Climbing Coba Ruins: A Perfect Cancun Day Trip

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When I got to Mexico I didn’t really know what to do in Cancun.  Like at all.  I knew there were beaches and Chichen Itza, but not much else.  I decided to skip Chichen Itza because it looked so busy and not as rugged, then I found out about Coba and went with a couple other people from my hostel.  We decided to rent a car and go on our own, which was actually pretty easy.

Coba was the first ruin site I went to on my trip and in Mexico and I really enjoyed them.  I think a lot of that was because you can still climb here.  Safe?  Eh.  Awesome?  Yes.  The whole site isn’t as big as others, like Tikal, but it’s fairly spread out, easy enough to walk, but there are bikes to rent if you prefer that.  It’s not as far as the bike renters make you think it is though.  I promise.


This is the main pyramid with a giant rope in the middle to aid in the climb up.  It’s not totally necessary to use unless you aren’t very confident in your coordination.  Most people basically just crawl up, the steps are a little high, but nothing unmanageable.  I did it!

And this is the view from the top.  You can even sit right at the edge.  Safety first, right?  Getting back down is the hard part, I just had to keep moving, couldn’t stop, or I might still be stuck there.  Ok, maybe it’s just a little scarier than more difficult.


There are a bunch of other, smaller structures, homes and the like, around the site that you can meander through.  Some are blocked off, but most you can go into.  Definitely, make sure you have time to wander around a lot of it, it’s got some pretty cool stuff there.  I didn’t go with a tour, but I probably wouldn’t have remembered anything from it anyways.  I don’t do well on tours.  I’m forgetful.

Here I am, alive at the top.  Alive and dying of heat.  Totally worth it.  I mean, look at that jungle.  Look at it!  I just wish I stayed up there a little bit longer.  But I got the sweaty selfies and the view down, so I suppose that will have to do.


Helpful things:

  • You can rent a car pretty easily to get here, and it’ll be even cheaper if you find a couple people to go with.  If not, I’m sure there are tours you can go with as well.
  • This makes a great day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancun, depending on where you’re staying.
  • You don’t need to rent a bike to explore.  Or take one of the bike taxi things.  They make it sound a lot further of a walk than it is.
  • It’s pretty hot, so bring water.  I would recommend a Hydro Flask that you can refill instead of buying new water bottles all the time.


Have you been to Coba?  What did you think of it?  

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