Mayan Ruins-Chichen Itza vs. Coba and Tulum

Old Nov 4th, 2002, 12:39 PM
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Mayan Ruins-Chichen Itza vs. Coba and Tulum

Staying on Cozumel in January and want to see the Mayan ruins. Planning to rent a car in Playa del Carmen and drive to Tulum and then possibly to Coba. But, I think Chichen Itza looks better than Coba but I know it is a 3 hour drive from PDC. Is is worth going there in place of Coba? I still want to go to Tulum so we can do some snorkeling there and at Axmul and Xel Ha as well. Thanks for your help.
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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It's been 10 years since I visited Chichen, Coba and Tulum, and maybe things have changed, but I would go to Coba and Tulum and skip Chichen. There's no doubt Chichen is amazing, and the most dramatic of the three, but it's a long drive and there are plenty of interesting things to see at Coba. The pyramid at Coba is, if I remember correctly, taller than the one at Chichen. It's steeper too. The Coba area is not as excavated as Chichen but it also doesn't have that theme park feel Chichen can have. At Coba you almost feel like you're stepping into the 1800's, at least I did, but the area might have changed.
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 01:50 PM
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thanks for your help. I have heard the same about Chichen Itza. I also heard Coba was very much less "uncovered" and commercialized.
Old Nov 4th, 2002, 04:49 PM
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Hello Jan,
Jim did a very good job of painting a picture of what Coba is like.
I have been to all three, and they are very different from each other.
You might also consider doing Chichen Itza the way we did from Cozumel.
There is a trip leaving in the morning from the airport in Cozumel which flies directly to Chichen Itza. It gets you there earlier than most other day trippers coming from Cancun, and with plenty of time to view the ruins at a leisurely pace with a guide. It then whisks you back to Cozumel in the early afternoon. It was about $125 pp three or four years ago and was well worth it. (You would probably pay almost that much by the time you did the ferry, car rental, etc.)
Tulum is breathtaking, and Coba is just like a step back in time.
We did not find the snorkeling at Xel Ha to be nearly as good as any of the sites on Cozumel. (Crowded, expensive and Disneyland-like to boot.)
Don't forget about San Gervasio ruins on Cozumel. We were pleasantly surprised at their extent and the guide wa got for our tour was great. It's worth a few hours as a side trip, but all of the ruins are brutally hot - even Tulum - so bring LOTS of water.
Have a great time!
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 06:14 AM
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Hi, Just wanted to let people know something about Chichen Itza before they start booking tours there. I just returned from Cancun, took a 3 hour bus ride one way to Chichen. Best thing we did on the trip. It was awesome! We climbed the pyramid, it wore us out! Our tour guide said this was the last year tourists can climb it, starting Jan. 1, it will be roped off. So, if you can go somewhere else that allows climbing, I would go there. If you do decide to go to Chichen, book your tour with Greyline Bus tours, they did a fantastic job teaching us the culture and history of the Mayans. We also stopped in a little village of Mayans and were fed at a hotel buffet outside of Chichen.
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