Coba Ruins & Xel-ha, Mexico

Another tour booked through Experiencias Xcaret and the perfect blend of culture and activity!

The first part of this tour starts out at Coba, an ancient Maya city. Due to its remote location (only a short drive from our hotel though), the site is not as popular as other archaeological sites in Mexico like Chichen Itza.

It’s “unpopularity” actually means you can still climb some of the structures for a totally different and unique perspective.

Coba’s claim to fame is the largest network of stone causeways in the ancient Mayan world. Over 50 of these roads have been discovered at the site, with 16 of them open to the public. The best way to explore is by bicycle – the rental cost was included in the price of our tour – alternatively you can rent a Maya taxi (and have someone do the pedaling for you) or you can walk.

The main attraction at Coba is Nohoch Mul. The structure is 42 meters tall and was the heart of the city – it’s also the tallest pyramid in Mexico. After a leisurely ride through the surrounding forest we tackled the 120 stone steps…in hindsight, I really shouldn’t have raced up it as if it were a sprint! The view from the top though is incredible, and it’s only when you scale back down that you realise how big (and steep) it actually is – no wonder there’s a safety rope in the middle!

An even more leisurely ride back to the entrance followed – we were all pretty knackered by now – and we were given a little free time to explore some of the other ruins Coba has to offer. We stocked up on drinks – all part of the tour – and headed back to our coach for the next installment…Xel-ha!

Xel-ha is a natural water park on the Riviera Maya coastline. You can swim and snorkel your way through the lazy river (which is far from lazy!) plus various caves and cenotes. Word of warning; take care in the caves, they’re pretty shallow and responsible for the majority of our bruising! For those interested in “top bombing” there’s the Cliff of Courage and you get spectacular views of the park at the top of the Lighthouse, which also serves as a giant water slide. Top tip for those who indulge too much at the all inclusive buffet – take the fast slide, you’ll only get “wedged” on the slow one!

There are zip lines, rope swings and a floating bridge (which is far trickier to walk over than it seems) plus for any adrenaline junkies, there’s Adrenalina! In a nutshell, it’s a really fast speedboat that does loads of really sharp turns and you end up getting drenched. This isn’t included in the price of the tour though.

Talking of which, there are a number of other additional charge activities such as scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, manatees and stingrays plus zip bikes – a combination of bikes and, yes you guessed it, zip wires!

Other than the extra charge activities, everything is included in the tour price; breakfast on the coach to Coba, access to the archaeological site, bike rental, multilingual guide, admission to Xel-Ha Park, buffet lunch, unlimited drinks, snorkel equipment, lockers, changing rooms, and towels!

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