Playa del Carmen
After some initial confusion at the airport I connected with my two Australian companions and picked up our rental car from Edgar, the ISIS representative (an unfortunate name for a rental car company, I admit) and headed South from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Our lodging was inside the gated community of Playamor - not exactly my usual stomping ground. Clearly there is a lot of wealth here. Playa has grown from a laid back beach town to a fairly glitzy resort area. The last of the Spring Break crowd were still around but fairly comatose.
The Tulum ruins are South another hour along the coast. The site is small, late Mayan in that it was still occupied into the period of the Spanish conquest. The structures are fairly small and, except for a few exceptions, bare of decoration. But the site itself is spectacular, sited on a bluff above a white sand beach and the variegated turquoise of the Caribbean. Lots of tourists and locals as well come for the beach.
The Coba ruins were on our route the following day. Once Coba had as many as 40,000 inhabitants. Today, there are only a few structures that have been uncovered but the surrounding jungle was relatively cool and pleasant to wander through. Coba was much earlier than Tulum and distinctive. Each Mayan site has its own personality. You can't say - "You've seen one, you've seen them all."