This tour goes to the archaeological site of Ek-Balam, which means ‘Bright Star Jaguar’ in Maya. Ek-Balam is an ancient Maya city that had its glory before Chichen Itza. Recent restorations have made this archaeological site one of the main attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula. You will discover the mysterious Maya Cenote, enjoy its natural formations and great natural pool with a diameter of 80 meters. During this tour you will meet different Maya communities.
In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel. At 10:00 or 10:30 am, you will arrive at Ek-Balam or Cenote Maya Park. Depending on logistics.
At the Maya Cenote Park you will experience optional adventures. You can visit, but also swim in the Cenote Maya. The Cenote Maya is the most impressive cenote in the region including a large wooden staircase made with the ancient Maya technique. Enjoy its beautiful formations and swim in this large natural pool. Ascend from the underworld through a tunnel to reach the park gardens.
Afterwards you will visit the ‘Mayan Artisans’. Here, the most renowned artisans of the region offer their products. You can visit them as they carry out their craft with the skill of their hands using the same technologies as the ancient Maya.
After visiting the amazing Mayan Artisans, a delicious Maya Buffet will follow. This includes different traditional dishes like; lime soup, cheese and chaya tamales, beans, vegetables, rice, mole, chicken, hand-made tortillas, fruits, dessert, flavored water and coffee.
After lunch you have the possibility to do optional adventure activities. These are; swimming in the cenote, diving, rappel, trepachanga (“monkey climb”) and Tarzan vine. For the last three activities there is a maximum weight of 120 kg/ 264 lbs.
The last part of the tour is visiting Ek-Balam (City XI century). This will take about one and a half hour. Ek-Balam is one of the most impressive ceremonial centers in the Yucatan Peninsula. You will witness the incredible decoration of their temples and plazas. Ek-Balam has unique sculptures in high relief that have surprised many archaeologists and scholars. These sculptures support the recently restored jaguar mouth in front of the main temple. Imagine the rituals that took place in the ball game (Pok Ta Pok) and take a photo at the false arch, one of the architectural icons of the Maya culture.
Depending on your hotel location you will return to your hotel at around 05:00 or 06:00 pm.
This tour is not suitable for people with physical- or motor handicaps or serious heart problems, nor for obese people or people who are not able to handle physical activity. Besides that this tour is definitely not recommended for pregnant woman.
Adults: US $ 129.00
Children up to 12 years: US $ 89.00
* Children under the age of six are not allowed to participate
Included in the tour:
• Transportation in minibus or van with A/C
• Traditional lunch and beverages (non-alcoholic)
• Entrance to Ek-Balam
• Archeological and multilingual guide
• Equipment for activities
• Use of hammocks
What to bring:
We recommend to bring comfortable shoes for in the jungle (no flip-flops), a swimsuit, changing clothes, towel and extra cash (tips and souvenirs).
Cenotes are surface connections to subterranean water bodies. The term cenote – which comes from the maya word dzonot – has also been used to describe similar karst features in other countries such as Cuba and Australia, in addition to the more generic term of sinkholes.
Cenote water is often very clear, as the water comes from rain water infiltrating slowly through the ground, and therefore contains very little suspended particulate matter. The groundwater flow rate within a cenote may be very slow at velocities ranging from 1 to 1,000 meters (3 to 3,000 ft) per year. In many cases, cenotes are areas where sections of cave roof have collapsed revealing an underlying cave system, and the water flow rates here may be much faster: up to 10 kilometers (6 mi) per day.
Cenotes around the world attract cave divers who have documented extensive flooded cave systems through them, some of which have been explored for lengths of 100 km (60 mi) or more.
Geology and hydrology
Cenotes are formed by dissolution of rock and the resulting subsurface void, which may or may not be linked to an active cave system, and the subsequent structural collapse of the rock ceiling above the void. The rock that falls into the water below will then be slowly removed by further dissolution, creating space for more collapse blocks. The rate of collapse increases during periods when the water table is below the ceiling of the void, since the rock ceiling is no longer buoyantly supported by the water in the void. Cenotes may be fully collapsed creating an open water pool, or partially collapsed with some portion of a rock overhang above the water. The stereotypical cenotes often resemble small circular ponds, measuring some tens of meters in diameter with sheer drops at the edges. Most cenotes, however, require some degree of stooping if not crawling to access the water.