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A walk around Ek Balam – The Yucatan

Another stunning example of the hard working efforts of the archeologists dedicating themselves to restoring the ancient ruins of the Yucatan.

During our visit to the Yucatan we had the opportunity to spend a day at the ruins of Ek Balam, an archeological site 25 kilometres north of Valladolid.

Dating back approximately 2000 years the city was a capital of the region and following its discovery in the late 1800’s has been painstakingly reconstructed by teams of hard working archeologists. Visitors today can see impressive examples of ancient Yucatec construction.

Set amidst the forests of Yucatan’s northern Maya lowlands you get a sense of ancient grandeur as you walk around the complex of structures. Whilst only the centre of the city has been excavated there is plenty to see.

The city of Ek Balam was once surrounded by inner and outer walls for defensive fortification, much of which has been rebuilt, together with the formidable arched gateways which allowed entry. An area of 9.5 hectares contains many impressive structures and the ball court all dominated by the imposing temple at the northern end.

Ornately carved walls midway up the Acropolis are shaded from the elements by thatched roofs and clearly display the iconography of the ancient Mayan people. From the top you get panoramic views in all directions. Thousands of hectares of lowland forests and signs of other ancient temples and cities dotted around. It must have been truly impressive in the height of the civilisation.

I don’t know how far we walked that day but we climbed on and around every building and structure we could. It would be easy to spend more time there as every turn revealed something new and spectacular.

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