Ek Balam


The enormous elaborate Acropolis pyramid, located inside the Mayan site of Ek Balam, is a striking sight after driving miles through the surrounding jungle.


Ek Balam, maya for "black jaguar", was at the height of its importance as a city during the Late Classic period (600-900 A.C.)

When the Maya abandoned the site, it went under cover, literally, as the dense low-lying jungle of the Yucatan engulfed it. As with all of the Mayan pyramids, these were discovered when archeaologists and adventurers saw a group of hills with trees and brush growing out of them. Digging in the mounds, they uncovered treasures of buildings and artifacts hidden for hundreds of years.

At Ek Balam, restoration has been ongoing since 1997. The Acropolis is the largest restored building, measuring 480 feet across, 180 feet wide and 96 feet tall. This palace has six levels where the governors and higher echelons of the cities population lived. Archaeologists believe it was not built by one person or all at once. You can climb this imposing structure, and from the top you can see all the other structures at Ek Balam, as well a two large hills which are two unrestored buildings.

At the entrance to the Acropolis pyramid there is a monster-like figure that is said to be guarding the entrance to the underworld. Under the thatched roofs that protect the facade, other statues and carvings of angels, animals and various figures are integrated in a complex and beautiful design.

Ek Balam, located just north of Valladolid, is special in another sense: it is never overwhelmed with tourists. While it is quieter and more peaceful than Chichen Itza, it also is not as fully excavated nor does it provide the same comfort facilities for the traveler. There is one restroom at the site, but no refreshments, so be sure to bring your own. You can buy drinks and food at two small villages that you will pass on your way from the cuota road.


Duration: between 11 and 12 hours (departure 6:30 am)

The price of 310 usd for 2 people includes: Transportation round trip for 2 people from your hotel in Holbox to Ek Balam ( taxi from your hotel to the pier, tickets for the ferry, vehicle with chauffeur from Chiquila to Ek Balam and return to your hotel in Holbox ).

Recommendations: Comfortable shoes, bathing suit, towel and sunscreen.

Please ask for more information.