Playa del Carmen Stories and Tips

We Must get to Coba

wasp nest ??? Photo, Coba, Mexico

If you read my journals you will know that no matter how "party" a trip is my husband, Karl, must include ruins, castles, cathedrals, or hiking. So despite a hangover from a 4am night out we set off to find Coba.

The guidebook said that Coba was not on the regular tour bus route, so of course that peaked our interest. The resulting day trip became quite an adventure…

Deciding against a rental car we took one of the numerous Collectivos that tool along the highway between Cancun and Tulum all day long. The Collectivo stand in behind the bus station in Play del Carmen at Avenue Juarez and Avenue20, but you can just as easily flag them down form any point on the highway.

Our day started good, we got to Tulum for roughly $2.50 each. It was nearly lunch and our little Coba crew was feeling good despite initial misgivings (Karl) on heading to Tulum with no real plan. Tulum was supposedly just 30 minutes from Coba down highway 307… so really, how hard could it be?

We found the bus station in Tulum easily and after much bad Spanish and humorous miming found that we had missed the local bus which ran to Coba….

"Last autobus… Onzeeee?"



Plan B, we went to the rental car shop.

"Sorry… all car gone."

We traipsed to 2 other rental car places to be given the same answer.

Hmmmm… plan C was a cab, but the prices we got quoted were way out of our range.

During a sad lunch plan D (to hitchhike) got fully squashed by my oh-so sensible hubby, and the five of us sat glumly eating our enchiladas

…. and then like an angel, the girl running the restaurant came to our aid offering to call other rental companies, but to no avail, and then called on her cab driving bubbies.

Thank you lady from the Aktun Dive Company hotel/restaurant. As our bill was paid and we thanked her for her help the cab pulled around the back…. "so that no police see… too many passengers," and the five of us squeezed into the little cab and our adventure to Coba began.

The driver charged us $50 ($10 each) to drive the 30 to 60 minutes down a crazy potholed road... waited at the Coba gates for us until we finished our tour, and then drove us back to Tulum. Not bad at all!!!

On arriving at Coba, after stretching limbs that were hurting from the squashed ride, we found that as it was Sunday there was no entrance fee to the site. YAY!

You can rent bikes for a couple of dollars, as the ruins are spread out or even little tuk tuk style things if you are feeling really lazy. We walked.

Many of the ruins are still undergoing excavation, so it is an exciting place to walk around and see half hidden pyramids. The best of the bunch was the big pyramid (Nohuch Mul-biggest in Yucatan), which you are able to clamber up the crumbling stairs to the very top and look out over the tree tops. It’s tough going with NO handrail, so take it slow and easy.

The site reminded me a lot of Tikal, only the jungle was much more scrubby and sparse so it really didn’t feel like a true jungle.

Take plenty of water, as it's very humid walking between the sights.

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