Coba vs Tulum: pros and cons

Old Dec 17th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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Coba vs Tulum: pros and cons

We are headed to Akumal during Christmas break and want to see Mayan ruins. I haven't found a recent comparison and some friends have given us different opinions. Is it worth the drive to Coba and if we do drive to Coba, should we skip Tulum. I gather there may have been recent changes to the sites that might make a current comparison most apt.
thanks.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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They are very different. Coba is in the jungle and spread out with paths connecting the buildings. You can even rent bikes or a bike taxi. The temples are huge. In May we were still able to climb one of the largest, the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, but there was talk that it would be closed to climbing at some point in the future.

Tulum, up above the sea, is beautiful. It is not wooded and you can see most of the buildings across the open area. If I remember correctly, nearly all of them are roped off. Going down to the beach can be a very welcome break on a hot day.

I'm glad I've seen both ruins. Coba was my must-do on our trip, mostly because of the climbing, as we climbed the Chichen Itza back when it was allowed and it has been a great memory. But if I had to pick between them, Tulum is the one I would go back to. Tough choice.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Do you have to do just one? We had visited Tulum many years ago and this past February visited Coba! I was totally amazed at Coba. They are both so different. I say do them both, so I am obviously of no help in this matter! LOL!
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Actually this IS helpful. I had imagined that doing both would be repetitive. Now I hear that it may not be. We will see if we can fit in both and do Tulum on the hotter day.
Thanks so much!!
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Tulum is a much less sophisticated site, building-wise; it's location, on the bluff above the ocean, is dramatic.
Coba is a major site, not as excavated as others, and pretty important. Stunning.
Go to both!
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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I agree- see both if you can. I love to climb and the bikes at Coba are great. Tulum's setting is gorgeous but the ruins are much less impressive and can't be climbed.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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My photos, blogs, travelogues, and reviews are here if you're interested:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 04:05 AM
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Tulum underwhelming very small beach temple do any of the others Tikal and Palenque are the very best odds are you
do not have time so Coba for me.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 04:27 AM
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BTW, Coba will be about an hour's drive from Akumal-Tulum area, and will take longer to wander around. Tulum is a small site, easily seen in much less time. (Tikal would take a bit more time, as it's in another country, and Palenque of course is in southern Mexico.)

You might consider a full-day bus tour to Chichen Itza (it doesn't take as long to get to as it used to on the newish tollway, but coming from the south adds some time) an important site, well regulated (and a bit reconstructed), and the most visited in the area. The range of architectural styles is very interesting. Most tours are by air-conditioned bus, and many provide lunch: here's one that's pricey, but you get the idea: http://www.tours-cancun.com/cancun/c...za_deluxe.html).

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichen_Itza)
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 04:34 AM
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p.s. You can also see a small site almost right across the street from the Xel Ha park entrance, and there's a new excavation 25 km south of Tulum, Muyil Chunyaxche (http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/dec2002.cfm), where you will most likely not have hoards of tourists.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Coba was a much more impressive ruin to me, we walked around and then took a bicycle taxi back from Nohuch Mul as we were pooped. The driver stopped periodically to rest up (hard and hot work, tip well if you do this) and would point out plants and animals to us.

Ek Balam is another beautiful ruin, slightly visited, not too many tours go there at all and you can climb it as well. Smaller site, but it is north of Valladolid so would be a much longer day.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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We loved Ek Balam - Chichen Itza, not so much, even though we were there 1st thing in the morning and had the place to ourselves. Coba and Tulum are best 1st thing, too, in my opinion.

Have you considered a visit to the Jungle Place?
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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http://www.thejungleplace.com/
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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For the ruins you want to see, I second (third)the suggestion of Ek Balaan; very unique stucco carvings. The site is easy to find, easy to enter from the parking area, and easy to visit. Very laid back compared to Chichen Itza.
http://www.locogringo.com/yucatan/ekbalam.html
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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For me, I preferred Coba over Tulum as well. I loved the jungle setting and the fact that it was less excavated. I enjoyed the history there. Part of it may have been that when we went to Tulum we didn't have the best of guides.

Tulum is beautiful - set over the sea. But it is much smaller and you really don't get quite the same mystique feel that you get at Coba.

However, we did go back to Tulum this past year and had a much better guide and I had a better appreciation for the ruins this time.

If you can, visit both! I am fascinated by the Mayan ruins - and enjoyed both. But if I had to choose, it would be Coba for me.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 08:49 PM
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We loved Coba and only kind of liked Tulum. I would NOT go to Tulum on the hotter day, there is no shade and you will roast. Coba is nicely wooded and would be better if it's hot. Our favorite cenote was nearby.
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