Ek’ Balam is a city that was mysteriously banned right after its peak in the 8th century. Still very much hidden by jungle, the gorgeous site features pyramids, a ball court, and, most notably, an Acropolis.
At the top of the Acropolis is the main pyramid of Ek’ Balam, which features a massive jaguar mouth (Ek Balam means “the black jaguar”), stucco skulls, winged shaman figures, and other decorations.
Known as El Torre, it is one of the largest Mayan structures in the Yucatan, measuring more than 500 feet long and 200 feet wide, with a height of 100 feet.
The Tower holds the tomb of the ruler Ukil-Kan-Lek-Tok, who was in power at the city’s height in AD 800.
The city functioned for more than 1,000 years, and today only the center of the city has been excavated. The entire settlement covered around 4.6 square miles.