Cobá

Near five lakes and between coastal watchtowers and inland cities, Cobá (pronounced ko-bah) once exercised economic control over the region through a network of at least 16 sacbéob (white-stone roads)—one, measuring 100 km (62 miles), is the longest in the Mayan world. The city covered 70 square km (27 square miles), making it a noteworthy sister to Tikal in northern Guatemala, with which it had close cultural and commercial ties. Cobá is noted for its massive temple-pyramids, including the largest and highest one in northern Yucatán (it stands 138 feet tall). Although often overlooked by visitors who opt for better-known Tulum, Cobá is less crowded, giving you a chance to immerse yourself in ancient culture.

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