Today was our only planned excursion for this trip. We booked a private tour with Helaman tours. Helaman focuses on the LDS perspective of the archeological sites. We were picked up at our hotel at 7am. We had a long day ahead of us, it was about a 2 hour drive to Chichen Itza, the whole way there Helaman had us reading scriptures and getting us prepared for our tour. I am not going to lie, reading scriptures that early in the morning gave me flashbacks of reading family scriptures before school and early morning seminary, and I can’t say that I really enjoyed that! LOL I am the worst when it comes to scriptures I have the hardest time understanding them, so I felt a little out of my element. But Helaman was very informative and everyone else seemed to soak it up and enjoy every minute of it. He was able to show us how the Mayan people were influenced by the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament.
When we first arrived the site was not crowded at all. It was amazing. I was at awe at how big that pyramid is in person and to think it isn’t even one of the biggest in the world is just mind-blowing to me, I mean, there wasn’t big cranes or trucks or anything like that way back then, how in the world did they do this?!?!? We toured the site with Helaman he was very informative and kept us on schedule after his guided tour we were given about 30 minutes to explore on our own before heading to our next destination. Warning… I have sooo many pictures of this day.
After Chichen Itza we headed to the Cenote “Ik Kil”. It was about a 45 minute drive. Somehow it didn’t seem that long though.
When we got to the Cenote Helaman had arranged for us to eat lunch first, which was a good thing because we had gone way too long without eating! lol! It was a Mexican buffet and I may be in the minority when I say this but I thought it was one of the best meals I had all week! Could be because I was starving? It was too early for breakfast when we left so It’s hard to say, all I know Is I was happy!
After lunch we headed to the locker rooms to change and get ready to jump into the cold Cenote, ok…the guys all Jumped in, us girls gingerly climbed our way down the stairs. I am not going to lie I started to get a little nervous about the whole thing, I had never been in one before and new things always scare me. Shannon and I were the only ones who got a life jacket, they charged around 2.50 for one, more than worth it if you ask me! I had my underwater camera with me, which does not take the best pictures especially when not under water because water drops will get on the lens, and the fact that we were bobbing around in the water while taking pics made for some not so great pics, but at least you can kind of get an idea of what it was all about.
We definitely got there at the right time because after we got out it looked like a couple of buses came. The place was Packed!! I don’t think I would feel comfortable being down there with all those people!!
After we got dried off and dressed again and headed back to the van to be taken to our final spot, Ek Balam.
*Watch out for these guys, they pretty much made us Well…you don’t really have to twist my arm, but for the guys they did for sure, go over and take pictures with them, After they pointed to their tip basket which only had a $20 bill in it, when we plopped $3 they started calling us names in Spanish, Not Cool! They tried to tell us the people ahead of us paid $20… the people ahead of us was from our group and only paid $1! I am all for supporting the locals but come on! Not Cool!
Ek Balam might have been my favorite only because we were able to climb on and in the ruins which was really cool to me. Also the hieroglyphs here were so clear it was amazing for me to think that I was witnessing some work of a Mayan from soo many years ago, it just blows my mind!!
walking up the largest structure, the temple was so freaking scary! It doesn’t seem that high up until you start walking up it. I am afraid of heights so that doesn’t help things. the stairs are kind of steep and awkward and of course uneven so I just kept my eyes on my feet the entire time. It was easiest to walk down going on an angle like a serpent snake we were told, so that’s what we did and they were not wrong, but Man my knees where killing me the whole time! ( I have really bad knees).
What a great day we had. We got lucky with the weather this day too. I guess it can get pretty hot there, but the weather was perfect, not too hot but not too cold either. When we were just about done for the day it actually started raining, so again, perfect timing! We headed back to the van for the long ride home. We were all pretty tired after our full day. I think we got back to our hotel around 7pm! I would highly recommend going on a tour like this if you are ever in Cancun. Soo Cool! One of my favorite days.
Of course after we got back we had to hit the buffet and the nightly entertainment. The entertainment that night was an 80 rock band and it may have been my favorite night, they played all of my favorite hair band songs and they sounded pretty good too! A perfect ending to a perfect day!