Ek Balam Mayan Ruins
The Ek Balam Mayan Ruins are located in beautiful Yucatan, Mexico. The ruins are only a couple of hours away from the popular tourist hot spots of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. Surprisingly, the Ek Balam Mayan Ruins are still relatively untouched from the masses of people looking to take a day trip from their all-inclusive resorts. Chichen Itza seems to gets most of the tour bus traffic and heavy tourist crowds.
The structures at the Ek Balam Mayan Ruins are still open for climbing. This is in contrast to Chichen Itza and some of the other more heavily visited sites. You can really get up close to the beauty and mystery of this former seat of a Mayan kingdom. The Acropolis on the North Side of the site is the largest site at the Ek Balam Mayan Ruins. It is believed to contain the tomb of Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’, an important ruler in Ek Balam. (Ek Balam Wikipedia) This particular structure has 107 steps to the top and the stairs are quite steep. It is a decent climb and you have to watch your footing, but you are rewarded with a beautiful view at the top.
Valladolid is the closest city to both the Ek Balam Mayan Ruins, and Chichen Itza. This quaint city of around 50,000 inhabitants is a great jump off spot for both sites. Ek Balam is about 27 kilometers north of Valladolid and Chichen Itza is approximately 53 kilometers west of the city. Collectivo taxis operate a fixed route from Valladolid to the Ek Balam Mayan ruins.
There is also a cenote at Ek Balam Mayan Ruins which is perfect for cooling off after your climb. The cenote is a couple of kilometers away from the main archaeological sites. You can either walk or hire a local bicycle taxi. When I toured the site, there were many bicycle taxis available. My driver was friendly and helpful!