The Coba Mayan ruins refer to a grand archaeological site accessible from Playa del Carmen in just two hours. Nestled close to Tulum, this one seems to be almost unexplored as much of it is yet to be excavated forming much mystery and unanswered questions just as the other Mayan sites. Considered as among the largest Mayan cities, the Coba Mayan site is thought to be a vital trade hub situated between the Caribbean and Chichen Itza in its olden days.
Not only is the site beautiful, but also its surroundings are captivating. The entire area is flanked by four natural lakes, a peculiar arrangement not to be seen so frequently in the Yucatan. It is thought that the city has got its name from these lakes, which literally stands for ‘waters moved by wind’. The Coba Mayan site, although not completely excavated, holds a myriad of large edifices that are protected by the forest stretch converting once a city area into a wild zone that really invokes your mind. To visit this site, it is very much recommended to start as early as possible so that you have enough time to explore the surrounding dense forest and the mystical ruins located deep within. And excitingly, you will be accompanied by monkeys and birds too. It will take you some 4 hours at the most to explore the entire area.
The Coba Mayan site is yet a mystery to be solved; this task is further complicated by the excavated structures. Among them, the vast system of old roads called Sacbe (White Roads) is itself a mystery, which for 45 miles links the settlement to Yaxuna that too is a Mayan town. This is an unbelievable engineering feat. Further, the architecture is another mystery in the sense that it does not reflect any similarity with Chichen Itza, but is much similar to a distinct settlement located many miles away. So, if you wish to explore a remote site of big mysteries, which is yet to be excavated and is less visited; the Mayan ruins of Coba is your choice.
Talking about the Coba Mayan Ruins, the entire area is a labyrinth of old walkways and roads of which a few takes one via the major sights, while the remaining spurt into the jungle. What is required from you is to keep a track of where you are going. Among all the structures, the pyramids are the main attractions here. The first one is seen the moment you enter the area. This is called the big pyramid of Grupo Coba that gives you a small adventurous offer of climbing up to the summit for enjoying the local views. Next, the Great Pyramid called Nohoc Mul standing for ‘Big Mount’ is the tallest pyramid from the Mayan times in the southeastern peninsula. Do also ascend this pyramid of 40 m in height for soaking in its panoramic view. Only ensure that your shoes are fit enough for this climb. And do carry lot of water as the climate of this Yucatan jungle is very hot.
Some more features worth exploring at the site of Coba Mayan are old ball courts, 9 chamber Castillo, and vivid friezes. There are two beautiful ball courts of which only one can be seen partially. In this court of two stoned walls, two teams used to play the ball game by only using elbows and hips for making a rubber ball pass via a loop. As per some inscriptions, it is known that human sacrifice had significant role to play in this game, but it is not still certain as to who was sacrificed – the team or only the captain?
Besides the above stated structures, you will com across a myriad of carved stelae that are upright stone tablets. After excavation, they are yet seen on their original locations for the visitors. A majority adorns the Grupo Macanxob, the place that is accessible by walking a kilometer once you enter the site. This walk is not at all boring, but it is sad to see that several stelae are not in good state. So, it is better to save energy for climbing the pyramids.
You can reach this site from Cancun and Playa del Carmen within short period of time. Do carry insect repellent as mosquitoes are active here. To avoid heat, either come in the morning at 8 am or after 3 pm.