During our recent visit to Quintana Roo, Jason and I rented a car and took a day trip down the coast and slightly inland. We watched the sunrise over Tulum, swam in a few Cenotes, and explored the archaeological ruins of Muyil and Coba. Along the way, we took both personal travel photographs and created imagery commissioned by the brands participating in our Travel Lifestyle Photography Co-Op. Here are some favorites!
Tulum (Fig 1)
At sunrise, a local fisherman makes his way into the inlet to haul in his catch.
Tulum (Fig 2)
Morning sunrise stretches on the cliffs of Tulum
Tulum (Fig 3)
Pelican at sunrise. These large water birds can have a wingspan of 6-12 feet and are seen frequently along the Maya Riviera coast.
Tulum (Fig 5)
Emily Kiefer Fine Jewels x Wild Mantle
Tulum (Fig 6)
Emily Kiefer Fine Jewels x Wild Mantle
Tulum (Fig 7)
Swapping outfits behind the scenes of our Travel Lifestyle Photography Collective styled shoot at Tulum.
Tulum (Fig 8)
Carolyn Keys Stella Double Drop Earring photographed on a sea fan on the cliffs of Tulum
Tulum (Fig 9)
Now that the sun has risen, we’re on to our next destination: the ancient ruins of Muyil….
Cenote Angelita (Fig 1)
Jason swims in Cenote Angelita, where we stopped for a quick dip on our way to Muyil. A cenote is a sinkhole from ancient times that has been filled by crystal clear groundwater and rainwater. This one went down 40+ meters, as we learned from the scuba divers who were exploring the depths…
Cenote Angelita (Fig 2)
Sarah Cornwell’s Lunar Necklace over Cenote Angelita
Cenote Angelita (Fig 3)
We discovered these beautiful pink flowers on the jungle path to Cenote Angelita. Neither a google image or text search revealed identification…but thanks to my Aunt Tere I now know they are Crown-of-Thorns.
Cenote Angelita (Fig 4)
A teenage puppy belonging to the family who lives at Cenote Angelita.
Zona Arqueológica de Muyil (Fig 1)
Also known as Chunyaxché, Muyil is an archeological zone located just south of Tulum on the edge of the Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka'an. This pyramid called Castillo is 57 feet tall, the highest located along the Maya Riviera coast.
Zona Arqueológica de Muyil (Fig 2)
Jason points out the original red paint and these mysterious lines on the Castillo pyramid at Muyil.
Zona Arqueológica de Muyil (Fig 3)
A detail of original red paint that once covered the pyramids and the line that runs through all the rocks.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 1)
At the back right corner of Muyil, there is an entrance to a jungle path which takes you to a lookout tower and Laguna Muyil. Quick stop for a jungle photograph of TogTees Photography [Since 1827] tee as a part of our travel lifestyle photography co-op styled shoot.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 2)
The excitement of first laying eyes on the rickety lookout tower, which soars way above the jungle canopy on the path to Laguna Muyil.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 3)
The nearly vertical ascent. Signs warn only 5 people can climb at a time.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 4)
View from the top, overlooking Laguna de Muyil
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 5)
Group selfie atop the high tower.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 6)
Pointing out the laguna to highlight Carolyn Keys Zippy Cuff Set.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 7)
The climb down…
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 8)
We discovered a boat launch when we arrived at Laguna de Muyil.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 9)
Don’t let the beautiful waters lure you in; the shoreline consists of quicksand so unless you want to take up permanent residency, the best spot to view the vibrant turquoise waters is from the dock.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 10)
A windy one for Wild Mantle.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 11)
And one for us.
Jungle Path & Laguna Muyil (Fig 12)
One for Emily Kiefer Fine Jewels
Trip to Coba (Fig 1)
Mapping our way from Muyil to Coba.
Trip to Coba (Fig 2)
Trip to Coba (Fig 3)
Jason discovers Starbucks on highway 109 to Coba.
Trip to Coba (Fig 4)
The town of Coba
Trip to Coba (Fig 5)
Turquoise facade in the village of Coba
Trip to Coba (Fig 6)
Notice the painting of the main pyramid on the left of the facade.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 1)
Selfie amongst the jungle vines of Coba.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 2)
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 3)
The ruins of the ancient city of Coba are quite extensive and cover a very large area, most of which is still covered with the dense jungle. The best way to get around is a bicycle. Not pictured is Jason swinging on these vines.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 4)
The main pyramid of Coba called Nohoch Mul, which reaches 137 feet in height and has 120 steps up the front. Note that the trees you see on either side of the pyramid are growing out of the side of the ruins.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 5)
Warning signs…climb at your own risk and no drones! The drone signs were new since we visited a few years back.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 6)
Starting to climb…
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 6)
Looking out over the jungle top. Carolyn Keys Fern Earrings catching the sunlight.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 7)
Jason climbs. We stick to the edges of the pyramid because the stone is rough there and easy to grip. There is a rope down the center of the pyramid which can help stabilize, but we find this more dangerous because the steps surrounding the rock have been traversed so many times by tourished that they are polished to a shine and very slippery.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 8)
Jason climbs (now above the tree line)
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 9)
At the top. If you look out over the jungle top you can see other pyramid tops, and also mysterious pyramid-sized lumps which are not hills but rather ruins waiting to be uncovered.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 10)
Enjoying the view.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 13)
I found the perfect chair at the top of the pyramid.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 14)
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 15)
Getting ready to climb down.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 16)
Tourists at the top of the main pyramid….i.e. what it looks like when we’re not tucked away in the private corner we discovered on the side of the pyramid top.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 17)
Climbing down. Jason crosses over from one edge to the other. Notice the covered and undiscovered ruins in the distance (lumps in the tree line).
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 18)
Coba’s La Iglesia Structure. Notice the white wing tipped vulture sunning itself on the top of the pyramid. The trees you see on either side of the top of the pyramid are as big as those in the foreground.
Zona Arqueológica de Coba (Fig 19)
A detail of the vulture.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 1)
Driving through the streets of the village of Coba on our way to find food.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 2)
Dinner at Coba (Fig 3)
At the entrance of Coba there is a large 2 story open air treehouse restaurant called bar Ki Hanal. The 2nd floor is a buffet which consisted of delicious local cuisine.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 4)
Dinner overlooking another Laguna de Coba.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 5)
Entertainment was a local reenactment of the Mesoamerican Ballgame that used to take place at Coba.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 6)
In ancient times, the winner of the ballcourt game was sacrificed to the gods.
Dinner at Coba (Fig 7)
Sunset over Laguna de Coba.