Ek Balam: The Black Jaguar of Mayan Civilization
Traveling in ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula is an extraordinary thing to do. But it becomes irritating when the crowd becomes intolerable. For example, Chichen Itza ruin is a full place. If you want to enjoy a crowd-free Mayan city, the best place to suggest is Ek Balam.
Location of Ek Balam
This ancient ruin is located in the middle of the northern lowland of the Yucatan. Depending on your plan and schedule, keep a space during the visit from Merida to Valladolid. It is in the middle of these two famous tourist towns.
How to Get in Ek Balam
There are several ways. Till now, the city is not recognized by tourists that don’t visit much. That is the reason why you will not find a combi or bus to the ruins. The best option is hiring a taxicab or a personal car.
It takes one and a half hour to reach Ek Balam. When you arrive there, you need to keep the transportation safely. As we stated earlier that this is in the middle of a jungle, there is no parking spot.
“What will I do after getting in Ek Balam?”
The ruin is comparatively smaller than the others. It will not take much time to complete the tour. You have to pay an entrance fee to enter the city. As soon as you are in there, a new era of the late classic Maya is opened.
You should start exploring the place with the biggest temple in the city. The front portion is one of the most memorable scenes you will find here. It is a large mouth of a monster. The temple is also known as the entrance of Witz Monster.
According to the archaeologists, people in Ek Balam were mostly scholars and priests. The inscriptions found in graveyards and tombs also prove the hypothesis. Because of religious observations, the priests held power to order the other cities including Chichen Itza.
However, the second most exciting thing of Ek Balam is plenty of sculptures here and there. These are used for worshiping before a war. The city was built in the late classical period. So, it has witnessed a lot of battles.
The sacbe or the connection paths of the city is also worth watching. For any emergency or trading purpose, this sacbe used. Ek Balam had a direct connection with the Chichen Itza. So, the Sacbe leads to Chichen Itza.
The Royal tomb of the king ruling from Ek Balam has also been excavated and exhibited for the tourists. You can pass some moments there. And, there is a tourist center nearby. The ancient tools used by the people of Ek Balam have been preserved well there. It is free to enter.
Before leaving the city, you must observe the wall paintings. These are still lively and fresh. Archaeologists have preserved them well to study the culture of the town entirely. However, some relics could not be adequately conserved and got damaged.
The city is not excavated. There are some high pillar and noticeable defensive walls in the town. This late classical Mayan City is going to be a central attraction for the tourists in this part of Mexico.
Where Should I Stay during the Visit to Ek Balam?
There is no hotel near the ruin. You need to travel back to Merida or Valladolid for staying purpose. Both of these cities have enough places to visit at night. And, you may not have to keep in Ek Balam. This Mayan ruin is a small area. For a group of people, it takes less than two hours after completing the tour.
Get back to the nearby town after completing the tour.
Is there any safety issue?
Well, it is hard to find bottled water in Ek Balam. You need to carry the water of your own. Also, it will be a good option if you bring your food. The foods available in the restaurants are quite pricey.
As we stated earlier, the parking spot is not available. Keep your car’s door locked to avoid any iguana –invasion. These lizards are everywhere in the ruin. They may cause you enough distraction. It is suggested keeping a distance from them and let them have in their environment.
Carry an umbrella for avoiding the sunlight and use biodegradable sunscreen. This is good for you and the ecological system in Ek Balam.
The ruin is an emerging tourist spot. The growth of visitors in Ek Balam is increasing. Don’t forget to sanction a place for the place. It will make your holiday more memorable.
Ek Balam from Playa del Carmen