Already been to Chichen Itza and Tulum? Discover Ek Balam, a more recently excavated and restored Maya archaeological wonder on the Yucat'n Peninsula. Follow an informative guide around the ancient city's jungle-covered temples and huff your way to the top of the Acropolis pyramid, guarded by a fierce jaguar sculpture. Spend the rest of the day rappelling and ziplining, or relaxing in Cenote Maya Park's natural swimming pools. Pick up artisanal handcraft souvenirs and meet a Maya shaman during a blessing ceremony. A buffet lunch and hotel transport from Cancun are included.
Your full-day adventure on the Yucat'n Peninsula begins with early morning pickup from your Cancun hotel. You'll tour the archaeological site of Ek Balam (about a 2-hour drive southwest) and frolic in the nearby Cenote Maya Park in the Valladolid area. Depending on the day's schedule, your knowledgeable guide will make the call on which site to visit first.
Walk through the ruins of Ek Balam, meaning "black jaguar," an ancient Maya city located in the northern lowlands about 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Chichen Itza. Dating back to 100 BC, Ek Balam thrived until 1200 BC before being abandoned. Wander around vegetation-covered temples and plazas, while learning more about its history, its ceremonial rites and excavation efforts from your guide.
See an arch connected to a sacbe (an ancient road), a ball court, and pass impressive sculptures dotting the area, including one of a gigantic jaguar's mouth that guards Ek Balam's main pyramid of Acropolis. Hear about its broad base containing rooms, and then climb the pyramid, 105 feet (32 meters) high, for wonderful views of the Yucat'n jungle.
After about 90 minutes at Ek Balam, continue on to the nearby Cenote Maya Park, home to one of the region's most stunning swimming holes, 262 feet (80 meters) in diameter. Make your way down a wooden staircase made using Maya techniques, slip into a natural pool and enjoy a refreshing break here.
Spend about three hours soaking up the adventure and beauty of the park, including a number of optional activities such as more swimming, diving, rappelling and ziplining. Change up the pace with a visit to a small and colorful handcraft market, where you can purchase high-quality goods made by Maya artisans, and then experience an authentic blessing ceremony from a Maya shaman.
When it's time for lunch, settle in for a scrumptious buffet, featuring traditional Maya dishes like lime soup, chaya tamales, beans, vegetables, rice, chicken, handmade tortillas, fruits and flavored water. '
Your tour ends with drop-off at your Cancun hotel.