All you have to know about Ek Balam’s cenote
One of the most incredible places a tourist can visit while staying in the Riviera Maya is the site of Ek Balam. This site features amazing Mayan ruins and constructions. For centuries, it was an important center for the Mayan culture and after the Spanish conquests this village was abandoned. Now, it has been restored and opened to the public. Besides of its rich history and cultural value, it is also a place to admire because of its natural wonders, which include a cenote.
The word cenote might sound strange to an English speaker tourist and even for Spanish speakers, but its meaning is very simple. A cenote consists of a natural pool that is underground in a cave-like site. Ek-Balam’s cenote is located one kilometer and a half from the archaeological site and it is surrounded by the Mexican jungle. Its crystalline and fresh water are perfect for swimming in the hot weather of the Riviera Maya and the rock formations and sculptures are a perfect frame for this beautiful pit.
But there is more to do than only admiring the place. Ek Balam’s cenote now features some adventurous activities for those in search of adrenaline. There you can rappel above the cenote waters or dive into its waters to see the rock formations underwater and some mysterious fish. Other activities include visiting a small and colorful market where you can buy some beautiful handicrafts made specially by local Mayan artisans. And as cenotes were used by Mayas for sacred rites, it is possible to take part in one of the millenary rituals.
Getting to Ek-Balam’s is very easy. If you are going by car, you must know that the site is 25 kilometers from Valladolid and 35 kilometers northeast from Chichen Itzá. There are some agencies that arrange trips there, but you can rent bicycles if you want to get there in your own time, too. Near the site, there are some places where people are allowed to camp and some traditional restaurants can be found as well. The site is open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, local time.