June 2022. Although I have been in Mexico before, the last time was in 1994-1995. Twenty-seven years later, Oriol and I are doing a classic tour of the United Mexican States, featuring Mexico City (CDMX); Palenque in Chiapas; Villahermosa in Tabasco; Uxmal, Mérida, Chichen Itza, Ek’ Balam, Valladolid, and a few cenotes (waterholes) in Yucatán and Tulum in Quintana Roo. We returned via Cancún to CDMX and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Ekʼ Balam is a Yucatec-Maya archaeological site within the municipality of Temozón in Yucatán in Mexico. It lies in the Northern Maya lowlands, 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Valladolid and 56 kilometres (35 mi) northeast of Chichen Itza. From the Preclassic until the Postclassic period, it was the seat of a Mayan kingdom.
The site is noted for the preservation of the plaster on the tomb of Ukit Kan Lek Tokʼ, a king buried in the side of the largest pyramid.
Ek’ Balam has 45 buildings. The main ones are:
- The Defensive Walls, which end on both sides at an unsurpassable, steep sink hole.
- The Entrance Arch stands at the entrance of Ekʼ Balam on four legs, constructed over the road that leads into the city, and was probably ceremonial in purpose.
- The Oval Palace contained burial relics and its alignment is assumed to be connected to cosmological ceremonies.
- Structure 17 or The Twins atop of which there are two mirroring temples on either side.
- A carved stela which depicts a ruler of Ek Balam, possibly Ukit Kan Leʼk Tokʼ.
- Structure 12.
- Structure 10 is a platform whose base dates to the Late Classic but was built upon by later generations.
- Structure 7.
- The Ballcourt was completed in 841.
- Structure 2 on the west corner of the Acropolis is one of the large platforms that make up the main plaza and contains a temple in one corner.
- Steam Bath.
- Structure 3 on the east corner of the Acropolis is an unexcavated platform that borders the main plaza.
- Structure 1 or the Acropolis on the north side of the site is the largest structure at Ekʼ Balam and is believed to contain the tomb of Ukit Kan Leʼk Tokʼ, an important ruler in Ekʼ Balam. Excavations on it began in 1998, when it was just a mound.
- This is the temple in which Ukit Kan Leʼk Tokʼ was buried, called El Trono (‘The Throne’). The doorway is in the shape of a monster-like mouth, possibly depicting a jaguar.
This time MexiGo was our tour operator and we were not alone as a couple from Bavaria joined. Our guide – I forgot his name – was also our driver. Again, the tour was insightful.
Ek’ Balam is a less popular spot, so it was not crowded. You could climb pyramids here, and is very high. Going down again is the hard part.
- REVIEW | KLM Amsterdam Schiphol to Mexico City on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in economy.
- MEXICO CITY | Zócalo.
- MEXICO CITY | Templo Mayor.
- REVIEW | Hotel Carlota in Mexico City.
- MEXICO | Teotihuacan.
- MEXICO CITY | National Museum of Anthropology or Museo Nacional de Antropología.
- FORMULA 1 MEXICO CITY GRAND PRIX | Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
- MEXICO CITY | Museo Nacional de Historia at Castillo de Chapultepec.
- MEXICO CITY | Frida Kahlo Museum.
- MEXICO CITY | Coyoacán.
- Mexico City 2022.
- REVIEW | Mexico City – Villahermosa with Volaris.
- MEXICO | Palenque.
- REVIEW | Hotel Zyan Rooms in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico.
- MEXICO | Villahermosa in Tabasco.
- REVIEW | Aeroméxico Villahermosa – Mexico City – Mérida on Boeing 737-8 MAX.
- YUCATÁN | Uxmal.
- REVIEW | Casa Chaká Boutique Ka’an Room in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.
- YUCATÁN | Mérida.
- YUCATÁN | Chichen Itza.