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(ebook) Photographer's Guide to Ek' Balam
Check prices and availability. Tour description provided by Viator This hour private tour of two of the Yucatan's most famous ancient ruins is for those with a love of photography. Mia Spiro's Anti-Nazi Modernism marks a major step forward in the critical debates over the Mia Spiro's Anti-Nazi Modernism marks a major step forward in the critical debates over the relationship between modernist art and politics.
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Exploring the Ek Balam Ruins was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around and exploring the various structures, while having almost the entire site to ourselves. The atmosphere was so peaceful, relaxing and tranquil. Ek Balam was a fascinating and incredible ruins site to visit and it is one of my favourites that I have explored in the Yucatan. Visiting there made for a convenient and wonderful half-day trip from the nearby city of Valladolid.
Ek Balam is a great ruins site to explore for those who are fascinated by ancient Mayan culture and history and those who are looking to visit a lesser-known and quiet ruins site in the jungle that is slightly off the main tourist track.
Exploring Ek Balam makes a perfect half-day trip from Valladolid. The drive there takes around 25 minutes. I did not rent a car to get there so the price of parking is unknown. We purchased our tickets to the cenote and hired a bicycle taxi with a driver it was basically a bicycle with a cart in the front, where we sat to take us there. There was also the option of just renting a bicycle and driving their on your own as well. My friend and I sat in one cart and our other two friends had another cart.
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We hopped on the wooden seat and our driver started peddling down the freshly graveled pathway through the dense jungle. About halfway through our journey, our driver was visibly exhausted and he was huffing and puffing, while trying to drive the bike through the soft sand on the path. I could only imagine how difficult it must have been! I felt sorry for him and my friend and I offered to get off the cart and help him push it through the soft areas but he declined and insisted that we stay on. After about 10 minutes, we arrived at the cenote.
There were rustic outdoor washrooms, showers, changing room facilities and lockers for rent. Our bicycle cart driver parked and relaxed outside the cenote, and waited there at the entrance for us to be finished swimming in order to take us back. The water was a gorgeous and vibrant turquoise colour and there were lots of tree roots dangling into the water below and plants growing along the rock walls of the cenote. I loved how rugged the area around the cenote felt. It was not commercialized at all and the freshwater sinkhole was surrounded by the natural and unspoiled jungle vegetation.
The cenote was accessed via a steep and almost completely vertical wooden staircase which led to a boardwalk area along a rocky ledge inside the sinkhole. Climbing down these stairs was a little nerve-wracking and scary! The boardwalk encircled the interior of the cenote, along the rock wall edges and there was even a small suspension bridge that crossing over the water. As I climbed down into the cenote, I was in awe at how beautiful it was! My friends and I were the only people and having the entire cenote to ourselves created such a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
Before going for a swim, I walked around the wooden boardwalk and across the small bridge while admiring the incredible natural beauty that was surrounding me. Walking along the wooden boardwalk around the interior of the beautiful cenote. There was a sturdy wooden staircase leading from the boardwalk platform area directly into the water. The gorgeous interior of the cenote with vibrant turquoise coloured water! There was a rope strung across the water from one side to the other attached to the rocks, which was helpful for hanging on to and standing on when I felt tired of treading water it was definitely a workout and I was exhausted afterwards.
As I floated in the water and swam around, all I could hear was the sound of water dripping from the long tree roots hanging down from the ground into the water, tree leaves rustling and blowing in the light wind and birds chirping. It was so amazing to enjoy this gorgeous natural place with nobody else around and in almost complete silence, while just taking the time to admire my surroundings and be present in the moment. Swimming in this amazing and natural body of fresh water in the middle of the jungle with nobody else around was such an incredible and magical experience.
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We spotted a security guard standing in the parking lot and one of my friends asked him in Spanish if he could call a taxi for us. We hopped inside the car and our driver sped all the way back to Valladolid.
We paid the same price of 50 pesos per person for the journey and our driver dropped us off near the cathedral and central square in Valladolid. Taking a taxi is the only way to get back to Valladolid from Ek Balam. There will often be taxis waiting in the parking lot of the ruins, but sometimes like in my case , there may not be.
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Visiting these ruins and cenote makes a perfect and convenient half-day trip from Valladolid. If so, what was your experience like? What other lesser-known Mayan ruins in the Yucatan have you explored and would recommend? Let me know your thoughts about this post in the comments below! I would love to hear them.
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