayan cities, Coba will transport you back in time.

Nohoch Mul

The main attraction is Nohoch Mul, the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. Starting from 2020, the exhilarating experience of ascending the 120 steep steps of the awe-inspiring Nohoch Mul Pyramid Climb has unfortunately been prohibited. Nonetheless, let your imagination soar as you envision the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring panoramic vistas that this magnificent structure once granted..

Coba Group

Coba Group, a collection of structures near the entrance, is an archaeological complex that showcases the architectural and ceremonial significance of this ancient Mayan city. The Pyramid of Chaac, dedicated to the rain god, is a prominent feature, and nearby, the ball court reflects the Mayans’ passion for the Mesoamerican ballgame, which held both ritualistic and competitive importance in their culture.

coba nohoch mul
Coba Nohoch Mul
coba chaac temple
Coba Chaac Temple
coba ball court
Coba Ball Court

Collection of Stelae

Coba is renowned for its impressive collection of stelae, which are tall, stone monuments adorned with intricate carvings and hieroglyphs. These stelae serve as valuable historical records, offering insights into the Mayan civilization’s rulers, significant events, and the complex hierarchies that once existed in this ancient city.

Sacbe

The Sacbe is also a must-see – these elevated stone paths were used to connect parts of the city and make travel easier during the rainy season. Some of the Sacbe are still largely intact today.

Rent a bike or take a rickshaw to get around this sprawling ancient city, which covers over 50 square miles! Coba’s massive scale will give you an appreciation for just how large and powerful this pre-Columbian civilization was.

Have a blast exploring the ancient ruins of Coba! This place will spark your sense of adventure and inspire wonder at the grandeur of the Mayan civilization.

Coba Stelae
Exploring, biking
coba xaibe
Coba Xaibe

Cenotes Near Coba: Cool Off After Exploring

After exploring the ancient ruins of Coba, you’ll be ready to cool off in one of the nearby cenotes. These underground sinkholes are gorgeous natural pools with crystal clear water—perfect for swimming, snorkeling or just floating in an inner tube. Three of the best cenotes close to the Coba archeological site are Choo-Ha, Tankach-Ha, and Multum-Ha.

These 3 cenotes are only a 10-minute drive from Coba ruins.

Cenote Choo-Ha

Choo-Ha, which means “dripping water” in the Mayan language, offers a truly breathtaking experience. As you descend slowly down narrow stairs, the cenote opens up before you, revealing magnificent stalactites that drip water in every direction. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight! Once you reach the platform, you can take a swim in the cenote and marvel at the crystal-clear water and the majestic ceiling above you.

Cenote Tankach-Ha

Tankach-Ha, meaning “deep water” in Mayan, is a cenote that boasts depths ranging from 14 to 114 feet.  If you’re a skilled swimmer or a daredevil seeking an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect spot to take a thrilling leap into the water from one of the two platforms. There’s no better way to beat the heat than plunging into the refreshing waters of this pristine cave cenote. However, if you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can simply swim around the cenote and unwind on the two wooden platforms, taking in the beauty of this expansive cave cenote.

Cenote Multum-Ha

Cenote Multum Ha, the third cenote of the Coba Cenotes, is an absolute gem! Its name, which translates to “hill of stones in the water,” perfectly captures its unique beauty. Prepare to be amazed as you descend 60ft underground and encounter the breathtaking sight of crystal clear water. With nearly 100 steps leading to the deck, you’ll have plenty of space to swim and unwind.

If you’re only able to visit one cenote out of the three, Multum Ha is the one you should choose without hesitation!

However, if you’re up for exploring more cenotes, the combo of Choo Ha and Tankach Ha is your best bet, as they are conveniently located next to each other. Get ready for an incredible adventure!

Any of these cenotes would be a refreshing reward after a hot day exploring the Coba ruins. Take a dip in the cool waters, rinse off the sweat and dust, and relax surrounded by nature. The only problem will be deciding which cenote to visit first! If you have time, stop by more than one—or come back another day to experience them all.

Choo Ha
Tankach Ha
Multum Ha

Coba Restaurants: Refuel and Maximize Your Visit

After a thrilling day exploring the ancient ruins of Coba, you’ll work up quite an appetite! Luckily, Coba has a variety of local restaurants to choose from.

Chile Picante

Picante restaurant is conveniently situated at the entrance of Coba town. For a pleasant dining experience, we recommend checking out the open-air seating area on the upper floor, sheltered beneath a traditional palapa roof.

Here, you can explore a range of Mexican specialties, including Salbutes, Tacos, Empanadas, Grilled Chicken, and the renowned Cochinita Pibil. Don’t forget to try their delicious Guacamole; it’s a must-have! No worries, despite its name, Picante doesn’t mean all dishes are spicy. However, if you’re in the mood for an extra kick, be sure to ask for our homemade habanero sauce – it’s the perfect way to experience true Mexican flavor.

Picante offers a casual and enjoyable dining option for those looking to sample local flavors in a relaxed setting.

El Cocodrilo

El Cocodrilo restaurant is located just at the exit of the ruins, in front of the lagoon, that makes it a little bit more crowded than the others, but worth it! Here in a very local set up, affordable prices, you have a complete menu of Mexican dishes, if you don’t know what to choose you can not go wrong with tacos!

Nestled just at the exit of the ruins, with the stunning lagoon as its backdrop, you’ll find El Cocodrilo restaurant. Its prime location may make it a tad bustling, but trust us, the experience is absolutely worth it!

Here, amidst an authentically local ambiance and with pocket-friendly prices, you’ll discover a comprehensive menu brimming with delectable Mexican dishes. If you’re ever in a culinary dilemma and can’t decide, simply go for the classic choice – Tacos! You can never go wrong with them at El Cocodrilo.

La Casa de Los Gorditos

La Casa de los Gorditos, affectionately named ‘The House of the Plump,’ stands proudly as one of Coba’s top-rated restaurants. Conveniently positioned at the town’s entrance, it boasts a delightful open-air dining space and a charming atmosphere. While it leans towards the pricier side compared to the other two options, the experience justifies it.

Must-try dishes at La Casa de los Gorditos include their flavorsome Cochinita Pibil, handmade tortillas, and the exquisite Mayan pumpkin seed dip. For an added culinary treat, you can even witness the skilled staff crafting these homemade tortillas right before your eyes.

Coba Tours

To truly immerse yourself in the wonders of Coba, why not take your visit to the next level by booking a captivating guided tour?

With a knowledgeable and experienced guide by your side, you’ll gain invaluable insights into the rich history and fascinating culture of this ancient site. Not only will they expertly navigate you through all the must-see spots, but they’ll also unveil hidden gems along the way, ensuring you don’t miss a single moment of wonder.

When it comes to discovering new destinations, travelers are often presented with the exciting decision of choosing between group tours and private tours. So, which option is the perfect fit for you?

Group Tours

Group tours have their own set of advantages, with affordability being a key factor. They are often more budget-friendly than private tours because the costs are spread across a larger number of participants, making them a cost-effective option for travelers looking to save money.

Group tours also offer the opportunity to meet and socialize with fellow travelers, which can enhance the overall experience, especially for solo travelers or those looking to make new friends. Additionally, group tours are typically well-organized, with pre-planned itineraries, transportation, and accommodation, reducing the stress and logistical planning for participants.

Private Tours

Private tours offer numerous advantages over group tours that will surely enhance your travel experience!

Firstly, they provide a personalized and customizable adventure, allowing you to create an itinerary that perfectly matches your interests and preferences. Say goodbye to rigid schedules and hello to the freedom of going at your own pace.

Spend more time exploring the places that captivate you the most and effortlessly skip over those that don’t quite spark your curiosity.

But wait, there’s more! Private tours include a dedicated guide who will be your ultimate source of knowledge and insights. Imagine having someone who caters specifically to your group’s questions and interests, providing you with an in-depth understanding of your destination. This one-on-one interaction will undoubtedly deepen your appreciation and make your journey even more fulfilling.

Not only that, private tours also prioritize your comfort and convenience. With options for private transportation, you can travel in style and enjoy the luxury of flexible start times. No need to worry about large crowds either – private tours allow you to avoid the hustle and bustle, ensuring a more serene and intimate experience.

In summary, the flexibility, personal attention, and comfort offered by private tours make them the preferred choice for travelers seeking a tailored and enriching adventure. 

So, sit back and let the experts handle all the logistics, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the enchantment and mystique of Coba!

You’ve now got all the information you need to plan an amazing adventure to the ancient Mayan city of Coba! With stunning ruins to explore, refreshing cenotes to swim in, and delicious food to enjoy, Coba is calling your name.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this magical place for yourself. Get out there and discover the wonders of Coba – you’ll be glad you did! The mysteries of the Mayan civilization are waiting to be unlocked, the jungle is ready to be explored.

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags, hop in the car or book a tour, and head to Coba for an unforgettable trip you’ll remember for years to come. Adventure awaits!

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Mateo

Mateo

Meet Mateo: Your Tulum Insider Mateo, a passionate travel blogger, is your go-to source for all things Tulum. He uncovers the town's hidden gems and shares invaluable travel tips to make your Tulum experience extraordinary. Beyond his blog, Mateo collaborates with local experts to bring Tulum's culture and history to life. His passion for sustainable travel is evident, as he champions responsible tourism practices that protect the environment and support the local community. With Mateo as your guide, you'll unlock the secrets of Tulum and embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary and leaves you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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