Last weekend a few of us rented a car here in Playa del Carmen and headed down the highway to the ruined Mayan city of Coba, about 90 minutes away. Only a few sections have been cleared from the jungle, but it’s estimated that the city limits stretched as much as eighty or ninety square kilometres.
While there are what seems like thousands of cycles available to rent (and dozens of persistent tour guides and cycle taxi drivers), we opted to walk around the ruins instead. The key, as always, was getting there just after opening time when the crowds were fewer, the temperatures cooler and the entire experience far more enjoyable than later in the day.
The highlight for most visitors is climbing to the top of the Ixmoja pyramid, over forty metres high and jutting out of the dense surrounding jungle. While that was indeed pretty impressive, for me Coba wasn’t just about giant lumps of rock.
We almost had the quiet Macanxoc group of ruins to ourselves, with plenty of time to wander around and see what we stumbled across. In this case, a tiny frog crouched beside a tree, seemingly oblivious to my presence as I rudely shoved a camera in its face.