Ek Balam Things to Do

  • Entrance Arch
    Entrance Arch
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Entrance Arch
    Entrance Arch
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Entrance Arch
    Entrance Arch
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey

Most Recent Things to Do in Ek Balam

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    El Trono

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 18, 2013

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    The Acropolis houses the possible tomb of king Ukit Kan Le'k Tok', who ruled from 770 (the starting year of the “height” of this city) to 797 or 802 CE.
    This is the temple in which Ukit Kan Le'k Tok' is supposedly buried, called El Trono (‘The Throne’).
    The doorway is in the shape of a monster-like mouth, probably depicting a jaguar.
    One of the most outstanding works of Maya architecture, the "White House of Reading", erected by Ukin Kan Le’k Tok’ whose decoration shows a series of winged figures flanking a façade which represents an impressive monster-earth element in Maya iconography that refers to the entry and / or exit from the underworld.
    Above the main Temple or Acropolis there are beautiful sculptures of winged warriors, representing the gods who flew to create this amazing culture. Huge snake fangs frame the door.

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    Acropolis

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 18, 2013

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    Structure 1 or the Acropolis on the North side of the site is the largest structure at Ek' Balam and is believed to contain the tomb of Ukit Kan Le'k Tok', an important ruler in Ek’ Balam. Excavations on it began in 1998, when it was just a mound.
    The structure has 525 ft. (160 m.) of length, 230 ft. (70m.) of width and 102 ft. (31 m.) of height.
    If you climb the ruins, be aware that the descent can be visually disorienting.

    In rooms of the Acropolis, wall paintings consisting of texts have been found, amongst these the 'Mural of the 96 Glyphs', a masterwork of calligraphy comparable to the 'Tablet of the 96 Glyphs' from Palenque. Another wall painting of the Acropolis features a mythological scene with a hunted deer, which has been interpreted as the origin of death. A series of vault capstones depict the lightning deity, a specific decoration also known from other Yucatec sites.

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    Twins and Ballcourt

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 18, 2013

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    On the South Plaza you will also see the Twins atop of which there are two mirroring temples on either side.
    Facing Structure 17 is Stela 1. This monument depicts a ruler of Ek Balam, probably Ukit Jol Ahkul.
    Another attractive structure is the Ballcourt.

    You can watch my photo of Ek' Balam on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 53' 27.46" N 88° 8' 10.00" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio The Twins.

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    Oval Palace

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated May 18, 2013

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    Oval Palace
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    Before visiting the Acropolis you would better detour towards the South Plaza. Its largest structure is the Oval Palace (or the Structure 16).
    The Oval Palace contained burial relics and its alignment is assumed to be connected to cosmological ceremonies.
    You will also see the Steam Bath not far from it.

    You can watch my 2 min 12 sec Video Ek' Balam out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    You can watch my photo of Ek' Balam on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 53' 26.55" N 88° 8' 10.65" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Oval Palace.

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    Entrance Arch

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 18, 2013

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    Entrance Arch
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    About 50 structures are surrounded by two concentric stone walls plus there is another wall that unites the central buildings. The walls were used to control the access. The city was one of the longest continuously inhabited Maya sites.
    The Entrance Arch stands at the entrance of Ek’ Balam on four legs, constructed over the road that leads into the city, and was probably ceremonial in purpose.
    The arches are at the entrance of the Sacbéob (Scabé), the Maya roads made of shells, lime, and sap of the Zapote tree and raised with stones.

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    Ruinas

    by SJTravel Written Aug 23, 2010

    They are a VERY small set of ruins compared to some in the area. And they cost more than some of the others as well (but still less than Uxmal and Chichen Itza). The reason is you have to pay for both INAH and Culture. It is worth the visit because the view from the top of the pyramid is absolutely amazing. You get a 360 degree view which is spectacular. If you get some help to point it out, you can even see the pyramid at Chichen Itza.
    Most people go to see the pyramid, but I recommend walking around the place. Read the signs, they put them there for a reason and you paid so much to get in. Bring food and water with you. A LOT of water especially if it is hot. There is nowhere to buy water in the park.

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    Cenote at ecological park of X-Canche

    by dila Written Aug 12, 2009

    Near Ek Balam there is a cenote as when i was arriving i was alone i was in doubt to go there.
    But in Ek Balam i met Biamtim and told him about it.
    So we went together. It is very deep and you need to walk down.
    There were tubes for to use in the water after you could shower in some cabines but no light.
    I think it is also a nice place to stay.
    A package from the ruins
    Rental bike, dress room toilet cenote was 70 pesos (entrance 30 pesos) Biantim asked if it could be cheaper and we only had to pay 50 pesos each.

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    ACROPOLIS

    by mtncorg Written Jun 17, 2007

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    Acropolis beyond las Gemelas
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    The largest structure at Ek Balam, the Acropolis - also known as la Torre - contains the tomb of Ukit Kna Le'k Tok'. Measuring 146 meters across by 55 meters wide, the Acropolis is also some 29 meter high which means you get some great views out over the jungle plains of the Yucatan. From atop you can gaze all the way to Coba in the southeast over to Chichen Itza to the southwest - both over 100 straight-line kilometers apart. This is not just your ordinary Mayan pyramid that you clamber atop for that unique overlook, though. Underneath protective thatched roofs on different levels you will find magnificently preserved sculptures and hieroglyphs with passages leading into the old ruler's tomb. I have no pictures because of the time of day I visited was not ideal, but these are by far the best Mayan sculptures I have been lucky enough to gaze upon.

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    STELLAE

    by mtncorg Written Jun 17, 2007

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    Stellae at Ek Balam

    The excellently preserved limestone stellae in the South Plaza depicts a ruler of Ek Balam, probably Ukit Jol Ahkul. Magnificent sculpture and frescos have been discovered here on the site, especially those found on the terraces of the Acropolis.

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    LA REDONDA

    by mtncorg Written Jun 17, 2007

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    Ruins of the Oval Palace
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    Just east of the archway/el Arco is la Redonda, also known as the Oval Palace. From the top of this semi-circular building you have a grand view over the south Plaza towards the impressive Acropolis/la Torre. The similar looking buildings on the west side of the Plaza are known as las Gamelas - the Twins.

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    EL ARCO

    by mtncorg Written Jun 17, 2007

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    The arch at Ek Balam

    This free-standing korbel archway stands at the intersection of four sacbeob and was probably used for ceremony, ritual or both. El Arco was one of five entrances to Ek Balam. From the arch you enter into the South Plaza.

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    SACBE

    by mtncorg Written Jun 17, 2007

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    Sacbe leading into main Ek Balam area

    Sacbe - plural is sacbeob - means 'white ways' in the local Mayan dialect. These were raised paved roads which connected temples, plazas and other groups of buildings within ceremonial sites. Longer sacbeob could also connect cities - the longest running from Merida to the Caribbean near present-day Cancun. The longer roads were used for communication and trade but all sacbeob shared some form of ritual or religious significance. Here, at Ek Balam, you walk atop an ancient sacbe as you make your way from the parking lot into the site. It was thought that sacbeob connected Ek Balam with both Chichen Itza to the west and Copa to the east.

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    Las Gemelas - The Twins

    by shdw100 Updated Oct 3, 2003

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    The "Gemelas" structure forms the west side of the Sourth Plaza at Ek Balam.
    The structure consists of two identical temples and staircases, hence the name "Las Gemelas" During the Summer Solstice, the sun shines through the small opening in the center between the two buildings, creating no shadows whatsoever within the shaft. It is the only day of the year this happens. This proves that that Mayan civilization had the most accurate calandar that we know about in exisitence today!

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    Freestanding Arch

    by shdw100 Written Oct 3, 2003

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    This newly reconstructed archway would be considered to be the entrance to Ek Balam. You must pass by three defensive walls, in a zig-zag pattern, to reach this arch.
    This entry was once closed off by sealing the arch entryway, thereby creating a defensive perimeter with the walls.

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    See for miles....

    by shdw100 Written Oct 3, 2003

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    At the top of the main temple, you can see for up to 30 miles. If you look in one direction, you can see the ruins of Coba, and the other direction, the ruins of Chichen Itza. Our guide said that it is significant that the three cities make up a triangular shape, an important geometrical shape in the Mayan world.

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