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Visiting Coba Ruins Mexico | Everything You Need To Know

Not sure if you need to do a Coba Ruins tour in Mexico or if you should go it alone? I’m not going to lie, Coba Mexico ruins can be a little tricky to get to, so many people choose to do a Coba Ruins tour to save stress.

But with a little planning, it is possible to see Coba Ruins Mexico without doing an organized tour. I’ve done both and if I’m honest I do prefer to do a guided tour of Coba Mexico if I don’t have access to a car because public transport can be a pain. But

You can’t visit this beautiful part of Mexico without seeing at least one Mayan Ruin site! If you are in the Cancun/ Playa Del Carmen/ Tulum area you should go to Coba at least or better still visit Coba and Tulum on the same day. Coba is actually my favorite of all of the Mayan sites I’ve visited. 

In this blog post, you will learn all of the best ways to visit Coba Ruins in Mexico. I have also outlined the different ways to get to Coba from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

Do you need to book a Coba Ruins tour, or can you visit on your own without a guide?

I actually visited Coba Mexico Ruins from Tulum. The hardest part for me was getting there and back unless you have your own transport it can be tricky. But when you are actually at Coba a guide is going to give you a lot of great information, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the experiences, in my opinion. If you do decide to do a tour, do a Tulum and Coba tour.


QUICK TIP: Book your tours, rental cars, and transfers through my local contacts

I’ve been working with Living Dreams Mexico for years and they are who I send all my family and friends to when they visit the Riviera Maya. I really can recommend them enough for private tours and experiences. They have solid 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and Google from almost 4000 reviewers! You can view all their tours here.

If you’re looking for private airport transfers and rental cars then Vanessa and Oliver from Turismo Channel are personal friends of mine and I can 100% recommend them to make an inquiry click here and complete the form. Someone will be in touch within 24 hours.

So of all the Mayan ruins Mexico why visit Coba?

Visiting Coba Ruins Mexico | Everything You Need To Know

Coba Ruins are believed to be one of the most important Mayan Ruins sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is also one of the quieter Mayan Ruin sites in Mexico and a lot of fun to explore. As much or it still isn’t excavated you feel a bit like Indiana Jones discovering it in the jungle. But the best bit for me is that you can explore it on a bike. 

  • Walking around you feel like you are really discovering something so many of the structures are still hidden by trees.
  •  There are three Cenotes within a 10-minute drive of Coba: Choo Ha, Tamchaha and Multun-Ha. Once you have finished exploring the site you can hop in your car () and drive to one of the pools to cool off.
  • As I already mentioned you can hire a bike or a bici taxi (tricycle taxi) so you don’t have to walk.
  • Coba has a Mayan Pyramids that you can still climb!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How to get to Coba Ruins Mexico

Coba isn’t easy to get to unless you rent a car (read this blog post before you rent a car in Mexico) or can afford to splash out on a taxi. If you are on a budget like me then Coba Mayan ruins can be a little trickier to access than the other Mayan ruins in Mexico.

Rent a Car:

If you can this is the mode of transport I would highly recommend. There is so much to explore in the area and rental cars are pretty cheap. Even just renting a car for 24 hours you could see a lot. The roads are very easy to navigate and Coba is so easy to find you really can’t go wrong. If it hadn’t been for the fact I managed to lose my bank card in Guatemala this is what I would have done.

Rental Car charges can start from around $100 per day. I always rent cars from Vanessa in Playa del Carmen 9 times out of 10 the car rental places will scam or rip you off, read this before booking anything, or click here to ask Vanessa for a quote.

Public Transport:

From Cancun or Playa Del Carmen:

Option 1:
Take an ADO bus before 7:30 am from Cancun and change at Tulum or at 9:00 am from Playa Del Carmen. To get back, the bus leaves at 1 pm.

Option 2:
Take a colectivo from Cancun to Playa del Carmen where you will need to then take a second Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (its a lot easier than it sounds).

When you arrive in Tulum take either another colectivo from Tulum to Coba or take the ADO bus at 10:10. The first colectivo leaves after 9 am or as soon as they have at least 3 people wanting to go to Coba.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Mexico ToursClick here to check out the top Mexico tours
Best Mexico Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Mexico
Best Mexico Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Mexico

Coba Ruins Tour Experience

Getting back to Tulum from Coba Ruins can be tricky if you arrived by colectivo as there is no way of knowing when they will be there. I would advise getting the 1 pm ADO bus or taking a taxi back. Or if you are feeling brave you could hitchhike which is what I did…shush don’t tell my Mum and Dad haha.

Coba Ruins Tour in Mexico

Option 3:
Take either a colectivo or the ADO bus to Tulum and then take a taxi to Coba for around 200 pesos.

How to get to Coba from Tulum:

The ADO bus leaves at 10:10 from its terminal and returns at 1 pm. You can also take a Colectivo which will pick you up a few blocks away on the same road. These start at 9 am as soon as there is a minimum of 3 people. To return, I would recommend the 1 pm or 3 pm ADO coach.

Finding the place where the Colectivo picks you up can be tricky so here are some images that show you the spot. The Coba Colectivo isn’t a van it’s a large car that looks more like a taxi. This completely threw me.

Book a Coba Ruins Tour

If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen or Cancun booking a tour to Coba could be your best option, as a tour company will take care of all of your transport to Coba Ruins. You can book a Coba Ruins tour through most hotels and tour agencies and they will normally include a stop at Tulum Ruins. So you actually end up doing a Tulum and Coba tour too as they are so close.  I would highly recommend including a visit to Tulum Ruins if you get the chance.

Tulum Ruins is very different from Coba Ruins, it’s one of the most stunning Mayan Ruins sites I have seen. A Tulum and Coba Tour will cost you around $100 USD from Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.

Interested in a Coba Ruins Tour?

After living in Playa del Carmen for over 3 years I know the best people to trust! Complete this form below including the date you want to go and someone from Tourismo Channel will get back to you within 24 hours. They are my top recommended tour company in The Riviera Maya. You can also combine the Coba tour with visiting other local sights, just ask for more information.

Quick Tip: You can also book tours from Living Dreams Mexico here:

Chichen Itza

How to see the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico. Coba Ruins Tour

How to get around Coba Ruins in Mexico

You have three options when visiting the site:

1.) Rent a bike for 60 pesos
2.) Rent a bici taxi
3.) Walk

You will also have the option of hiring a guide to show you around the site when you arrive.

Coba Ruins Tour. How to Get To Coba Ruins

On a bike, it will take around 1.5 hours to cover the site and about 2.5 if you are on foot. The journey is mostly under the shade of the jungle and if you go early in the morning it is a very nice commute.

Quick Tip: View my full Mexico packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Mexico Essentials shopping list here.

What to see and do in Coba Ruins

Inside the Coba Ruins, there are three main sites open to the public all connected by sacbéob (Mayan ceremonial “white roads”). It’s a nice ride/ walk in between sites.

The three main areas in Coba Ruins are:

  • Conjunto Pinturas
  • Nohoch Mul structures (where the main pyramid is located)
  • Macanxoc Group
Coba Ruins Tour in Mexico

The highlight for me was getting to climb up the Coba Mayan Pyramid. Standing at 138 feet tall, the 120 steps to climb may not look that difficult but do issue caution and hold on to the rope in the middle. The view from the top over the jungle is magical!

Take a look at the video including exploring the Tulum and Coba Ruins sites.

Can I Still Climb The Coba Pyramid in 2024

Although they did stop people from climbing the Coba pyramid in the wake of COVID. As of December 2023, the good news is that Yes, you can still climb the main Coba Pyramid.

However, it’s always a good idea to check for the most current information before your visit. Policies regarding climbing the pyramids can change due to various factors like preservation efforts or safety concerns.

Climbing the Nohoch Mul pyramid was a big highlight for me when visiting Coba Mexico ruins, as it’s one of the few Mayan pyramids in Mexico where climbing is still allowed. It offers a pretty unique and exhilarating experience, along with stunning views from the top.

Need Somewhere to Stay in Tulum?

I wrote a guide to the Top Boutique Hotels in TulumWhere to Stay in Tulum, and The Best Hostels in Tulum, Mexico.

Before booking, I always check,, and for the best deals on accommodations. Here are my picks:

Top Budget Pick: Chill Inn
Top Boutique Pick: Elements Tulum Boutique Hotel
Top Resort: Nah Uxibal Villa and Casitas
Top Luxury Pick: Nomade Tulum

Are you traveling in the Riviera Maya? Click to read my guides to accommodation in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Holbox, and Cancun.

Mexico Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Mexico?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Mexico which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Mexico on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Mexico?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Mexico?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Mexico tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!

If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Pin For Later!

Visiting Coba Ruins in Mexico


Poema Do

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

Hello Claire, Hope today finds you well. I am fortunate to have just discovered your blog, love it! My sister and I will be traveling to Playa Del Carmen mid February. We plan to take a tour of the Ruins. I do have one question if I may? I have decided on using a tour company called Living Dreams Mexico. Hmm, but the choices????? We are considering either, Dream Coba tour, Dream Chechen-Itza or Discover Tulum and Coba. Yikes, they all look good. If you have any thoughts on our quandry and the time to shoot me a response, I would much appreciate it. Thanks so much all the best Suzanne Bridge

Suzanne Bridge

Thursday 17th of January 2019

Hello Claire, Hope today finds you well. I am fortunate to have just discovered your blog, love it! My sister and I will be traveling to Playa Del Carmen mid February. We plan to take a tour of the Ruins. I do have one question if I may? I have decided on using a tour company called Living Dreams Mexico. Hmm, but the choices????? We are considering either, Dream Coba tour, Dream Chechen-Itza or Discover Tulum and Coba. Yikes, they all look good. If you have any thoughts on our quandry and the time to shoot me a response, I would much appreciate it. Thanks so much all the best Suzanne Bridge

Claire Summers

Thursday 17th of January 2019

Ah amazing you will love it here! OK so I would do tulum and coba. Chichen itza is amazing... But coba is still my favorite ❤️ tulum is very commercial but oh so pretty! Coba you get to climb on the ruins and ride a bike through the jungle. So much fun!