Maya Pyramids in Yucatan — Chichen Itzá and Ek Balam
Just 30 minutes drive to Ek Balam and 45 minutes drive to Chichen Itza, enjoy these half-day trips from Camazotz Finca to the ancient Mayan pyramids of the Yucatan.
The Perfect Base Camp For Pyramid Excursions
The Mayan pyramids surrounding the charming colonial town of Valladolid in Yucatan, Mexico are a must-see for any traveler interested in history and culture. These ancient structures offer a glimpse into the sophisticated civilization that flourished in the region for over a thousand years.
Valladolid, located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, is the perfect base for exploring the nearby pyramids. The town itself has a rich history, dating back to the 16th century when it was founded by the Spanish conquistadors. Today, it is a vibrant community with a mix of colonial and traditional Maya architecture, charming plazas, and a lively market where visitors can purchase traditional crafts and textiles.
One of the most popular pyramids to visit near Valladolid is Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient city was a major political and economic center of the Maya civilization, and its impressive pyramids, temples, and plazas bear witness to the skill and ingenuity of the Maya builders. The most famous structure at Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as the "El Castillo" (The Castle), a step pyramid that stands at the center of the complex. The pyramid's design is a testament to the Maya's knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, as its staircases and the temple at the top are aligned to the movements of the sun and the stars. Visitors can climb to the top of the pyramid for a panoramic view of the site, and during the spring and fall equinoxes, the setting sun casts a shadow on the pyramid that creates the illusion of a serpent descending the stairs, a phenomenon known as the "Serpent of Light."
Another must-see pyramid near Valladolid is Ek Balam, which means "Black Jaguar" in Maya. This ancient city, which was once a powerful political and economic center, is known for its well-preserved pyramids and temples. The most impressive structure at Ek Balam is the Acropolis, a massive pyramid that stands over 100 feet tall. Visitors can climb to the top of the pyramid and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding jungle. The pyramid is also adorned with intricate carvings of Mayan gods and rulers, providing a glimpse into the religion and politics of the ancient civilization.
For those interested in a more intimate experience with the pyramids, the small, lesser-known site of Dzibilchaltun is a great option. This ancient city is located just a short drive from Valladolid, and its main attraction is the Temple of the Seven Dolls. This unique structure has a series of seven underground chambers, each one connected to the other by a narrow passageway. The walls of the chambers are adorned with intricate carvings, and the temple is aligned with the rising sun on the spring and fall equinoxes, when light enters the chambers and illuminates the carvings.
In addition to the pyramids, the Mayan ruins in the area also offer visitors the chance to learn about the daily life of the ancient Maya. The cenotes, natural sinkholes that were used for religious ceremonies, as well as for water source. The Maya also developed an impressive system of underground caves and tunnels, known as sacbeob, which connected the different cities and allowed for easy transportation of goods and people. These sacbeob can still be explored today, offering a unique perspective on the Maya's engineering skills.
The Yucatan region also offers visitors the chance to learn about the current Mayan culture and their way of life. Many indigenous communities still maintain their traditional customs and beliefs, and visitors can stay
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World famous for remarkably well preserved ancient Mayan pyramid ruins, and just a short drive from Camazotz Finca.
2 Facts & A Local Belief
- The main pyramid nests multiple smaller pyramids inside it.
- Monuments of Chichen Itza were astronomically aligned.
- The Serpent God, Kukulkan descends on the pyramid twice every year.
A massive step pyramid, known as El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, dominates the ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s.