Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

July 25, 2024
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Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

Tulum’s Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can’t Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

Escape the Crowds: Explore the Hidden Mayan Gem near Tulum. Delve into the Enchanting Mayan Culture, Unveil Ancient Temples and Pyramids. Discover Mexico's Ancient Heritage!
Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

An exquisitely preserved Mayan complex, located within a convenient driving distance from Tulum, is gaining popularity among visitors to the region, as the typical tourist attractions, notably the renowned Tulum Ruins, become overcrowded. Few things evoke such profound wonder and captivation as the Mayan culture. From the ancient temples to the pyramids, there is still much to be unveiled about this ancient civilization. Fortunately, Mexico is taking additional measures to safeguard its own ancient heritage for future generations.

With the surge in tourist numbers, the ancient Mayan city of Cobá has recently been included in Mexico’s ever-expanding list of protected archaeological sites:

A Timeless Ancient City Chichen Itza, an emblem of the Yucatan Peninsula, receives an average of two million visitors annually, while other smaller ruins near the Hotel Zone, such as El Castillo in Tulum, are popular day trips.

Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

However, due to their fame, they are frequently overrun by foreign visitors who do not always show respect for local traditions, inadvertently contributing to littering and overcrowding.

Consequently, those seeking cultural enrichment have been seeking other places to explore pristine and undisturbed Mayan sites.

Situated a mere 40-minute drive northeast of Tulum, Cobá has recently gained prominence as the perfect choice for history enthusiasts eager to witness the grandeur of the Ancient Mayans without being bothered by persistent handicraft vendors or enduring lengthy queues for that perfect Instagram photo.

Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

The renewed interest in Cobá has been so remarkable that it was recently designated an “Area of Archaeological Monuments” by Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (commonly referred to as AMLO). The preservation of Cobá has been a topic of great significance within the archaeological community for years, with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) even declaring it a “nationally valuable site” last year, preceding the government’s own announcement.

The city stands out due to its intricate engravings, adorning the defensive walls and ornate murals encircling the area.

These depictions portray historical events and folklore that shaped the Mayan identity during the Pre-classic Period, providing us with insights into how they perceived their rulers, deities, and the organization of their society, as well as some of their greatest achievements.

Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

How Does This Benefit Tourists? In essence, now that Cobá is a protected archaeological site, tourists can anticipate improved preservation standards and enhanced access when visiting, along with a more developed visitor center, investments in cultural activities, and, most importantly, improved signage.

The Yucatan Peninsula is brimming with Mayan ruins, and aside from a few highly popular ones, the majority remain concealed within the foliage, lacking proper tourist infrastructure. Cobá will now be closely monitored by the relevant authorities, imposing stricter conditions and quality standards for business owners and tour guides operating in the area.

Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

Additional public transportation options are also being arranged, particularly with the upcoming launch of the Maya Train this December, connecting Tulum to off-the-beaten-path locations across the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cobá. For now, the easiest way to reach the site is by renting a car and following Road 109 from Tulum. Alternatively, groups can arrange for a taxi, with a round-trip estimated at USD $60, or join a guided tour that not only includes a visit to the ruins themselves but also a nearby cenote, available for USD $68 on Viator.

Entrance fees average around USD $5 per person, depending on the prevailing exchange rate at the time of visit.

Tulum's Hidden Treasure: Why Americans Can't Get Enough of This Unique Off Path Tourist Attraction

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