Cobá Pueblo itself doesn’t have much in the way of sights—besides the ruins , of course—but a number of small ecoattractions have cropped up, all a short distance from town.
The Punta Laguna Spider Monkey Reserve (cell. tel. 985/107-9182, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, US$5) is a protected patch of forest that’s home to various families of boisterous spider monkeys, as well as smaller groups of howler monkeys and numerous bird species. A short path winds through the reserve, passing a small unexcavated Maya ruin, a cenote, and a lagoon where you can rent canoes (US$6). Your best chance of spotting monkeys is by hiring one of the guides near the entrance (US$15–25). Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring plenty of bug repellent. The reserve is located 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Cobá, on the road toward Nuevo X’can.
This small village has a surprisingly rich array of tourist attractions. Three terrific cave tours (no phone, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) are the biggest draw; the “easiest” cave can be entered on foot (US$15 pp, 1.5 hours), while the other two require rappelling down a dark shaft and negotiating narrow paths with headlamps, all beneath an impressive canopy of stalactites (US$20 pp, 3 hours each). There’s also a modest insect museum and tree-filled sinkhole that’s home to hundreds of chattering golondrinas (swallows), both free to visit. Nuevo Durango also has a handful of rustic cabañas with private bathrooms and thatched roofs (tel. 998/884-0487, US$30 s/d); it’s best to call ahead so the cabins and tours will be ready.
A string of four cenotes (no phone, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) can be visited on the road southwest of Cobá: Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, Multun-Ha, and Nohoch-Ha. Each boasts a dramatic enclosed chamber bristling with stalactites, their dark interiors pierced by shafts of light. Wooden stairways lead down to pools of crystalline water; swimming is permitted, but the water can be frigid. The first three cenotes are operated jointly (US$5/7/10 for 1/2/3 cenotes), while the last is independent (US$1.50). To get there, continue past Cobá ruins on the road to Tepich, and look for the right-hand turnoff about a kilometer (0.6 mile) out of town.