There are two main Mayan ruins for tourists to see in the Riviera Maya. One is Chichen Itza, the other is Coba. Here’s my short recap on both.
Chichen Itza has a more modern set up. And what I mean by that is that you have a modern building in the front with a few souvenir shops and restaurants. There is also a large paved parking lot and lots of tour buses.
As for the ruins, they are few, but impressive. Chichen Itza is famous for it’s large pyramid, but it’s for viewing only. You cannot walk among any of the ruins. They are all roped off. Regardless, the structures are amazing to see.
All along the ruins are paths of vendors selling Mexican goods. ALOT of vendors.
Coba feels more authentic. No modern building in front and no paved parking lot. You only see jungle. You can hire a person who has a bike with a cart and they will take you into the jungle along the ruins, stopping at each of the sites. None of the sites are roped off.
You can climb the pyramid at Coba. While it’s not as big as Chichen Itza or as architecturally appealing, it is still impressive with great views at the top.
There are some vendors in the front, outside of the ruins, but nothing like Chichen Itza.
I personally enjoyed Coba much more. It gives more of an overall feel for how the Mayans actually lived. However, both are worthy of a visit.