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Balankanche Caves
Balankanche Caves

Balankanche Caves

Mexico

The Basics

Balankanche has long been the site of Maya ritual and ceremony, with special significance due to a formation that resembles the holy ceiba tree. Visitors can explore a series of caverns and tunnels filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Tours of the caves require a local guide (included in the price of admission) and take about 30 minutes. To see more of the Yucatan, choose a combo tour from Merida that also visits Chichen Itza and includes access to the Mayaland Resort.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Balankanche is ideal for cave buffs and anyone interested in Mayan history and culture.

  • Expect to spend about half an hour exploring the caves.

  • Tours of the caves are led by local guides who are well-versed in Maya culture.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and bring a flashlight and plenty of water.

  • Set aside time to visit the nearby World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza.

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How to Get There

The Balankanche Caves are located 3 miles (4.5 kilometers) east of Chichen Itza on Highway 180. Buses typically do not stop here.

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When to Get There

You can visit the caves year-round, and there isn’t really a bad time to go. Despite its proximity to Chichen Itza, Balankanche is rarely crowded and you might even have it all to yourself.

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Chichen Itza

Combine a trip to the Balankanche Caves with a visit to Chichen Itza, Mexico’s most-visited archaeological site. The UNESCO World Heritage–listed Maya ruins are considered some of the most beautiful in Riviera Maya and the Yucatan. Highlights include the 79-foot (24-meter) step pyramid of El Castillo, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Great Ball Court.

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