Coba means "waters stirred by the wind" and was built between two lakes during the Classic period (600-900 AD). Its architectural style is closer to the style of the Peten such as Tikal. During it's peak, Coba had almost 50,000inhabitants, and covered an enormous área of more than 80 square kilometers. Even though hundreds of structures still remain buried beneath the jungle, archeologists believe Coba was one of the largest Maya city in the Yucatán, and probably fuctioned as an important link in trade between the Caribbean and the inland cities.
One of the most interesting features of Coba is the raised roads know as sacbes (Maya for white roads) which connected the entire Peninsula. The roads were built in straight lines, 1 to 2 meters in height, and between 3 and 20 meters wide. They were covered with limestone plaster and frequently included ramps and intersections. One road extends over 100 kilometers, starting at the base of the main pyramid at Coba and ending at Xahuna, south of Chiche Itzá. More than 50 sacbes have been discovered at Coba, all originating at the central Plaza and stretching out in four general directions.
The great pyramid Nohoch Mul (large hill), 42 meters in height, is the highest pyramid in the Yucatán. from the summit dozens of structures covered by the jungle can be detected. The Iglesia or Church is the second highest pyramid and grants a view of Lake Macanox from its summit. Finally, the smaller pyramid of Conjunto Las Pinturas is notable for the mural that once covered its walls, of which traces can be still be seen.
The group of structures at Coba cover a large area, requiring the visitor to walk. The pathways framed by jungle, offer glimpses of the beautiful carved stelae and the chance to see the divers species of birds and butterflies which frequent the area.