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.
Where is Coba – Mexico?
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’ then 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 Choo-Ha 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 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 this detailed post.
How to get to Coba, Mexico
Getting to Cobà by car
I always suggest to rent a car and drive around because you have the freedom to visit in your own terms, without having 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 with 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 map or Maps.me, a map that you can use offline as well it’s really easy to move around without getting lost.
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.
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 to 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$
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 you 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’.
Budget hotel option in Cobà
Hotel Sac Be’ Cobà > 30$
If you are not interested in luxury but still love nice and cozy, Sac be’ Coba is a cute little property located on the main road on your way to Coba’.
Book a tour
If you prefer to join an organized tour you can choose among many options. There are in fact many tours that combine different destinations, for half days 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.
For Further Reading