At 8:20 AM we’re walking 2nd Street up, we’ve got
our breakfast and are ready for today’s activities. In the crossing
with 15th Avenue we can see the popular vans, which are locally called
“colectivos”. They’re white with thin blue or orange lines and have
written in front and at both sides “Colectivos Playa del Carmen –
Tulum” with the same color than the lines.
They’re filling one after the other and we’re immediately put
on one of them. I get the answer to my questions in the process: there
is a van from Tulum to Coba and we’ll be delivered just there, rat to
Tulum is 40$ (pesos) per person and by night there are vans until 11 PM.
We’re on the run at 8:30 AM and on the next hour
people is leaving and coming into the van, all along this Federal Road,
until reaching Tulum town. There, we’ll delivered in the spot where van
to Coba leaves, marked by a sign, just as promised.
We wait here for a while with nobody coming – not
vans not passengers -and I’m thinking this is not working. Fortunately,
I’ve got a plan B: there are several ADO buses from Tulum to Coba. A
taxi driver stops by asking what are we waiting for and helps me to
take the decision: he explains there a lot of days the van to Coba is
not running and the fact there is nobody here is the sign this is one
of those days. He also points me to the location of ADO bus station. It
is close, just a couple of blocks forward.
I purchase the bus tickets for bus at 10:10 AM to
Coba by 58$. It arrives exactly at that time and takes less than one
hour on delivering at Coba, with only one stop in the way at Grand
problem of ADO bus for coming here is on the return trip, as there is
only one bus to Tulum at 3:10 PM, which is too late for us as we want
to take all the possible advantages of the Xcaret afternoon ticket,
getting there as close as possible of 3 PM.
But now we’re here, we’ll look for alternatives
later after the visit, having that bus as our last option. By the
moment, we’re told the tickets for the return bus must be purchased in
one of the restaurants here, at the entrance of the parking. This
restaurant is the only one with ADO signs and the bus timetable. I can
see some taxis parked in front of this place, so I keep that in mind as
All this will come after the exploring the
archaeological site of Coba and, depending of the time we’ll finish,
even it is possible we don’t need the more expensive alternatives to
We pay 59$ for our admission tickets and use them
immediately to access. The first meters are a path up through the
Soon we reach the first group of ruins. The shadow
of such dense vegetation helps a lot on make this visit pleasant on
despite of the hot.
We start for the ball game court, and explore the
rest of buildings here. These trees with their roots looking hidden
places between the stone bricks recall us to Ang Kor in some way.
As we can see in the map, there are two more
groups here, with more than one kilometer in between. To reach them,
apart from the obvious walking, there are two more options: renting a
bicycle by 40$ or taking a taxi. The vehicles labeled as “taxi” are
tricycles run by a teenager, with two seats in front for tourists. They
tell us it’s 120$ while warn us there are two kilometers to the Great
The distance seems fair to us and walk following
the path through the jungle to Nohoch Mul group. We find another
beautiful group, with another ball game court. The environment is
amazing, with this forest of a lot of this trees.
We still keep following the path stopping by
other fantastic and isolated temples.
At the end of the path we can see the movement in
the Great Pyramid area before even see it. It is one of the few
buildings of this kind still can be climbed to the top. So I take the
task and reach its top. I take exactly the time of this video of this
As I wanted to reach the top fast, when I’m there
my legs are almost not responding. The view is magnificent, though.
After a while I go back down with a lot of care as it looks a lot more
difficult and dangerous than the way up.
This time I buy the offer of a taxi: 70$ by the
return trip. Once back on the first group, we must pay on the hut and
not directly to the boy.
refused reaching the Macamxoc group because it is too far, because
we’ve already seen the highlights we wanted here and because we want to
look after being as soon as possible in Tulum. With this last thought,
I’m looking all around the parking to the vans: there is not a public
one, but tour operators'. I even think on proposing to one
paying something for the trip to Tulum, if it was any leaving now. At
the end of the parking lot we reach the gate and, just beside, the
place they pointed for ADO bus tickets. There are still two taxis
parked there so I get in to ask for a rate: they tell me 500$, I offer
400$ and they agree. We leave immediately to Tulum by these 400 pesos.
It’s 12:45 PM and I think we’ve just bought the time we needed in
In less than one hour the taxi delivers us in
front of the ADO station in Tulum, as we requested. This place is good
because vans to Playa del Carmen start just across the street and there
are a lot of restaurants around for lunching before going to Xcaret.
We’ve got the wish of eating pasta, but the offer
we’re getting from the manager of restaurant “El Capitán” for a seafood
platter makes us change our mind. We can eat octopus, locust, calamari,
shrimps… We pay 696$ in total.
The meal has taken more time than expected but we’ve
enjoyed it a lot. Anyway, vans are leaving here and we take the next.
It’s 2:40 PM and we’re delivered at Xcaret at 3:30 PM.
There is a big bus constantly making transfers between
Xcaret and the Road for free. We take it to reach the ticket desks and
get ours by 1043$ each.
We’ve come with the clear idea of make all our visits out of the water
so, once inside, we follow our itinerary by two hours through the ball
game court, the Mexican cemetery, the Mayan Village, the jaguar and
puma islands, tapir territory, deer refuge, open forum, aquarium, shark
place, marine turtles area, tropical jungle trail and the living museum
of orchids. All this before the time of the show we’ve came to watch,
scheduled every day at 6 PM. They close the rivers at 4:30 PM, so we
had been able to enjoying them too much anyway.
When the sun is setting it’s time for the show “Mexico
spectacular” and everybody is going to the theater. The path to its
entrance is full of living Mayan characters and visitors can take their
own pictures with them.
They’re addressing the people as they’re arriving in order
of filling the theater in all their sides. Our place is in one lateral,
close to the center.
The show starts with a demonstration of Mayan games, with
the popular ball game as main example. Then, it is a travel through
Mexican history, with the discovery of America and the arrival of
catholic religion. Then we have a sample of Mexican culture, as the
revolution or mariachis.
It’s near two hours and a half long for this entertaining
show which I leave realizing I’m in a country rich in culture.
At the parking lot, we take the big free bus to the road. This time it
is full, and takes all of us to the Federal Road, where there are a
bunch of vans waiting for taking the people to Playa del Carmen.
We don’t go to dinner but simply do some shopping in an Oxxo
(supermarket franchise opened 24 hours). All the food we’re bringing is
thinking on the breakfast and dinners for the next days.