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Sunday, 01 November 2015

Coba: Ancient Mayan Ruins & a Family-run Hotel

Written by Emese Fromm
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“Can I show you some rooms?”, the young kid, about my own son’s age, asked. 

 

We looked at a few, since he insisted on showing us each type of room they offered in the small hotel.  It was midday, hot and sticky, and all the rooms were sunny and warm.  When he saw us still hesitant, he took us a next door, to another hotel, where he talked to someone who we supposed was the owner. I couldn’t contain my smile when I realized that they were talking in Mayan! Not that I understand a word of it, but it made me so happy to hear it, to know that this ancient language is still used every day.  

 

We found a room in the shadiest part of the building, and as soon as we unpacked, we left to explore the ruins. We only had about an hour left until closing time at the Coba Ruins In Quintana Roo, Mexico. 

 

We’ve been here many times over the past twenty years, and it felt a bit like home. The first time we visited the Zona Arqueologica Coba, was twenty years ago, on our honeymoon. For our anniversary, we were retracing our steps from our first trip to Mexico.  Coba had always been my favorite site, as well as town.  There is just something magical about this town in the shadow of the tallest pyramid of the peninsula, surrounded by five lakes teeming with wildlife.

Lake Coba 

The town and the site has changed a lot over the years, but still didn’t lose its magic. Since we didn’t have much time to visit, we decided to go to the farthest part of the site, to the group Macanxoc, where all the stelae are. I am fascinated by these writings in stone. Years ago, I learned to read some of the glyphs, and I used to enjoy sitting in front of these these rocks standing tall, filled with Mayan writing, and try to decipher the history written on them. It was a great feeling to be back. The sun was arched enough to make it comfortable, and we enjoyed  sitting in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by ancient stones.  

 

We only left when one of the he guides on bicycles came looking for us, telling us that it was closing time.  Walking back through the town, we saw school kids in their uniforms still lingering by the lake. One of the younger children was throwing a stick at a small crocodile, to see it poke its head out of the water.  When we walked by, he showed us what he was doing and offered to keep the croc out long enough for us to take a picture. By this point the baby croc got bored with the game and went farther in the lake before we could snap that photo.   

 

We stopped for a cold drink at a little store. We asked for coconut water. The young shopkeeper was proud to demonstrate his skill of cutting the ice cold coconut with his machete, until it had a hole only big enough for a straw, where we could sip the coconut water.  It is by far the most refreshing drink on a hot day in Yucatan.   

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Last modified on Sunday, 01 November 2015

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