30 Jan 10 Reasons to visit Ek Balam
Chichen Itza and Tulum are the most famous archaeological sites in and around the Riviera Maya, those places that you cannot miss when you visit Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Each one is awesome in their own way: Chichen Itza is full of significant and architectural details, everywhere you look you will find stone carvings, remains of mural painting, majestic buildings, the mystical effects of light and shadow. Tulum on the other hand has this incomparable view over the Caribbean Sea and everybody wants “that” selfie with the castle behind them and then to go down to that stunning beach…
Both are really beautiful but, did you know that there are some other impressive ancient Mayan cities that you can discover during your holidays? Would you like to feel a more intimate experience with the Mayan Culture? Would you like to avoid crowded places and just feel the wonder of nature with all your senses? Here is the best option for you: the beautiful city of Ek Balam.
Ek Balam, which means “star jaguar”, is located only 20 miles north of Valladolid. Archaeologists believe the city covered 7.46 sq. miles. Around one sq. mile has been explored, but even this small area has provided enormous amounts of information about the people who lived here.
Facades, mural painting and hieroglyphic texts that were surprisingly well preserved have been restored. Nowadays you can enjoy them and get a real idea of how elegant and meaningful those buildings were, particularly the Acropolis, the biggest structure at Ek Balam.
Here we share with you 10 reasons to visit this archaeological site.
10. Avoid crowds and vendors inside the archaeological site. This is an intimate encounter with the Mayan World.
9. This is one of the few places where you can climb the pyramid (in this case is the Acropolis). It’s 95.14 ft. tall and the view from the top is great! Tip: The steps are easier to climb than those found in Cobá 😉
8. It’s very close to Valladolid, the colonial city, where you can find traditional food and handicrafts.
7. There is a cenote close to Ek Balam. You can practice biking and rappelling, or enjoy the ziplines over the crystal clear water.
6. The architecture here is quite different from the rest of the archaeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. The Acropolis façade just will take your breath away.
5 .You do not need to walk a lot to visit all the structures. Even though the site is quite big, all the buildings are close each other. You can climb some of them.
4. Ek Balam is also close to Ria Lagartos, a bioreserve area where you can take a ride in a boat through mangrove canals and practice birdwatching.
3. Want an awesome selfie? Look for the Mayan arch at the entrance. It connects the two walls that protected Ek Balam main area.
2. As there are not too many people at Ek Balam, you will enjoy nature with all your senses: bright colors, the breeze on your skin, the sun’s caress, the birds singing…
1. Ek Balam is yet another experience for those who have spent time in the Riviera Maya or Cancun and already know Chichen Itza and Tulum. It is another great reason to come back and stay in love with Mexico.