Its name translates as "water with moss" or "humidity of water", although there are authors who suggest that it means "turbid water", due to the proximity to small lakes with a rather turbid color. Other researchers of the ancient Mayan language propose more translations, among which may be mentioned "chachalacas water"; "Tooth of gopher", which would also come from the Mayan words or "abundant water".
The Mayan archaeological site of Coba is located about ninety kilometers east of Chichen Itza and about forty northwest of Tulum, has an area of just over 70 square kilometers and a network of 45 roads (or sacbes) that connects the various sets of the site, and with other smaller communities, that surely depended on their domain.
Cobá flourished in the Classic period when it came to dominate a wide region. Between 200 and 800 AD, Coba was one of the largest metropolis of the Mayan world, until its great rival, Chichén Itzá, extended its domain.