25 Oct Ek ‘Balam ruins
Visiting the ruins of Ek ‘Balam was on our schedule for Sunday. It was recommended by the hostel owner and I read about it in my Lonely Planet as well. I did some research before during my workweek and it looked quite impressive, so we thought we would give it a shot. And of course, Chichén Itzá is on the planning as well, but we did not feel like doing it this weekend. Maybe combined with a trip to Mérida. The guys we met on Saturday, asked us if they could join us in our trip, which was ok of course! The more, the merrier.
The trip to Ek ‘Balam was easy and quick, only 25 minutes from Valladolid and it costs around 50 pesos one-way trip per person.
It is possible to rent a guide for one or two hours, but it costs around 600 pesos, and we were with seven, so we decided to not take a guide with us. The entrance fee is already 193 pesos (10 euros).
The first ruins to see when you enter the site! Very pretty!! The Ek ‘Balam ruins were occupied from the Middle Preclassic until the Postclassic. In total, Ek ‘Balam was in operation for over 1000 years. Moreover there are over more than 45 structures on the site, but only the center has been excavated. The entire site is way more bigger, but only 1 square mile is open for visitors.
The thing I liked the most about this site, is that you are allowed to climb upon every building. Above you can see the platform that makes up the main plaza.
This is the Oval Palace, which apparently contains burial relics.
Walking to the main plaza with our hostel friends!
And there it is! This is the biggest temple in which the tomb of an important ruler in Ek ‘Balam is buried, Ukit Kan Le’k Tok. It is called ‘El Torre’. The tower is protected in some areas with palapa roofs, to conserve the Mayan artistry.
After the climb we got to see the whole site! And even a little piece of Chichén Itzá as well, because it is approximately at 50 kilometers distance.
The amazing view!!
Theresia and Julia on top of one of the buildings. I think this was the Structure II, at the west side of the Acropolis.
This stucco facade is located in the big temple, and it is called ‘the Jaguar Altar’. It is currently under construction, so we were not able to see it up close.
Adventureeee time 🙂
Good laughs with Julia on our way to the cenote 🙂 Next to the ruins, there is a cenote as well. It is called Xcan Ché, and it is an open sinkhole. It is different from the ones we saw Saturday, because those are caves. Xcan Ché was open and full of hanging trees, flowers, clear blue water and lots of fishes.
The way to the cenote was not that bad either, it is only a 1.5 kilometer walk through the forest.
It was an amazing and incredible view! And also a nice refresher after the climb and strolling around on the Maya site 🙂 There is a little restaurant where authentic Maya food is made, like soup, chicken, rice and beans.
Afterwards, we went back to the city, where we got ourselves a small bite before our trip back to Cancún! We sat at Candelita again, where I ordered a hamburguesa vegetariana, which was veryyyy good 🙂 And then, hurry to the ADO bus station! It was very nice to experience the Ek ‘Balam ruins and get acquainted with the Mayan culture in Mexico. We will definitely visit other ruins in Quintana Roo and Yucatán as well. Currently, Uxmal, Cobá and Palenque are on my must see- list 🙂