Must-See Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Mexico

The Mayan Riviera is synonymous with two things: cenotes and Mayan ruins. My first time in Tulum was in 2015 where I wrote about this beautiful bohemian town just south of Cancun. On that trip, I visited the famous and historic Chichen Itza which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

My second time, I decided to check out two more ruins: Tulum and Coba.

Tulum ruins are located on a cliff that overlooks the ocean. It’s a spectacular view and I understand why the Mayans selected this location to build their city which was built in the last thirteenth century. The site is well preserved and expansive. It functioned as “a seaport, trading mainly in turquoise and jade”.[1] There are stairs on the side of the cliff where you can access the beach so pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic at the ruins.

Coba ruins are located within the Mexican jungle. The ruins are spread across the jungle- you can either walk or bike through the area. Bike rentals are available at the entrance. This was my favorite ruin because you had to explore through vines and trees to find the structures playing archaeologist for the day. The site has not been fully excavated or reconstructed like Chichen Itza or Tulum and archaeologists suspect there are more ruins to be found[2]. It’s also not as popular as the other sites so it’s less crowded and you can also climb one of the pyramids which is 42 feet tall with 120 steep steps. A definite hidden gem which I strongly suggest visiting.

TULUM RUINS

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COBA RUINS

[1] http://www.tulumruins.net/
[2] https://www.cancunadventure.net/mayanruins/coba.php
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