Today we webt to the ruins of Coba, an ancient Maya city. It was the last of the Maya ruins on our itineray to be visited. Coba contains the largest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. There are pans to close off the pyramid to climbers as early as next week; our group was one of the last to be able to scale its crumbling limestone facade. The view from the top was amazing. Our group leader, Mark, later told us that he could hear our indiviuals voices from the top of the pyramid. This brought images of centuries past of ancient Maya kings/ leaders speaking to their subjects from the pyramid's top. We had a guided tour of the site again. Our guide told us a different story than our guide at Chichen Izta about the ball court. Our guide at Chichen Itza told us that the players were not sacrificed; whereas our guide at Coba told us that the winners died for honor. After the guided tour we rode bikes between ruins. It cost 35 pesos or approximently 3 U.S. dollars to rent a bike. We thought it was very worlthwhile and would recommend it to anyone.
After Coba we went to another cenote, this one was underground and had two jumping platforms. The taller was approximately 30+ft. The lower wasn't nearly as terrifying. Fun was had by all. It was an amazing experience to swim beneath stalactites in clear, fresh water.
We found it interesting that we got two different stories regarding the ball court. We believe this is because no one really knows what happened or the details of the ancient Maya culture. Also, the tour guide will give whichever version of history they think you want to hear because at the end of the day, if you did not enjoy their tour, then they are less likely to recieve more buisness. The pyramid is being closed to climbers for safety reasons and to preserve the delicate limestone ruin.
We have mixed emotions regarding the closing of the pyramid. The experience of climbing like the ancients, and then taking in the amazing view at the top was something we won't soon forget. However, the fragile nature of limestone as well as climbers rubbing it away is detrimental to the ruin for future generations.