1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Ek Balam Tour
Ek Balam is the incredible site where ancient Mayans kept the tombs of their kings. Far less crowded than Chichen Itza but no less exciting, these ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into the distant past. Visit the awe-inspiring Ek Balam pyramid, learn about the Mayan civilization’s rise and fall, and uncover the significance behind the site’s ancient artwork.
Preview the Tour
Your Ek Balam tour begins near the Visitor Center. As you head into the site, you’ll turn back the clock thousands of years and revisit the history of Maya before the Europeans arrived. Then, learn about the arrival of the Spanish, their conquest, and how it changed the course of history on the continent.
After crossing through the remnants of an ancient defensive wall, you’ll arrive at a ball court and learn the fundamentals of an intense, dangerous Mayan game that was a little bit like a cross between soccer and basketball but with unbelievably high stakes.
Then, making your way to the Circular Steam Bath (which was used to heal the sick and wounded), you’ll get a crash course in Mayan architecture. You’ll also get more familiar with the complex tenets of ancient Mayan religion on your way to your next stop.
Next comes the Acropolis, the largest standing structure on the peninsula. This immense building is King Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’s most enduring legacy. Fortunately, you can actually climb the stairs to the top!
As you climb, you’ll notice a pair of hieroglyphic serpents and discover their meaning. After that comes the tomb of Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’ himself. It’s possibly the best-preserved tomb of any Mayan king and is a must-see during your visit.
Finally, you’ll reach the top of the pyramid. From here, you’ll have panoramic views in every direction. You’ll even be able to see the outline of Chichen Itza on a clear day! The tour concludes here after detailing the plaza visible below.
Starting Point Address: Ek Balam, Yuc., Mexico
Get the Mayan Ruins Bundle
Interested in knowing more about the Mayan ruins of Mexico? We highly recommend getting the Mayan Ruins bundle for just $16.99. The bundle include Coba, Chichen Itza, Ek Balam & Tulum.
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Ceremonial Circular Steam Bath
Top of the Pyramid
Preview the Tour
Welcome Audio Story
The Acropolis Audio Story
Ek Balam, a city known for its numerous temples, dates back approximately 1,500 years. It was a place of worship, commerce, and exchange for the Mayan people. Because of its extraordinary design, it stands out from other buildings. This is why the Ek Balam ruins are so important. Get the full scoop from our latest blog article on EK Balam .
The Ek Balam Ruins have 106 stairs to the top. The tallest ruins are still accessible . If you want to see the best views of the Ek Balam ruins, you’ll need to bring your most comfortable walking shoes, but it will be worth it.
As jaguars were the most powerful and dangerous animals in the rainforest; the kings of the rainforest, Maya rulers desired the power and spirit of the jaguar. Jaguars have a reputation for being aggressive and stealthy. For some, the jaguar represents the power to face one’s fears, or to confront one’s enemies. The ancient Maya thought that at night the sun, as it slips into the underworld, would transform into a jaguar. That’s why in Mayan civilization, Jaguar played a significant role.
Although the precise causes of Ek Balam’s abandonment are unknown, they likely include environmental factors, political unrest, disease and epidemics, and other similar phenomena.
The Mayan name Ek Balam comes from the two words ek'(which can be translated either as “black” or “bright star”) and balam (which can be translated either as “jaguar” or “cat”). As a result, “dark-jaguar” or “black-jaguar” are possible alternate translations. However, some Maya speakers in the region also translate it as “jaguar-star.”
From Monday to Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm, visitors can explore this archaeological park . Tickets will no longer be sold after 4 p.m. In other words, you can visit them any time of day, 365 days a year.
The ruins at Ek Balam are unlike any other Mayan site due to the abundance of unusual and original stucco sculptures found there. One of the largest Acropolis constructions in all of Mesoamerica is located in Ek Balam, and after a day of exploring the site’s 45 structures, visitors can cool off in the wonderfully soothing waters of the Ek Balam cenote.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.