The Coba Archaeological Zone is a nice contrast to Tulum. They pair well for a one day trip. There are many less visitors and the ruins is spread over several kilometers. There are gravel and rock paths through the forest to the buildings and the buildings are only partially cleared of the growth. It feels like an adventure where something unknown could be behind the next tree.
Most people seemed to either hire a guide with a 3 passenger tricycle, or rent a junker bicycle. Much to the disgust of the guides, I rented a bike for 25 pesos (about $2.30. I enjoyed the ride a lot - it is the first time I have been on a bike this year. Most of the people seemed to go only to the largest pyramid and maybe stop at a couple of other sites along that route.
At 126 feet, Nohoc Mul pyramid is the tallest in the Yucatan. It is very steep, there are only 120 steps, so they average over 12 inches high and are often not very deep.
I had been training for the climb and started with no trouble. When I got a bit over half way up, the condition of the steps was poorer, and I was ready for a brief rest. While resting I looked at the steep route back down and began to realize that the bad part would be going down. Some of the people were even freezing up. It looked to be over a 45 degree slope.
I decided that there was no point in going all the way to the top.
The 44 square mile Coba site dates from about 100 AD until sometime between 1200-1500 AD.
copyright 2006 by Keith Stokes.