In October 2016, my husband and I took our honeymoon to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at Secret’s Maroma Beach, which was beautiful and I have to say the food was out of this world good. I pretty much gained all of the weight back on this trip that I lost before the wedding, but it was worth every bite. Anyway, some of the highlights of our trip included swimming with sea turtles in Akumal Bay (amazing!), strolling down Playa del Carmen’s 5th Ave (in a rain storm I might add), and a day touring the ancient Mayan Ruins of Coba.
Visiting ancient ruins in Mexico has been on my bucket list for quite a while, so it was a must-do on our honeymoon trip!
In Mexico, there are lots of ruins to choose from for a visit. For us, we were debating between going to Tulum, Chichen Itza, or Coba. After talking with people around our resort and getting recommendations, we decided on visiting the Coba Mayan Ruins. Here’s why:
- Coba has the highest pyramid in all of the Yucatan, and you can actually climb it.
- The Coba Mayan Ruins have not been excavated quite like Tulum and Chichen Itza have been, so it’s still very jungly.
- There tends to be fewer crowds.
- You can rent bicycles to tour the area for a totally different experience.
- It is still largely undiscovered.
Our Experience at the Coba Mayan Ruins:
It was about a two hour ride to Coba from where we were staying at Maroma Beach. We passed through towns and villages, getting a first-hand glimpse of the local communities – such an awesome experience!
We arrived in Coba around 11am. If you go earlier in the morning (upon opening at 8am) you may be lucky and see spider monkeys swinging from the trees.
Upon entering the site, we came across the second tallest temple in Coba, called La Iglesia (the church). This temple is roped off, but you can stop at the base for a photo like we did. This was about the driest we were all day… immediately after having the picture taken the skies opened up on us.
Torrential downpours lasted for a good 15 minutes. We took as much cover under the trees as we could, but looking on the bright side, it did add to our “jungle” experience. It also brought out the mosquitoes. Don’t forget to bring some bug repellant!
Once the rain storm had passed, we picked out our bicycles rentals and peddled through the jungle on the “white roads” built by the ancient Mayan civilization.
The final and most astonishing pyramid that we visited was Nohoch Mul, the main pyramid of the Coba Mayan Ruins, and at 137 feet, it’s the highest. 120 steps up and we made it to the top!
Nohoch Mul is one of the last remaining pyramids that visitors can actually climb… for now. According to this National Post article, in order to preserve the pyramid, it won’t be that way for long. So, if it’s on your bucket list, do it soon! Wear comfortable shoes and bring water!
The view from the top is breathtaking. Lush green jungle for as far as the eye can see!
Going up was a lot easier than getting down! There may have been an instance that I thought I was going to tumble down the pyramid to my death, but doing the crab walk down while holding onto the rope made it easier and I survived 🙂
After touring around the Coba Ruins, we headed to a nearby cenote, or natural swimming hole. Cenote Tamcach-Ha is located just outside of the Coba pyramids site, and it’s very easily accessible. You MUST shower off in the facility before going into the cenote to protect the natural wonder from the toxins of sunscreen, bug spray, lotions, etc. Once you go down the spiral staircase and get into the cenote, there are a couple platforms you may jump off.
The Coba Mayan Ruins are definitely a site to see! Our day there was an amazing experience and something we’ll remember forever.