The Complete Guide to the Coba Ruins and Surroundings: Prices and Info [2023]

The Coba ruins, more properly named the Coba archaeological site, are one of the most interesting among the Prehispanic Mayan sites and one of the most popular near Tulum and the Playa del Carmen. In this post, I will tell you all you need to know to visit this spectacular Mayan City.

One of the most visited sites in the Yucatan Peninsula besides Chichen Itza and Tulum, the Coba site is pretty awesome as it’s located at only a 1-hour drive from Tulum and right by two pretty lagoons where the sleepy town of Coba stretches out.

Like all the other Mayan ruins, Coba is completely immersed in the Mayan jungle and the temples are all scattered around which makes it a lot of fun to walk or bike to find them out.

Walking into the jungle path is like entering the ancient Mayan world and going back in time. Although the ruins of Coba are quite a popular attraction to visit either from Playa del Carmen, Canun, or Tulum, it is not even close to the crowd and the vendors you would find in Chichen Itza.

Visiting Coba ruins is still very enjoyable whether you are alone or with friends or family. It’s one of the most kids-friendly among the archeological sites, both because of the shades offered by the thick jungle protecting you from the hot sun, and also because you can rent a bike or a cart to take you around.

Coba Nohoch Mul Piramid

The popular main pyramid, Nohoch Mul, towering over a thick and overwhelming jungle is also another reason why you would want to visit.

It is very easy to find it, as it is situated right in the town of Cobà a tiny village with so much to offer, as I explain in my guide.

As you drive along the lagoon, once you arrive in town, you find the entrance of the site right in front of you. You can leave the car in the parking lot (60 Mxn – 3 USD) and purchase the ticket at the counter inside (100 MXN – 5 USD).

Nohoch Mul Temple
Temple of Nohoch Mul – Coba ruins

How to visit the Cobà ruins?

As I mentioned before the Coba ruins are quite spread out in a vast territory and from the entrance to the main tower there is about 2 km. Therefore you have a choice of transportation to get there.

Walking around the Coba ruins

Coba tricicles

This ancient Mayan site is spread out throughout the vast territory and it is kind of a walk. It’s pleasant and mainly in the shade of the beautiful secular trees, but it can still be tiring if you are not used to walking, or the heat, especially with the humidity rate.

Also keep in mind that it closes at 4.30 pm, so if you get there in the afternoon make sure you calculate the time well. The last time in Coba I went I rented a bike because I only had 1 hour to explore everything. It was fun!

Coba bike price

Exploring Coba ruins by bike

The good news is that if you don’t like walking you have other options, one of which is by renting a bike. The trails are wide and flat so renting a bike makes it very easy and much faster than walking. Rental cost MXN 50 per person.

Coba main temple surrounded by trees

Get around Coba ruins by bici-taxi

It’s called bici-taxi, an even more comfortable way to get around the place. It’s a sort of cart with two seats in the front while the driver (who has to pedal) sits behind. The cart will only take you only to the main pyramid and back. Rental cost Mx 140 per cart.

For families with small kids especially, this is your solution: kids won’t get tired and they will have so much fun.

cart in coba

Should I hire a guide to visit the Coba’ ruins?

At the entrance, you will also have the option of hiring a local guide, which I always recommend just to get the basic information on Mayan history, from what little is known.

Just bear in mind that many pieces of information are just suppositions from different historians who sometimes make broad interpretations. This is at least what I have learned in all these years. Still, I find it enlightening to know the different versions.

If you don’t wish to have a guide, before you start your pleasant walk in the jungle, you will find a map with indications on where to go.

You won’t get lost. There is one at every site.

What to see in the ruins of Coba

Nohoch Mul Pyramid

Coba Nohoch Mul Piramid

The main tower,  42mt tall (137ft), is without a doubt, the highlight of the Coba ruins and one of the few high pyramids left that you can still climb, although at your own risk.

There is a rope all along the stairs which you can hold on to to make you feel more comfortable. (during this pandemic time it’s not possible to climb it though, but only temporary)

If you have vertigo, like me, just don’t look down. Look straight at the next step and you will conquer it one at a time; once you reach the top it will make it all worth it.

I find this site very special for being so spread out and within a thick, lush jungle. Although it is very touristic and you will find quite a crowd visiting, it doesn´t take away the charm of the original ancient city.

Coba Temple

Since I am not an expert in Mayan history, yet, I am not going to offer you any historical details about the Coba ruins here and I’ll leave it to you to discover through the expert guides at the site or specific books that can introduce you to this fascinating world, like for example Popul Vuh, considered a sacred book on the Mayan history and traditions, an interesting introduction to the Mayan mystery.  

However, I would like to mention here for you a few highlights to keep in mind when visiting the Coba ruins:

Coba ball game ring

The Coba group

A few constructions are situated at the entrance including the ball court, an important element in the Mayan religion, for the so much represented and talked about ceremonies.

Coba map

Coba Stelae

Its hieroglyphics reveal a great amount of information about the life in Coba’, their dresses, ceremonies, and their society in general. An interesting source of information for archaeologists and historians.

Sac Be

The limestone white paved roads were built to connect the different settlements and cities for commercial purposes.

Having said that I would suggest you should do what I always do when I visit:  just walk in, look up and look around you, breathe deep and let it all come to you. It’s magical.

Coba ruins entrance fee

The entry fee is 100 MXN per person

A guide costs around 500 pesos (USD ), for up to 4 people

Coba ruins facilities

Coba drinks
Where you can buy drinks in Coba site if you are thirsty

There you will find clean toilets and restaurants where you can purchase your drinks; it is always recommendable to bring water with you even though inside the site, by the main tower, you will find a small refreshment kiosk (but no bathrooms).

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09/14/2023 11:05 am GMT
Nohoch Mul male sitting

When to visit Coba’s ruins

The site Opening Hours are from 9 to 4.30 (the last entry is at 3 pm)

I highly recommend being there as soon as possible to beat crowds and heat, especially in the summer, it can be exhausting, especially in the summer.

Coba ball game

What to pack when you visit the Coba’ ruins

Road to Coba entrance

How to get to the Coba ruins from Tulum (bus, car, tour)

You have many different options to get to Coba’.

Reach Coba from Tulum by bus

Take a second-class bus Mayab which leaves at 7:20 AM. from the ADO bus terminal. (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.

Coba temple surrounded by trees

Reach Coba’ by Colectivo from Tulum

The Colectivo is a minivan, the preferred means of transportation by locals who don’t have a car.

There are collectives (or combis), that take you from Tulum to Coba for 70MXN. However, be mindful that they leave only when they fill the van, so they don’t have a precise schedule.

If you want to try the experience you will find them waiting for passengers at the intersection of Tulum Avenue and Calle Osiris.

For the return, make sure you know the BUS scheduled in case you don’t find any colectivo available, especially if you are not planning to spend the night in Coba’.

Nohoch Mul ruin

Getting to Coba from Playa del Carmen

To get to Coba from Playa del Carmen you will have to travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum which is a 1-hour bus and from there choose among the above-mentioned option.

It is kind of a nightmare and I would either go by car or join a tour instead. This way you avoid wasting your time and will make the most of it, instead.

Coba ball Game

Getting to Coba from Cancun

If going to Coba from Playa del Carmen by bus is quite a trip, imagine from Cancun which is even farther away. Getting from Cancun to Tulum is easy but if you have to continue your trip to Coba, it’s a long way, Therefore, unless you are As I mentioned before a rental car would be ideal in this case.

And if you are worried about renting a car in Mexico, don’t. I have got you covered.

ReadDriving in Mexico: all you need to know and The honest truth about renting a car in Mexico

and then book your car and have fun!

Best Car Rental Deals w/ Free Cancellation, Compare & Save! | Discover Cars

Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!

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.

I would recommend a tour if you are not getting a car and you are coming from Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Here below some options:

Private tour of Tulum and Coba from anywhere on the Riviera Maya

Coba and Punta Laguna tour

Tulum Coba Cenote and Playa del Carmen

Clouds over the Lagoon
Lagoon in Coba

Going to Coba by car

I always suggest renting a car and driving around because you have the freedom to visit on 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 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.

Nohoch Mul Pyramid close up

How to visit Coba’s cenotes

The small village of Coba is blessed with a strategic location and is rich with spectacular natural resources, among which 3 cenotes happen to be close to one another.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes and only in the Yucatan peninsula, there are around 6000 of them scattered around.

They offer a refreshing experience, especially after a long and exhausting walk in the humidity and heat of an archeological site.

If you want to know more about the origins of a cenote please check my guide to the cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula for more detailed information.

Coba Road

How to get from the Coba Ruins to Coba Cenotes

Unless you travel around Mexico by rental car, which I always recommend, the only way how to get to Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha cenote is either by bike or by taxi as there is no public transportation.

You can find a couple of rental shops by the entrance to Coba Ruins, no reservation is required.

The road is safe and flat and there is no traffic at all. It’s around 7 km to get there only.

Cenote Tankach-Ha

Cenote tancach ha

The first Cenote is Tankach-Ha, 20m deep.

There is a platform with 5m and 8m jumps, from which you can test your courage.

Cenote Choo-Ha

Choo ha cenote

Choo-Ha, the second one, closer to the entrance, has a different shape and a maximum depth of only 10m; you cannot jump from here as the ceiling is quite low, but it has a beautiful configuration with a stalagmite and stalactite sticking out in the middle of the water.

Cenote Multum – ha

The third one is Multun – ha, a bit further up the main road.

Multun Ha

Just follow the signs, and don’t feel lost if it seems like you never get there.

It is a white gravel road in the jungle that leads you right to the entrance.

Among the Coba’ cenotes, this one is the deepest, at 32m/90 ft., though there is no high platform to jump off, since the ceiling is quite low here, too. The entrance looks like a well, and it feels a bit scary to think you are so deep down into the earth.

Coba Cenotes Opening Hours

The three cenotes of Coba open from 9 to 6, every day.

Coba’ cenotes entry fees

100 MXN (5USD approx) per person per each cenote

To know more about Coba’s cenotes, check out my full guide.

Multun ha

Where to stay in Cobà (with rates)

Top Luxury Hotel in Cobà

Coqui Coqui > 400$

Coqui Coqui

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.

Check prices on

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 

Budget hotel option in Cobà

Hotel Itza Coba

Itza Coba hotel pool
Hotel Coba Itza
Hotel Itza Coba

This is where I stayed. It’s a cute property for budget travelers who love stylish decor and a clean room. It was perfect. The staff is also super friendly and warm.

Check prices on 

Where to eat in Coba

There is not much choice for eating in Coba but during my 3 days stay I had great food and my favorite places were:

El Cocodrillo, at a few steps from the ruin, serving great local food and delicious refreshing natural juices

El Cocodrilo Restaurant

Chile Picante – local food on a terrace from where you can enjoy a lovely sunset ( watch for the mosquitos)

Cile Picante terrace
Terrace from Chile Picante

El Encanto – cute small cafe, recently opened with great coffee and delicious homemade fresh dishes. The managers Jesus and Maria will take good care of you.

El Encanto coffe shop

Coqui Coqui – an upscale and uptight restaurant but not necessarily overpriced. Gourmet Mexican cuisine.


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