This year, the Maya calendar goes into it's 14th cycle (b'ak'tun) on December 21st. It's also the day Doomsday theorists are trying to cash in on.... So we thought it'd be pertinent to visit the ruins of Cobá while we had the opportunity.
In front of Nohoch Mul
Our cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, docked at the island of Cozumel, Mexico. When we arrived in Cozumel, we had to ferry out to the mainland since the Cobá ruins are in Quintana Roo.
We arrived at the port of Puerto De Playa Del Carmen and from there took an hour long bus ride to the ruins. Unlike our Jamaica ride, this bus ride was much more comfortable and our 2 tour guides were excellent.
We passed through many remote, rural areas that reminded me of the Philippines again. Except for the whole TACOS thing...
Here is a map of what has been excavated at the Cobá site, which was nearly untouched until about the 1970's.
According to our tour guide, only about 20% has been excavated. I've read that there are about 6,000 estimated sites. There many ruins along the paths to the main sites that have been overrun by the jungle and have yet to be excavated due to lack of funds.
If these trees could talk, I wonder what stories they'd tell about the people who were there in 600 AD.
Bike rentals and "limo" transportation for those who find the really short hike too much of an exertion...
Such a beautiful jungle.
Stone court of where pok-ta-pok was played --sort of a Mesoamerican soccer game which ended in human sacrifice.
This is a Stelae (stone slab of Mayan hieroglyphs)
Nohoch Mul is one of the very few, if only, Mayan ruins in which they allow visitors to climb to the top. It's 42 meters (138 feet) tall and is the largest pyramid in the Yucatan peninsula. Despite that, it's one of the lesser visited sites, which is one of the reasons why we chose Cobá instead of the Tulum ruins. Plus, how many people can say that they stood atop of a Mayan pyramid and saw a similar view of what Mayan Priests saw over 1500 years ago?
There is a rope that runs down the middle of the pyramid to help visitors up (nobody wants to become a human sacrifice if you tumble down).
We made it to the top! Check out the miles of jungle behind us.
In front of the temple for the Descending God at the top of Nohoch Mu. This entrance is blocked off.
No idea what this says....
In front of the Iglesia pyramid
Our tour included lunch at Alux, a Mayan restaurant within the depths of a cavern. We had the privilege of watching a private Mayan fire dance.
Entrance down into the cave / restaurant
Inside the restaurant
This was an amazing experience overall, especially considering all of the history in that area! We were even able to get our names and our wedding date inscribed in Mayan hieroglyphs to take home as a souvenir (this is one that our guide told us about).
Monkey awaiting us after our excursion!
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