How to Visit the Coba Ruins from Tulum
Ahhhh. There is soo much conflicting information on the web about how to visit the Coba Ruins. Can you still climb the Coba Ruins? Is there a collectivo to the Coba Ruins? How can you visit the Coba Ruins from Tulum (without a rental car or crazy expensive tour)? Luckily I got alllll the answers for ya right here.
Daniel and I did a day trip to the Coba Ruins and nearby cenotes and had an awesome time. Here’s a step by step guide on how to visit the Coba Ruins from Tulum!
How to visit the Coba Ruins
First things first, how do you get there? There are plenty of options on how to visit the Coba Ruins, you can take a collectivo, bus, or taxi to them from Tulum.
Transport by Collectivo
The first thing that comes to mind is grabbing a collectivo on the street right? A lot of forums asking about how to visit the Coba Ruins mention a collectivo, but with no definitive information. Well, there IS a collectivo to the Coba Ruins form Tulum, but it’s probably not your best option. The collectivo is located on the corner of Tulum Ave (the main highway) and Calle Osiris Nte.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure about either the price or times that it runs. It was definitely there early in the morning around 7 am when we were headed to the bus station, and is easy to spot because it’s a large van with Tulum – Coba written on it.
The collectivo is only a 5 minute walk (if that) from the bus station, so my advice is just check it out on your way to the bus. If it’s there, jump on, if not, head to the bus station. (And if you do try it out, please comment below with the info!)
Transport by Bus
Right now, going by bus from Tulum is your best option for how to get to the Coba Ruins. I highly recommend getting the first bus out at 7:20 am to avoid the crowds. This bus leaves from the Terminal Autobuses Tulum ADO station. The brand is Mayab, which is “second class” and just means it’s a little cheaper. The cost for the one way ticket to the Coba Ruins (you’ll be on the Valladolid Route) is 50 pesos per person and the drive takes about an hour.
If you don’t want to get on the 7:20am bus, there are more out about every hour. The only problem is the second class Mayab busses aren’t listed online.
Your best bet is to go to the ADO bus station (it’s near all the bars and restaurants in Tulum) and check out the time tables they have on the wall to find the best one for your schedule. You can also ask your hostel to call and ask for you.
Getting back to Tulum from the Coba Ruins by bus is similar. There’s a storefront selling ADO tickets right near the entrance to the parking lot for the ruins. Here they’ll tell you the schedule. There’s a first class bus back to Tulum from the ruins at 3:10 for 86 pesos per person. Or, you can wait until 5 pm or 7 pm for the second class Mayab bus.
Transport by Taxi
Don’t feel like dealing with buses and timetables? Then you can also go to the Coba Ruins from Tulum by taxi. Obviously this is the most expensive option, but also the easiest. I know the taxis from Coba to Tulum have a set price of 450 pesos for the trip, so I assume the way out from Tulum to Coba should be a similar price. Of course, always try to negotiate!
Cost to Visit the Coba Ruins
The entry fee for the Coba ruins is 70 pesos per person. There’s also a “video” fee. If you want to bring in a go pro or shoot video, you’ll have to pay an extra 45 pesos for it. Photos are still free (for now…) It’s pretty weird, but I don’t really mind because the money is going to support the upkeep of the site.
When to Go to the Coba Ruins
Like I said above, GO EARLY! The ruins get pretty crowded, especially on the top of the pyramid. There’s not much space and of course everyone wants to climb it. If you want some time to snap a pic or enjoy the view in peace, you need to be at the ruins around opening time at 8am.
The most magical part of the ruins is wandering the secluded tree lined walkways and exploring the different sites, imagining what life was like when it was a bustling Mayan city. Being packed in with 100 people while you do it is gonna ruin it a bit. We spent 8:30 to 11 am in the ruins, and when we left the lines to enter were long and it was a madhouse.
Exploring the Coba Ruins
First things first, YES, you can still climb the Coba pyramid. A lot of rumors say this ended in January 2018, but we just climbed it on January 20, 2018. It will probably eventually be closed off to tourists, but it isn’t yet.
The large Mayan pyramid is called Nohoch Mul, and is really impressive at 137 feet tall. Honestly it wasn’t too bad to climb (I did it in flip flops) and a little extra effort is so worth the amazing view of the surrounding jungle from the top.
My second favorite area of the Coba Ruins was the Grupo Macanxoc. It’s far down a green tunnel of trees which makes for a super peaceful walk, and is one of the most interesting sites there. The paths are super easy to follow to every part of the ruins, and it’s not difficult to see it all without a map or guide (although you can hire one at the entrance to tell you more about the site).
There are a bunch of different ways to explore the Coba Ruins: by foot, by bike, or by cart. We chose to explore by foot, but they are really big. The Mayan pyramid you can climb, Nohoch Mul, is about 2 km from the entrance, and other parts of the park are even farther. But, whats the rush? I’m glad we did it on foot, especially because we rented bikes later to visit the nearby cenotes.
If you do choose it rent a bike, the cost is 50 pesos per person. There are also bike carts, where you sit on the front and a man drives you around. These are 150 pesos for an hour and 20 minute tour.
What To Do After the Ruins
We were hungry when we left the Coba Ruins, so we stopped for an early lunch. Little did I know I was about to eat one of the BEST meals! Definitely don’t miss the El Faison restaurant in the parking lot of the ruins.
When you’re there order the poc-chuc, a traditional Mayan pork dish. It was honestly one of the most delicious pieces of pork I’ve ever had. I just pointed to a picture on the menu cause it looked good, and it totally blew me away. It was really flavorful and came with a bean dip, chips, guac, tortillas, and rice. Try it, you’ll love it.
After the ruins, head to the nearby cenotes! There’s lots of info to share on these so I wrote a separate post, but you can read it here to learn how to combine the Coba Ruins with three cenotes for a perfect day trip from Tulum!
I hope this guide on how to visit the Coba Ruins form Tulum is helpful for every budget minded traveler 🙂 Enjoy the ruins!
All my love,
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