The small and quiet village of Cobá, with 1300 inhabitants, in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, is the gateway to the famous archaeological site of Cobá with Mayan pyramids and ruins. The town is located about 90 km east of the world-known Chichen Itza and 44 km northwest of the beautiful beach town of Tulum via a modern road. The village itself offers really not much to see or do other than quiet village life, however the archaeological site with Mayan pyramids and ruins was amazing!
Cobá means ‘waters stirred by the wind’ or ‘ruffled waters’ as the Mayan civilisation is located on two lagoons; the Cobá Lagoon, which can be seen as you drive up to the ruins entrance and Macamxoc Lagoon which can be viewed once you enter the ruin site. The entrance of the large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Mayan civilisation of Cobá lies right by the village centre. Entrance fee was MXN 64 (4 €).
The archaeological site is vast and located deep in the jungle. Even though the temperatures were up it was not too hot to walk around as the surrounding jungle shaded the paths. At the entrance you can rent a bicycle or hire a rickshaw with a driver to take you throughout the site. Using one or the other is a good idea as the ruins are scattered around a large area and require a lot of walking (6–10 km) along small sandy roads. I decided to explore the site on foot and even though it was a long, dusty and sweaty hike, it was definitely worth it. It is smart to wear proper shoes, and bring a hat and cold water, too.
The highlight of the day at the archaeological site was the pyramid of Nohoch Mul, which is the only Mayan pyramid in Mexico that you can still . This was what I came here for!
Located at the far end of the archaeological site, the Nohoch Mul pyramid is 42 meters high, and the tallest Mayan structure in the Northern Yucatan. I have always been afraid of the heights but I decided to climb, as I did not want to miss the view from the top. Going up the 120 steps was fairly easy as long as I did not look down.
The view from the top of the pyramid was absolutely rewarding and definitely worth the climb! From the top you can see blue skies and green jungle canopy for kilometres after kilometres. The weather was very hot and my legs were already shaking as I was thinking about going down the pyramid, which was most definitely the worst part of the climb for me.
When I started coming down the pyramid my heart was racing very hard, so I decided to take it really slow and took breaks every now and then. Going down was actually very challenging as there was no rail or anything to hold on to. Only a loose rope hanging down from the top of the pyramid. In addition the steps were very uneven and slippery, and as I was wearing flip flops I really had to pay attention to where to place my foot. I would have felt a lot more comfortable in sneakers. Even though I felt really nervous coming down, I made it back down in one piece. This is definitely an experience to remember!
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