The Coba ruins were my most anticipated day trip when I was in Tulum. Online I read about how you could actually climb the pyramid and about the view that greeted you at the top. So when we woke up on day 1 in Tulum I knew Coba was my number one priority.
Below is our Guide to Coba Ruins
We woke up early to make sure we got there just as the gates were opening at 8 AM. The drive which was just under an hour from Tulum, was easy and direct. You basically just drive along QROO 109 which is the main road to reach many other cities. We parked and headed for the ticket booth.
Tip: Use bathroom and purchase a water before entering, there are no facilities once you enter the park.
Once we started walking up a bit there was a spot to rent bikes or hire a local to wheel you around. We opted to hire someone for an hour. It was super cheap plus the walk to the ruins was about 30 minutes and we wanted to get there before the crowds.
Tip: bring cash as they have spotty service with their card readers.
Once we reached the main Pyramid I was in awe. It was even grander than I sensed from photos. We left our guide and head on up. Honestly, the hike up really isn’t that bad. We ended up stopping a few times to take photos and have a drink and climbed it in about 15- 20 minutes. Once we reached the top we could see for miles what seemed to be the endless jungle.
Tip: to get the perfect photo and to avoid the crowds you will want to get there early.
Our decent down was a bit scarier than we expected. The steps are small, narrow and uneven. We ended up going down nearly crawling so take your time. We meet up with our guide and he then showed us around to other Mayan ruins. While not as impressive as the big pyramid we still found the mix between jungle and ruins to be stunning.
Overall I highly recommend visiting the Coba Ruins. Just for the sheer fact, you can climb the pyramid and the insane view you get. I would also suggest renting someone to take you around. It affordable, you get to interact with a local and you avoid the heat.
Costs & Logistics
Parking: 50 pesos = $2.50 USD
Entrance Fee: 70 pesos = $3.75 USD
Bicycle Tour 1 hour: 100 Pesos = $5.50 USD
Bicycle rental: 50 pesos = $2.50 USD
How to get there: The Coba Ruins are about 44 kilometers from Tulum or 109 kilometers from Playa del Carmen. The best way to avoid crowds and visit the ruins is via car. We rented a car in Cancun and would recommend it. You can get there early, it’s cheap and the roads are good. You can get to the site via ADO Bus from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum.
When to visit: The best time to visit the Coba ruins are early morning to avoid crowds and the heat. The ruins open at 8 AM.
Know before you go: Wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes if you intend on doing the climb. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.