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If you are planning to visit Coba – Mexico, in this complete guide to Coba you will find all you need to know about this spectacular destination full of things to do besides climbing the towering Coba pyramid, practical tips, and much more.
Coba is a small town, mainly known for one of the Coba ruins from which it gets its name, or vice-versa.
Only a few know, however, that you can find other special spots worth visiting around the area that will make your trip even more fulfilling.
But where is Coba in Mexico, first of all?
The small village of Coba’ is located about 1 hour inland from Tulum, which makes it a very easy one-day tour from the quaint popular beach destination. If you are coming from Playa del Carmen or Cancun it is a bit more remote, but you can still make it in one day. Here below I am suggesting different ways to visit.
Of course, if you are on a road trip, Coba’ is a must-see destination to include in your itinerary. The town of Coba revolves around a soothing lagoon, around which they have built a nice wooden promenade.
A lovely walk to spot crocodiles; just mind the hot sun.
All along the shore, you will see simple local restaurants and local arts-and-crafts shops, where you can restore and chill while looking at the peaceful lagoon, before heading off to the next stop.
There is a nice t-shirt and tapestry shop which I am very fond of because it shows the creativity of local boys who are making their living out of their own art.
Their paintings represent Mayan art and I believe it is a lovely and original souvenir to bring home, besides helping the local communities.
Things to do in Coba
You will be surprised to know that there is much more to see in Coba than just the Coba ruins.
So much so that I normally suggest you spend one night there, if you want to make the most of it.
Coba archaeological sites: right in the middle of the town
Right by the lagoon and the ADO bus stop, you will see the entrance of the Mayan Archeological site of Coba, most commonly known as Coba ruins.
How to visit the Coba’ ruins: practical information
- Entry Fee: from 65 pesos (about 4 USD) and it decreases according to the number of people in your party. You can check that information on a spreadsheet at the ticket counter.
- Opening hours: from 8 to 5 but if you wish to stay longer until 7.30 you can do so by paying 220 pesos per person. You also have the opportunity to go early morning from 6 am for the same 220 pesos but you would need to book in advance and have a minimum of 5 people.
- Hiring a guide: Certified guides are available at the entrance and will be happy to show you around and share historical and cultural information. They have established rates, around 500 pesos (USD ), for up to 4 people.
- What to bring: water, good walking shoes (better if hiking shoes), mosquito repellent (ecological), sunscreen,
You can read more information in this thorough guide on the Coba ruins. You will learn what’s the best way to enjoy it.
Check out the nearby Coba cenotes
A few people know that in the proximity of the archeological site you can take a plunge in 3 cenotes. They are all amazing: Cenotes Tankach Ha, Cenote ChooHa, and Cenote Multun Ha, about 3 km away.
They are very easy to reach, better if you have a car. If not you can either get a taxi o rent a bike.
Those are amazing examples of cave cenotes, the getaway to the underworld for the ancient Maya civilization. I wouldn’t miss them for the world.
Check out my detailed guide to the 3 incredible Coba cenotes, where I explain how to get there and more practical information.
Visit Punta Laguna
This hidden treasure of the Yucatan is definitely a must if you love nature. The expert local guides will take you for a walk in the jungle to look for the spider monkey and if you are lucky, the howling monkeys. You can also check out a cenote and have a boat ride in the lagoon.
Find out more about Punta Laguna in my detailed post.
How to get to Coba, Mexico
Getting to Cobà by car
I always suggest renting a car and driving around because you have the freedom to visit on your own terms, without the pressure of the tight schedules that groups normally have. I love to drive around a place and find new corners to discover, for as long as I want.
If you are new to driving in Mexico, I have written a useful post with tips and interesting information that might be useful as there are a couple of things you need to know and need to be careful about.
Nowadays with google Maps or Maps.me, a map that you can use offline as well, it’s really easy to move around without getting lost.
Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!
Getting to Coba by bus from Tulum
From the ADO bust terminal, the first bus in the morning is the second-class company Mayab which leaves at 7:20 AM. (The ticket costs MXN 50)
There are later busses as well but I suggest you should get to Coba early, both because this way you manage to visit both the Coba ruins and the Coba cenotes but also because it’s extremely hot later in the morning and the archeological site would be overcrowded with groups. The ride to Coba village takes about an hour.
The return bus to Tulum leaves Coba at 3 PM (first-class bus ADO), and Mayab leaves at 5 PM.
Very Important to know that you can check the ADO schedule online but the Mayab schedule is not published so you need to ask the ticket office at the bus station. Please always double-check the time I gave you because they might change.
Where to stay in Cobà (with rates)
As I mentioned, Coba’ is an easy one-day tour from Tulum, but if you wish to take it even easier and explore the countryside you may decide to stay here for a couple of nights. Here below I am including some options on where to stay in Coba
Top Luxury Hotel in Cobà
Coqui Coqui > 400$
This an exquisite high-end property for the sophisticated traveler who is looking for elegance and tranquility. Located at the very end of the main road of Cobà right on the lagoon.
I consider Coqui Coqui a retreat more than a hotel, a place to lose yourself and relax in the romantic and elegant hideaway, enjoying the stunning view of the sunsets and being carried away by the soothing sight of the lagoon at your feet. The only risk is that you will never want to leave.
Mid-range price hotel in Cobà
Aldea Coba > 140 $
If you love luxury and beauty but are not particularly interested in breaking the bank. This is the hotel for you. A relatively new property (2017) boasts spacious and nicely decorated rooms in a spectacular jungle garden. Hard to beat for that price. According to previous guests, service is also impeccable. Located on the main road on your way to Coba’.
👉 Check prices on Booking.com
Budget hotel option in Cobà
Hotel Itza Coba > 60 $
This is where I stayed. It’s a cute property for budget travelers who love the stylish decor and a clean room. It was perfect. The staff is also super friendly and warm.
👉 Check prices on Booking.com
Book a tour
If you prefer to join an organized tour you can choose from many options. There are in fact many tours that combine different destinations, for half days and one full day.
They almost always come with a guide which I find useful when you are visiting a historic place and in general to know about the local culture and society.
Coba travel guide FAQ
Is Coba Mexico worth visiting?
Yes, Coba is one of the most beautiful Mayan Sites in the Yucatan peninsula and one of the few pyramids that you can actually climb and enjoy an amazing view.
How much time do you need at Coba ruins?
At least a couple of hours to visit the Coba Mayan site without rushing it.
What can you do at Coba ruins?
You can walk around the deep jungle through the Mayan site and secular plants or you can rent a bike to make it faster and easier. In case you have kids or for any reason, you can’t or don’t want to walk, you can hire a tricycle and have somebody take you around.
What is better Chichen Itza or Coba?
There is no answer to that. They are a completely different experience. Chichen-Itza is majestic and huge and it’s a Unesco heritage site and one of the world’s seven wonders and therefore worth visiting at least once in your life. But it’s very crowded and with a lot of vendors which can be annoying and take away the mysticism of the Mayan old cities.
Coba has fewer temples and is all spread out in a thick jungle which is quite an experience to explore.
There are no vendors inside the site and fewer people.
What is better Tulum or Coba?
Same as above, two different experiences. Tulum is on the sea, which makes for incredible breathtaking views and postcard-worthy pictures. It gets very crowded though.
Why is Coba closed?
Coba is not officially closed. There is a conflict going on between the government and the ejido, the families who own the land where the site is. So now, even though on the official government page it’s written that Coba is closed, it is actually open and managed by locals.
How much does it cost to visit Coba ruins?
How far is Tulum from Coba ruins?
It’s about 60 km.
What is Coba known for?
The spectacular Mayan Ruins with the Nooch-Mul pyramid and the spectacular cenotes.
For Further Reading
- 2-day Yucatan Itinerary: A Short Road Trip
- Tulum Travel Guide 2023 – What You Must Know Before Traveling
- The complete guide to Coba – Mexico
- The Complete Guide to the Coba Ruins and Surroundings: Prices and Info 
- How to visit the 3 Coba cenotes – an unmissable experience!
- The ultimate guide to Punta Laguna, Mexico – the spider monkeys sanctuary
- The unique Akumal Turtle Beach Travel Guide
- How to swim with whale sharks in Cancun
More pictures of Coba
About the Author
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican permanent Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.