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Mexico - Yucatan Penninsula

Cobá-Mayan Ruins

( Sightseeing / Archaeological Sites )

A Karen Brown Recommendation

The large ruined city of Cobá lies about halfway between Tulum and Cancún, and is situated 40 kilometers inland from the coast at the end of a good road. It is built around a group of five small lakes that once provided water for a region of perhaps 50,000 people. The presence of lakes and an abundance of water are rare in this area and sustained Cobá as a major Mayan center until its conquest in about A.D. 1000 by a group of militant Mayan traders known as the Itzá. It has immense pyramids, a ball court, and palaces, but it is best known for its many sacbes, the raised causeways or roads that connected the site with other great Mayan centers of the Classic period. These roads also run through the city itself, connecting various clusters of buildings, and where they have been cleared, visitors can quite easily walk to the majestic, towering pyramids whose tops rise above the trees. If the idea of staying next to the ruins appeals to you, we recommend a very pleasant small hotel, Villa Arqueológica Cobá. From here you can take an early-morning walk through the jungle to the ruins, a very special way to see this ancient city.

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