Playa del Carmen

Ek Balam, Chichen Itza, Cenote & buffet lunch Tour

Badge of ExcellencePlaya del Carmen, Mexico

From USD 79.00

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 12 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Visit Chichén Itzá, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Ek Balam, and swim in a cenote in one day. Be one of the first visitors to explore Ek Balam and learn about one of the most important places in the Tlalol Kingdom. Then, learn about ancient Mayan culture and history as you explore Chichen Itza. Your day ends with a refreshing dip in a cenote and a delicious Mexican buffet lunch.
  • Enjoy early access to Ek Balam with an expert archeologist guide
  • Explore one of the New 7 Wonders of the World—Chichén Itzá
  • Tuck into a Mexican buffet lunch and swim in a cenote
  • Learn about the importance of both Mayan sites from your guide

What's Included

  • Round transportation
  • Bilingual guide
  • Buffet Lunch
  • Ticket to Ek Balam
  • Ticket to Chichen Itza
  • Admission to Cenote
  • Life vest (mandatory)
  • Drinks
  • Taxes (54 USD)

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to your preferred meeting point, or request pickup.

Meeting points

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Pickup points

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Start time

05:00 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Please provide the name of your hotel.

What To Expect

Arrive at the Ek Balam archaeological site, probably one of the most important places for the Tlalol kingdom. Climb the pyramids to have a panoramic view of the Mayan jungle. After knowing all the secrets of this archeological site, you’ll have free time to explore on your own.

Then, take a guided tour of the colossal Chichen Itza, the ancient capital of the Mayan empire, and follow your guide as you begin your archeological adventure through the atmospheric ruins.

Wander through the perfectly preserved ruins in relative solitude, listening to the insightful background information provided by your expert guide. Learn of Chichen Itza’s pivotal role in Mayan society, and why it is still considered a sacred place of worship today.

Discover the intricate processes undergone to unearth and excavate the magnificent monuments of the site, learning about how archeological discoveries provided Chichen Itza with UNESCO World Heritage status. In the context of history, philosophy and cosmology, the symmetrical staircases and intricate carvings of the ruins will suddenly become clear.

Gaze upwards at the legendary Kulkulcan Pyramid, or El Castillo, a sight you’re sure to recognize as one of Mexico’s most famous. Gain insight into the astronomical knowledge that influenced the construction of the temple. 

After admiring the views, have a break in the Cenote Saamal and get over the heat with a refreshing swim right next to its waterfall. Then we are ready to taste an amazing Mexican buffet lunch before heading back to your accommodation.

Ek Balam Village

1 hour 30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Chichen Itza

3 hours Admission Ticket Included

Hotel Real del Mayab

1 hour Admission Ticket Included


1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • It is recommended that you wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Taxes of Archeological Sites are not included (54 USD)
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers
Operated by Amigo Tours Mexico

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveller Photos

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Featured review
The experience was amazing, especially the EK BALAM climb. The view from up top was breathtaking. The guide Frank was great and explained the history of each site. He was clearly very knowledgeable on the subject. I'd highly recommend it


466 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 466 reviews
Amazing Ek Balam climb
Achraf_K, Sept 2023
The experience was amazing, especially the EK BALAM climb. The view from up top was breathtaking. The guide Frank was great and explained the history of each site. He was clearly very knowledgeable on the subject. I'd highly recommend it
Maya ruins and an unforgettable cenote...
Charles_S, July 2023
Wonderful excursion... our family of four and another family were the total number of guests, and Carmen, our guide, did a great job of preparing us for and walking us through Chichen Itza. The cenote was spectacular, too, and Ek Balam provided an exquisite view of the surrounding jungle. A great time for all!
Response from Host, July 2023
Hello Charles_S! Thanks a lot for taking the time to rate our work, it´s so kind from you to say that it was a wonderful excursion! We look forward to sharing another experience with you. Mariana, Amigo tours
Very long day but worth it
Alyssa_H, May 2023
This was a great trip and the activities were amazing, but the pick up and drop off were much longer than we were told it would be, adding up to a 17 hour day, which was very long.
Response from Host, June 2023
Dear Alyssa_H Thanks for letting us know your feedback, we know that the long ride might be exhausting! We appreciate you gave us the opportunity to take you on this trip. Mariana, Amigo tours
Beautiful, breathtaking, so informative, one of a kind experience.
Cristian_V, May 2023
It was amazing, not only where the place breathtaking, but the tour guides where excellent they really went out of their way to provide for us the best experience, I will for sure recommend you guys with friends and family. Thank you so much Esther, Danny, & Henry you guys where amazing.
Response from Host, May 2023
Dear Cristian_V, we are very happy to know that you have enjoyed the tour alongside our dear colleagues, we hope to see you again! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Great day but pick up/drop off procedures need address
Robert_C, Apr 2023
The tour was excellent. Guide and driver superb (Juan and Jesus). The hotel pick up and drop off procedures were terrible though. Nearly 2 hours spent driving around at 5.00 am for one other couple to be picked up from their hotel! 5 of us were unable to get a hotel pick up/ drop off.! 5 am - 8pm , huge day made longer by the pick up/drop off procedures .
Response from Host, May 2023
Dear Robert_C, we are very glad to read you had a joyful time throughout this exciting experience, hope to hear from you again, and have a happy weekend! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Great overall tour!
Janet_C, Feb 2023
Our tour guide Daniel was a fantastic guide. His expansive explanations of the various Chichen Itza history and the Mayan culture were excellent. My most beautiful companion Janet also greatly enjoyed Daniels tour as well
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Dear Janet_C, we are thrilled to know you had a wonderful day with our dear colleagues, thank you for your kind words, we really appreciate them, and hope to have you again! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Good, but beware of hidden fees.
Samantha_H, Jan 2023
This tour was good. The guide at Chichen Itza was very knowledgeable and explained a lot about the complex and its history. Our tour guide Esther was very nice and helpful throughout the day. I think instead of 3 stops, it should be two stops so that you have more time at each place. We had only 15 to 20 mins to swim in the cenote before we had to leave for Ek Balam. We would rather have done either Chichen Itza and Ek Balam, or Chichen Itza and the cenote Salaam so that there was sufficient time to enjoy each place. The food on the lunch buffet was not the best. The tacos and chilaquiles were pre-made and cold by the time we were served. Be aware also that the tour price was listed as $90 per person, but on the day of pickup, you will be charged an additional $51 per person for "taxes". This charge should be included in the advertised price since it is mandatory and I would prefer to know up front the entire cost. With all of that said, the Chichen Itza complex is well worth seeing. Absolutely amazing.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Dear Samantha Thank you so much for taking the time to share your opinion with us, we deeply appreciate it. We are sorry that the tour was not a 5 stars experience to you, we are working hard to improve our services. Mariana, Amigo tours
Good sites, bus crowded and rushed at Chichen Itza.
Jerod_F, Jan 2023
Bus was very small and crowded. Tour guide was good but could have let us have more time to ourselves at Chichen Itza. Driver almost left a couple at the cenote even though they weren’t late for the meeting time.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Dear Jerod_F, we are very sorry to know you did not quite enjoy the tour, unfortunately, we can not provide all the time we would want due to being a whole day touring and have to get to all the sites on schedule in time, otherwise, we wouldn't make it. Thank you for sharing your comments, we will share them with management to make improvements, have a great day! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Not bad, good starting time
Gabriel_B, Dec 2022
The tour is nice since it starts really early and you avoid the queues, but the van was freezing cold and the guide did not give us lot of information about the different places that we visited.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Amig@ Gabriel_B We are sorry that the tour was not 5 stars for you, we appreciate your comments to continue improving. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Great tour
schenschen, Nov 2022
Very good trip. We were picked up around 5:45 from our hotel. The tour went to Ek Balam first, then a Mayan village with lunch, the chichen itza and finally saamal cenote. We got back to the hotel around 6pm. This is a small group so it was much more efficient and little waiting around. A long day but a very worthwhile one.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Dear schenschen, we are very happy to know you had an amazing time with our team, we will be looking forward to having you again! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Cancelled tour
Luis_T, Nov 2022
We were very exited about this tour, BUT The tour company cancelled a day before. We are very disappointed.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Amig@ Luis_T We thank you for your comment and regret that the tour could not take place. Our team has the duty to give as much notice as possible in advance of the cancellation of service. We assure you that we always try to operate unless it is an issue that is out of our hands. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Lots to do, so little time (but great)
Mario_P, Nov 2022
I like the fact that we started early before most tourists get there. Marcela, our tour guide, was incredibly personal and we felt taken care of. All the places we visited were impressive. Not enough time in all places, so be ready to be deprived of time, but at least you get to see various parts of the area. You get a lot for your buck.
Pleasant, efficient, fun, and definitely worth the money to travel privately.
Mauricio_F, Nov 2022
We fell in love with Marcela the moment she stepped out of our private van. We were the first party to be picked up and she took great care to make us feel at ease. Our driver Arturo, was friendly, but focused on making our ride safe and pleasant. Once the other groups were on board, we began our long trek to Chichen Itza. It was a long journey, but Marcella was exceptional in balancing time for us to nap with time to inform of us what we were seeing, and preparing us for the day to come. Once at Chichen Itza, Marcela took very good care of us. We felt very special learning about the Mayan culture from her. She spoiled us with stories, including her personal interactions with diving and how she helps with further exploration of the Mayan history underwater. After Chichen Itza, we were treated to a wonderful lunch before moving on to Ek Balam. WOW! We had an amazing time. The highlight was when Marcela climbed the pyramid with my partner. Most of us stayed on the ground, but for the 2 other people who climbed with her, she continued educating. Simply amazing! Our final stop was at a beautiful cenote! We were given plenty of time to swim and to enjoy the scenery. Our 16 hour adventure was one that we will never forget. We took a much larger bus excursion 2 days later and it paled in comparison to this small group experience with Marcela. Our minds were filled with new knowledge, new friends, and a unique experience we will never forget.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Dear Mauricio; We are delighted to hear that you had ablast with Marcela, thank you so much for being part of this experience, it wouldn´t have been the same without you. Mariana, Amigo tours
Fun trip
Naomal_V, Nov 2022
A comfortable ride with a good driver and friendly tour guide, Esther. Chichen Itza was the highlight with a specialist tour guide with a great deal of knowledge. Swimming in the Cenote was fun.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Dear Naomal_V, we are really happy to know you had an awesome tour with us, hope to see you again soon! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Marcela, our tour guide was the best part!
SUNSHINE_D, Oct 2022
Marcela, our tour guide was amazing! First, she’s very funny. She talked about the history, showed photos, and an amazing photographer.
Response from Host, Oct 2022
Dear SUNSHINE_D, we are really happy to know you had an awesome experience thanks to our dear Marcela, we hope to have you again, have a lovely week! Ivana, Amigo Tours
Nice guide, no Ek Balam
Carolyn_V, July 2022
We took this tour with our two younger kids (ages 8 and 6). Chichen Itza was a bucket list item for the adults and the kids wanted to be able to touch some ruins, which isn't possible at Chichen Itza. After lots of internet research, we settled on this tour that included Ek Balam. My kids practiced climbing 106 steps for weeks before we left and were determined to get to the top of the pyramid. When the van arrived to pick us up at our hotel in Cancun, our tour guide let us know that her English is limited, even though we had booked an English tour. She was very nice and clearly trying very hard to accommodate us. Even though the language was a barrier, she was great and I have only nice things to say about her. That said, when we got to Chichen Itza at around 9:30am, she didn't have the credentials to enter the park so a different tour guide was hired. He was an older gentleman who did speak English and conducted our tour in both English and Spanish. We were told the tour would be about 40 minutes and we'd have an hour or so to wander around. The tour took the entire 2 hours we were at Chichen Itza and included explanations and photos of the way the Mayans used the calendar to build, and he did keep us mostly in the shade. It was also, and I can't overstate this, VERY HOT. Like, a whole level of hot that I've never experienced before. Someone said it was 110 degrees and also very humid . Be prepared with frozen water bottles and towels to cover your head. After Chichen Itza we went to lunch and were given time to look at the wares being sold in a building attached to the restaurant. The food was great and we bought a souvenir. Then it was off to the cenote. The cenote was gorgeous and very nice and cool. That said, there were no clocks anywhere and we were on a tight schedule. Keep that in mind when you jump in - keep track of the time somehow. My only issue with the cenote was that it was quite far from our route to Ek Balam. If they'd have taken us to a cenote that was closer, it would've been nice to spend less time in the car. BUT, it was spa-like and clearly a higher end cenote. Then onto Ek Balam, the part we were most excited about. The drive there took us through some of the more rugged and realistic Mexico. It seemed quite poor and I was glad we could contribute to the local economy with our visit. When we finally arrived a little after 4pm the tour guide went to speak to the gate admission and came back a few minutes later to explain that they'd closed early and we couldn't go in. It was a huge disappointment. In hindsight, we're kicking ourselves because we should've just pitched in some American money and bribed the gatekeeper to let us in. I would've gladly spent another $20 to get in, even if only for a few minutes. Keep this in mind if you arrive and they say they're closed - I almost think they were angling for a bribe and we, with a new tour guide who didn't know, coupled with a bunch of American naiveté, didn't figure it out. I filed for a partial refund from Amigo and am told I should have it in a few days, though I'd much rather have visited Ek Balam. Like many other reviews have said, this was a long day in the car. We left at 6am and got back at around 7pm. It was fun though, and the van was comfortable enough to nap in. Our tour guide was very, very nice and tried very hard to give us a great time. If it weren't for her wonderful attitude, we would be much more disappointed.
Terribly managed trip; would not recommend
Jessye_W, June 2022
I'm generally a laid back person, and don't write reviews because, "hey, sometimes things happen and we just go with the flow." But this trip was so horribly managed that I had to write something. I decided to splurge on this trip for two reasons: (1) it advertises 3 hours at Chitzen Itza and (2) it includes a visit to Ek Balam. But the trip was terribly managed; I cannot figure out what justified the costs. Details: 1) When we arrive to Chitzen Itza, were informed we have 2 hours. And that's from the van parking in the lot to the time we have to be back, so realistically about 1.5 hours at the archaeological site itself. We are told that there will be a tour and then some time to wander and explore the site. We only have time for the tour (and even that felt rushed). We didn't visit several of the sites the guide pointed out at the beginning of the tour, and so only saw a fraction of the complex. (yes, you could easily spend an entire day at Chitzen Itza, but from research I did online 3 hours is usually how long it takes to tour the site, hence the appeal of a trip that stayed that long at the site). 2) We were told by our guide that lunch was at a "Maya community," but it's really just a big shopping point. Buffet lunch was underwhelming and the signs outside the location said that the buffet cost 120 pesos (about $6 USD). 3) The trip advertises 1.5 hours at Ek Balam. But we never made it to Ek Balam. We drove all the way there, arrived at 4:20. The ticket office closes at 4pm (and last entry is at 4pm) and the site closes at 5pm. We drove an hour to the site and were not able to explore it. We were given the excuse that the archaeological society decided to close the site early, but clearly it was poor time management on the guide's part that caused us to be so late. 4) The trip advertises that entry tickets to the two sites are included, but that you have to pay additional "taxes" to enter. From online research and from looking at the prices listed at the point of entry, this is wrong. The "taxes" that you are asked to pay by the tour company are actually the full entry fee. In other words, the only ticket that's included is to the cenote (but it's a grand total of $80 pesos, and you still have to pay $50 pesos for a mandatory life jacket). 5) I came from Playa del Carmen and it was the most inefficient pick up/drop off. The pick up went smoothly enough, but they drive you like 85% of the way to Cancun to meet up with the rest of the tour bus. (If you look at a map, there are many other points where it would make more sense to meet up with the tour bus). Drop off meant driving most of the way back to Cancun (approximately 45-60. minutes past Playa del Carmen on your way back), to get dropped off at a gas station. It's unclear to me whether the plan was to wait with us the whole time or if they only did that because I got frustrated with the prospect of being dropped off in a random parking lot to wait for a car for which I had no contact information. Regardless, the van waited with us for the 30 minutes it took for the car to arrive. When it did, it was clearly someone's personal car, which would be fine, except that it was dirty (full of the person's personal items, used maskes on the floor), and the window on the passenger's seat was missing (instead the open window was covered in layers of plastic wrap). Plus the driver was texting while she drove. 6) Another couple on the tour mentioned that they were supposed to go the day before. They were notified two hours after their pick up was supposed to happen that their trip had been cancelled. Basically, I spent double for a 15 hour day where we got 1.5 hours at Chitzen Itza, a 30 minute swim in a cenote, and an underwhelming lunch. Would not recommend at all.
Response from Host, June 2022
Dear Amig@ Jessye_W We deeply regret that this experience was not to your complete satisfaction. The transfer times may feel a little long, but we assure you that we make the best possible logistics considering the long stretches of travel that exist in the area. You can identify that what we cover the access charge by INAH, what you must pay is the additional charge made by the State Government, this is paid directly by the clients because the charge varies if it is foreign or if it is national, you can verify this information on the official website of the site. We are very sorry for the inconveniences that occurred in Ek Balam, it is true that they changed the closing hours, but we were not given timely notice. We are very sorry for the inconvenience, we will certainly work hard to improve and this detail will not happen again. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Memorable experience!
Paul_B, June 2022
This was a long day but an incredible experience! We loves the different sites and the unique stops along the way. Daniel was a very knowledgeable guide and and so much information to give us. Timing was perfect as we seemed to be leaving each spot as the big crowds arrived. Lunch was fabulous and the gift shop was fun. We truly enjoyed being able to climb around at Ekk balam and how few people were there. The Cenote was magical and so refreshing The only cons: there were only 2 families on our transport coming from playacar but instead of coming to pick us up (our resorts were literally right next to each other) they had us meet at a sketchy hotel downtown that made us wait on the sidewalk AND transport showed up 40 minutes later than what all of our communication said (especially rough at 5am) Also, the bus was not comfortable nor was water provided which we were led to believe would be provided. If you can look over that the rest was fantastic!
Response from Host, June 2022
Dear Paul_B, it was a pleasure to share this experience with you! We are incredibly happy to know you enjoyed this tour. Thanks for all your nice comments. By the other hand, We will be on the look out for the improvement of the transportation services- Mariana, Amigo tours
Will do this tour again! ... and again!
KeithJones_K, June 2022
Our tour guide, Daniel, and driver, Jorje, were amazing! Daniel is Mayan and his insights into Chichen Itza were fascinating! The mathematics and science were honey to needs like us. Chichen Itza was every bit memorable as it is said to be. II'm really glad we did the early entry to miss some of the crowds. Ek Balam is definitely a must-do as you can climb the stairs and get up close and personal to everything! And the ceynote was so refreshing! Will do this one again!!
Response from Host, June 2022
Hello dear Amig@ KeithJones_K, It is so amazing to know you lived this experience and that you enjoyed it so much! That truly means a lot to us. Thank you for taking your time to write this review, We hope to see you soon again! Kind regards Mariana, Amigo tours
The tour guides were great but let down by Amigo Tours
Michaela_L, Apr 2022
We booked the early access tour so we could avoid the crowds. Our tour was cancelled on the Monday but rearranged for the following day. We were told to arrive at our pick up point at 5.40 am and told to arrive early as the driver would only wait five minutes. We got up at 4.30 am to ensure we were there in plenty of time. We were still waiting at 6.30 am when two other mini buses arrived full of passengers from Amigo tours , all of whom were transferred to another coach. It was absolute chaos and we were told that this transport was not for us and we would have to wait until 7am ( I assume we were forgotten about). We were eventually picked up but then told we would not be arriving at Chichen Itza until 1.30pm ( so much for paying for an early access tour ). There was no communication about what had happened and it was lucky for us that we were with another couple who spoke Spanish otherwise we would have not have had a clue about what was happening and would have returned to out hotel thinking that it was all cancelled again. When I complained to Amigo tours that a 90 min wait was unacceptable they just said sorry it was outside their control! To give a balanced review, that said, the tour guides were great and they did give us a really good experience and they managed the rest of the tour very well. The positive stars are for the guides only - I can’t give five stars because of the poor customer service of Amigo tours themselves.
Response from Host, May 2022
Dear Amig@ Thank you very much for being part of this experience, thank you for your comments and we will take your observations into account. Dulce, Amigo Tours

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