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“Our Favorite Mayan Site, No Crowds and You Can Still Climb and Touch Structures”

Ek Balam Mayan Ruins
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Ek Balam, Rio Lagartos, and Tequila Private Tour from Cancun
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Ek Balam and Valladolid from Tulum
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Recently excavated and restored Mayan ruins.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

My 13 yr old daughter and I have been to Coba, Tulum, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Ek Balam was our favorite because you could climb, touch and go into the structures. Plus Ek Balam is not crowded at all, there seemed to be a lot more shade and there were only a few vendors selling souvenirs. At Chichen Itza all the structures are roped off so you can't even touch them, it is so crowded, there seems to be hundreds of vendors trying to sell you stuff and there is not much shade. Chichen Itza is still worth going to but we just really enjoyed Ek Balam so much more. We used a tour company, Mayan Explorers in Playa del Carmen and went to all four of the above mentioned mayan sites plus snorkeling and going to cenotes.

2  Thank esamlen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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579 - 583 of 1,836 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2014

My husband son and I spent a week in Cozumel recently and wanted to learn more about the Mayan ruins. My son is in the fourth grade and is learning about Mayan culture so we decided to dedicate one day of our vacation to visiting the ruins. We had obviously heard of Chichen-Itza, but after some researching on-line found out about Ek-Balam. I was so happy we did! Chichen-Itza is still amazing, but Ek Balam surpasses it on every level in my opinion! There were not many people there at all and we were able to crawl all around the ruins taking several pictures and observe several of the intricate carvings on the insides of the structures. We hired a private driver that met us at the water ferry in Playa del Carmen. We had his services for 10 hours and spent the majority of our time at Ek Balam. We also ate a small food stand on the way for an authentic Mexican experience! This day alone helped make our vacation one of the most memorable ever!

4  Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

We had a rental car and drove here from Tulum; going the speed limit, it took about 2 hours and was so worth the drive. On the way, we stopped at a food cart in Temozan, and also spent an hour or so, walking around the city of Valladolid.

This spot was great - we grabbed a local guide who spoke relatively good english and let him lead the way. He works only for tips, so please remember to tip them very well!

We were able to climb inside, on top of and all around these ruins, which was what was great, as well, there were hardly any tourists here. Very cool experience of the ruins and having a local guide so well versed in the history of this place was great. Some of the rooms that I entered into game me goosebumps, just thinking about what went on here.

Definitely worth the drive - and bring your swimsuits, they have a cenote here and then many others along the road out. Much needed after spending an hour or so in in the hot sun

3  Thank Sichy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We have been to quite a few mayan sights. This one is without doubt a stand-alone for the fact that you can climb on so many of the structures. That gives one the chance to really see things from the ground up, all the while admiring them. Also, you may have little in the way of competition as you climb. That alone is worth it!

1  Thank NewMexicoScraps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Went on this with my wife. We were on the fence about going to Chichen Itza or other ruins and asked our timeshare concierge about the various options. We transferred to Cancun and got on a tour bus (guide was Sergio). He was amazing and the ruins were awesome. You get to climb around them, which you can't do at Tulum or Chichen Itza. You also got to really experience and travel around the various structures. Very informative, educational, and enjoyable trip. Highly recommend. Our tour included a stop here, lunch at a Mayan village, cenote swimming at Hibuku Mayan Ecological park, and a stop in a small city.

3  Thank X4152KBjohnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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