Ek Balam: the ancient city of Black Jaguar
by Adrian Fuentes | 29 May, 2018
30 km from the city of Valladolid, Yucatan, is an ancient city, older than Chichen Itza itself and with a very important cultural baggage. This city is named Ek Balam, the former Kingdom of Talol.
The city of Ek Balam, or Jaguar Negro in Spanish, was a walled city that dates back to about 600 AD. Its first ruler was Ukit Kan Le’t Tok, who promoted the cultural and technical development in the city. Most of the architecture and paintings are from the first years of the city.
Among the main constructions stands out the Acropolis, of which it is to admire the friezes with which it counts on the plaster. Its detail and level of conservation allow us to admire the magnificent work of the Mayan culture. It’s important to emphasize that there is only one that can be compared with and that is Chenes in Campeche.
Within the Acropolis is the Sak Xok Nahh or La Casa Blanca de la Lectura in its translation into Spanish. A masterpiece that became the tomb of Ukit Kan Le’t Tok himself.
Ek Balam is also the home of the most impressive murals, painted with great delicacy and precision in the anatomical proportions of the images depicted. One of the most outstanding is the Mural of the 96 glyphs only compared with the Panel of the 96 glyphs in Palenque, Chiapas.
In the archaeological zone, you can admire 45 very well preserved structures. Among them, are the city walls with the Mayan Arc, the ball game, the Oval Palace, the Twin Temples and the Acropolis, mentioned above, stand out. Most of these structures are from the Classic period but in recent years. Archeologists have discovered some pieces from the pre-classic period.
Like all the ancient cities in the Mayan culture, in Ek Balam you can also find a ceremonial cenote. In this case, is the Cenote Maya, which has the largest vault in the Yucatan Peninsula.
How to discover Ek Balam
ALLTOURNATIVE has a tour that takes you to the incredible zone of Ek Balam. Where you can participate in a Mayan ceremony, swim in the Cenote Maya while playing with the Slack Lines and get to know the Mayan culture first-hand.
Ek Balam is an archaeological zone that you should discover if you visit Yucatan. Its views will leave you speechless, especially when you go up to the main temple to admire the beauty of the jungle. And, if the day allows it, you can even see El Castillo of Chichen Itza and the Temple Ixmoja de Coba.