From the spectacular beaches, the imposing Mayan jungle, the archaeological sites, and a great variety of restaurants, hotels, and places to enjoy, there is always something exciting and fun to do in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Also, its privileged location allows visitors to go far from this touristic corridor to explore other wonders along the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you’re looking to have an adventure exploring beyond the Riviera Maya, keep reading as we’ll talk about one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. No, we’re not talking about Chichen Itza. This time we’ll leave that remarkable vestige aside to learn about Ek Balam.
About Ek Balam
Ek Balam means “Black Jaguar” in Mayan. Historians say that this impressive site lived its splendor even before Chichen Itzá. Despite the deep-rooted beliefs and faith of the Mayan culture, they were also a civilization of science that sought to explain natural phenomena. Ek Balam functioned as a school for scribes (wise men entitled to interpret texts, natural phenomena, messages from the gods, etc.). In addition, the site was a celestial observatory. It is believed that the buildings, temples, and even gardens were built under solid mathematical planning in sync with phenoms such as sunset and the four seasons. So, you can already imagine the unique vibe felt when visiting a place like that.
What to do in Ek Balam?
The site is still not as popular as Chichén Itzá, so chances are that you may find the place for yourself, allowing you to explore freely and taking photos without many tourists in the back. You can even climb the huge central pyramid to admire the imposing view of the entire citadel and the jungle.
Explore its surroundings
After the cultural experience, there is nothing better to cool off than swimming in a cenote. Close to Ek Balam, in the nearby town of Chemax, you can visit the Cenote Maya, the largest cenote in the peninsula since it has a diameter of 65 meters. You could say that swimming in the crystal clear waters of this cenote is an experience that transports you to another time, another dimension. The Cenote Maya is an excellent activity to do after the archaeological adventure. You can enjoy the zip lines and some platforms for diving or snorkeling in fresh, calmed waters, and even visit the famous Nohoch Mul Temple of Coba, located 48 kilometers away.
How to get there?
Ek Balam is located north of the colonial city of Valladolid, halfway between Merida and Cancun. To get there, it is best to take a tour to Ek Balam and the Cenote Maya. While it may take time to get there from Cancun or the Riviera Maya, it is an experience that we definitely recommend living in the Yucatan peninsula.
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