Looking for the top Coba, Mexico safety tips?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
The Coba Ruins are one of the most beautiful and interactive places in Quintana Roo, but there are some things you should know before you go.
I visited Coba on my most recent trip to Mexico and found that while it was beautiful and educational, there were some elements to the experience I wasn’t quite expecting.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Can you climb the Coba ruins?
- What are the most common scams?
- Is there wildlife at the Coba ruins?
- What’s the best time of year to visit?
- And so much more!
Let’s dive in!
Is Coba, Mexico Safe (in 2021)?
Can you climb the Coba ruins?
Let’s get the big bummer out of the way.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Coba ruins have been closed off to climbers.
The Ixmoja pyramid at the Coba ruins (part of the Nohoch Mul group) is very steep and is impossible to socially distance on. Plus, given that a singular rope was the primary safety measure, a lot of people would be touching it — not exactly virus-safe.
The jury’s out on whether or not Ixmoja will open again to climbing, but for now, it’s for viewing only.
Are the Coba ruins safe to climb?
Prior to our current social-distancing reality, climbing the Ixmoja Pyramid at the ruins of Coba was a major attraction of the site.
But does that mean it was safe to climb? Well, it was definitely an “at your own risk” kind of activity.
Given that the main Coba pyramid is very steep, it can get slippery, and there is one singular rope guiding people up and down, accidents have been known to occur.
That said, accidents were definitely the exception, not the rule, and 99.999% of people made it up and down unscathed (that’s not the most accurate figure in the world, but you get the idea).
If and when the Coba pyramid opens back up to climbers, I recommend that you’re in relatively good physical condition, know your limits, and don’t feel like you have to prove anything to anyone.
Though I visited Coba while the ruins were still open to climbing, I got about a quarter of the way up and noped right out of there. To be honest, the humidity was stifling, I was feeling a bit faint, and I didn’t want to have an accident.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Coba Ruins?
Speaking of the stifling humidity, I recommend visiting Coba during the winter months.
Summer in Quintana Roo, Mexico gets incredibly hot and humid and, if you’re not used to these conditions, they can be a shock to the system.
Dehydration and heatstroke are big safety hazards, so make sure you plan your trip to the Yucatan Peninsula during milder months (November – February).
I also recommend bringing a couple of water bottles, a sun hat, and sunscreen.
What are the most common scams at the Coba Ruins?
While you’re unlikely to get majorly scammed at the Coba Ruins, there are two things to watch out for — fake tickets and pricing.
If you’re approached in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, or outside the Coba ruins gates with offers of “cheaper” tickets to see the Coba Ruins, don’t take the offer.
More than likely these are not real tickets, and will not get you into the site. Only purchase tickets at the entrance.
Also, while inside, if you want to rent a bike or take a tour, don’t jump at the first offer. Compare prices from one seller to the next and don’t be afraid to haggle a little (within reason). Sellers always aim high, so know their worth.
I should note that I personally do not feel I was scammed at Coba — these tips were inspired by what I’ve heard from other travelers.
How much wildlife is around the Coba Ruins?
Wildlife is definitely something to be aware of when visiting the Coba Ruins.
While you’ll see your fair share of mostly docile geckos and iguanas, there are also jaguars, crocodiles, snakes, and scorpions in the area (among other creepy crawlies).
While seeing a jaguar is very rare, definitely DO NOT go swimming in the lagoons near Coba, as crocodiles are very present. Stick to the cenotes, but keep a lookout for wildlife signs.
Also, if you see any of the other aforementioned animals, don’t touch or approach them. They’re more scared of you than you are of them, and you don’t want to put them on the offense.
Should you travel to Coba, Mexico?
Absolutely. In my experience, the ruins of Coba, Mexico are one of the best in the Yucatan Peninsula (and I saw quite a few)!
The ruins of Coba are beautiful, there is so much still left unexplored, there are fabulous tours, and they’re an easy day trip from Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
Coba Ruins FAQ
Is Coba dangerous?
Overall, the Coba Ruins are a very safe site to visit. Know the risks and keep your wits about you, but chances are you’ll have a very safe, fun time.
Is Coba worth visiting?
The Coba ruins are absolutely worth visiting. They bring their own element to the table among the other ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula and are great for a history lesson.
Which is better, Tulum or Coba?
The Tulum and Coba ruins are impossible to compare. Tulum is great because it exists right on the oceanfront, while the Coba ruins are more of a jungle setting. I recommend visiting both and getting a well-rounded view.
What is Coba famous for?
Coba is famous for having the largest network of ancient Mayan stone causeways. Additionally, it has a ton of engravings and ruins that depict the life of the ancients in this area. Much of the Coba site has yet to be excavated.
That’s it for my guide to staying safe at the Coba Ruins!
I absolutely loved my day spent at this fabulous site, and if you take my safety advice, chances are you will too!
Have fun in Mexico!