- 11 hours (Approx.)
- Hotel pickup offered
- Mobile ticket
Discover Ek Balam, a more recently excavated and restored Maya archaeological site, on this full-day guided tour. Stroll among the ancient city’s vegetation-covered temples, well-preserved sculptures, and make your way up the Acropolis pyramid for wonderful views at the top. After sightseeing, swim in the natural pools of Cenote Maya Park and then rappel and zipline in the Yucatán jungle. Enjoy a blessing ceremony led by a Maya shaman and a traditional buffet lunch. Hotel transport from Playa del Carmen is included.
- All necessary equipment included
- Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
- Lunch included
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Professional guide
- Lunch - Buffet lunch
- Use of all necessary equipment
- Use of hammocks, towels and lockers
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Entry/Admission - Ek Balam
- Entry/Admission - Cenote Maya Park
- Alcoholic beverages
Tour departs from most Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya hotels
Returns to original departure point
Rise early for your full-day tour on the Yucatán Peninsula, starting with pickup from your hotel in Playa del Carmen. You’ll visit the archaeological zone of Ek Balam (about a 2-hour drive west) and enjoy outdoor activities in the nearby Cenote Maya Park, located in the Valladolid area. Depending on the day’s schedule, your guide will determine which site to kick off your morning.
Spend about 90 minutes wandering through the more recently excavated and restored ruins of Ek Balam, meaning "black jaguar," an ancient city located in the northern lowlands about 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Chichen Itza. Dating back to 100 BC, Ek Balam thrived as a Maya city and ceremonial center until 1200 BC before being suddenly abandoned. Pass by jungle-covered temples and note the well-preserved statues, while hearing more history and lore from your guide.
Pass through a ball court, an arch typical of Maya architecture, and arrive at the base of the Acropolis pyramid, 105 feet (32 meters) tall. Come upon a massive sculpture of a jaguar’s mouth, along with figures of winged men; they are said to be guarding the entrance to the underworld. Learn about the gallery of rooms inside the base, and then make your way up the pyramid and take in beautiful views of the jungle.
Spend the rest of the day at the nearby Cenote Maya Park, home to one of the area’s most impressive swimming holes, 262 feet (80 meters) in diameter. Descend a wooden staircase made using Maya techniques, reach a natural pool and enjoy a cool dip here from the hot weather. Afterward, try a number of optional activities offered in the park, including more swimming, diving, rappelling and ziplining.
You’ll also partake in a blessing ceremony with a Maya shaman, and have the chance to visit a colorful market selling handcraft items made by Maya artisans. For lunch, dig into a traditional Maya buffet, featuring dishes like lime soup, chaya tamales, beans, vegetables, rice, chicken, handmade tortillas, fruits and flavored water. Your tour concludes with drop-off at your Playa del Carmen hotel.
Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour. Note: if you are booking within 24 hours of the tour/activity departure time, we cannot guarantee hotel pick-up. Once your purchase is complete, we will send you complete contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) for our local operator to organize pick-up arrangements.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Minimum age is 6 years
- It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring a swimsuit and sunscreen
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Ek Balam Ruins are a great place to visit. We were picked up on time and taken to the Cenote Maya Park first. We were welcomed there with a Mayan ceremony and then taken through the gardens were they grown pineapples, bananas etc and shown a Mayan house. The Cenote was great! the had abseiling into the Cenote or you can walk down the steps. There was a short zip line and you could drop off into the water. After an a very nice buffett lunch we were taken to Ek Balam. There were not very many people which was nice but extremely hot by that time of day. They local guide took us around and talked thrugh the different ruins then we were left to have free time and take photos. It was a great day and the guide looked after us all very well.
The only thing was I wish they had taken us to the ruins first when it was a little cooler as we were roasting!