December 29, 2009
Today I visited the ruins of a very interesting Mayan City, Coba.  It was once a huge metropolis, home to at least 50,000 people at its peak.  The area is mostly jungle with only a handful of buildings excavated and restored (less than 100 out of over 6,000 according to Orlando, our tour guide).  Judging by those buildings that I was able to see restored or still standing, the city must have been magnificent while it was still inhabited.


For me the most interesting thing to see were the Ball Courts.  Wikipedia has a very nice article on the Mesoamerican ball games which covers most of the speculation I heard at Coba.

Ball court at Coba

Also of particular interest is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula, which I was lucky enough to be able to climb to the top of.


Unfortunately not too much concrete knowledge of the Mayan civilization exists due to the fact that Catholics destroyed nearly all of the Maya’s historical records during the 16th century.  I now have a significantly invigorated respect for Archaeologists and thank the majority who follow their profession’s strict code of ethics, providing curious individuals such as myself the best possible picture of great civilizations from our past.
My Photos from the day are available here.


  1. Wow, I’m impressed you made it to Coba; it is one of the lesser known Mayan cities and still has very impressive ruins.

    • I’m glad I made that decision too. I decided to go to Coba over Chichen Itza to avoid massive groups of tourists and it worked out quite well!

  2. Is that the “ball” game that used human heads?

    • I really don’t know about that but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is one way the game is described. This “ball game” has many variations over history and geography but as far as I know, all were played with a ball made of rubber. Luckily a little google searching brought me to this link which says some balls were rubber around a human skull. So, yes!

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