I had not anticipated getting much climbing in on this trip to Mexico (see ‘Leading our Way Through Mexico’), so when my friends had suggested we day trip it to Cobá to climb the main pyramid, Nohoch Mul, I leaped at the opportunity.
Situated 44km northwest of Tulum, Cobá is ‘a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization’ and considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the area. It boasts an impressive 138 feet tall pyramid that is the highest in the Yucatan peninsula.
The climb was kind of brutal, and I’d certainly consider it it Class III, possibly even Class IV at some points, particularly on the super exposed edges of the pyramid. The humidity and blazing sun did not help, either. Oh, and the crowds of tourists descending as I ascended, hoping that my hands would not get crushed whilst scrambling up 100+ feet of steep Mayan stone.
We found relief from the heat about an hour later (though not soon enough), diving deep into nearby cenotes, beautifully formed underwater sinkholes that line the Riviera Maya. These cenotes were formed from the collapse of limestone that exposes groundwater underneath. The water is impeccably pristine and staring at the stalactites above whilst floating on my back, I could not help but be reminded of the rock formations of Thailand. Moreover, the experience of diving 25 feet, feet first into these deep abyss-like pits certainly felt similar (though a little less frightening) to my deep water soloing experience in Krabi.