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I visited Chichen Itza, Coba, and Ik-kil Cenote on one of those full-day tours from Playa del Carmen in December. They were still letting tourists climb the pyramid at Coba, which was a lot of fun, and taking a break to swim in a cenote between the two sites was very refreshing. We used Yalku Tours; I'm not sure what your options are from Cozumel but I'm sure you have plenty of great choices.
Good to know. When I went to Coba the road from Tulum to there was terrible - narrow and full of potholes - and it ended at Coba. One of the trails in Coba crossed a Mayan road, though, and our guide told us that it went all the way to Chichen-Itza
Long ago, huh? There is a traffic circle with a Permex station where you can go NNE to Nuevo Durango, NW to Chemax and on to Valladolid or SW to Coba ruins. There is a Coba town there somewhere, too. The two times I've been on the road to Coba, it was in great shape, but the year we continued on to Valladolid and Chichen Itza, the road from Coba to Chemax was still being built. We did Coba in 2009 and Chichen Itza in 2010, so my experiences are dated.
The first time I drove to Coba in the 1970s, it was a dirt jeep track from the turn-off from 109 (which was still under construction) from Tulum. When I took my wife there in our CJ5 in 1981, that short road from 109 to Coba was much better. We gave a lift to a guy walking to Coba with a deer he had shot slung over his shoulders. I remember looking back then at the right-of-way being bulldozed that would become the bypass from 109 to Chemax and wondering where it would go. These roads are all now well-paved and you should have no problems driving on any of them.
Re: ruins. Chichen Itsa is the most famous site and the one you typically see pictured but I actually preferred Coba. Last I was there a few years ago you could still climb the main pyramid. Renting a bike is good but we rented a covered wagon. It ended up raining hard and we had bikers huddling next to our wagon for a brief respite.
Re: renting a car. Note that any insurance you buy is void if you are driving intoxicated.
I rented a bike at Coba in September and it had rained so hard the caliche roads between the sites were so flooded I could not rotate the bike petals all the way around without soaking my feet. Nothing like an ADO bus ride wearing wet underwear. There were a lot of people begging the bus driver to turn down the AC.