Ek Balam was on my list of things that we MUST do on our vacation! It was AWESOME. We came late in the day, so all the guides must have already been taking people around the site. We wandered around, marveled at the beauty and splendor, and enjoyed our time there. It's a small site, so if you have physical limitations, like I do, it's really no problem to see everything. If you want to see the stucco friezes, you will have to be willing to climb about 2/3 of the way up the largest structure. YOU HAVE TO!!! I am a total chicken with back problems and nerve damage in my legs and I did it. So can you! Crawl up the stairs, your center of gravity will be low and you will be safe. The stairs are VERY steep and skinny. Terrifying. Crawl! Other people will copy you! The stucco friezes are like absolutely nothing else in the Maya world. They are breathtaking. After you visit them, scoot back down the stairs on your butt. Again, other people will copy you. It's too scary otherwise. If you want to get a laugh from the young people who don't know how awful it is to hurt yourself badly and survive, say "No soy tan brava que tu!" Which means, "I am not as brave as you!" After you leave the site and are back in the parking lot, get a cocunut drink! The vendor (see pics!) chops off the top of a whole coconut and sticks in a straw. It was delicious and exactly what we needed. After you drink out all the milk, you can hurl the coconut part into the jungle out your car window. It will burst open and feed the local wildlife. Enjoy!
If you plan on visiting Rio Lagartos (you should! ZOWIE), stay at La Quinta Hotel just as you start to enter Tizimin on the right. We had the best night of our vacation there. Mauricio runs the place and he was amazing and so personable. Plus, our room was only $28. Very cute and clean. You will love it!
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