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Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour

star-4.5420 Reviews
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon12 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more


Visit Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Ek Balam ad swim in a cenote in one day. Experience one of the world’s wonders without the noise and hassle of crowds on this early access tour. Follow a certified archeological guide on an ancient adventure to sacred cenotes, colossal pyramids and a vast ball court. Visualize the prosperous Mayan empire as you gain insight into one of the ancient world’s most powerful civilizations with captivating commentary from your knowledgeable guide.
  • Enjoy early access to Chichen Itza with an expert archeologist guide
  • Skip the crowds at this World Heritage site, and visit parts of the ruins that other tours don't include
  • See the Kukulkan Pyramid, ball court and sacred cenote
  • Learn about the mysteries surrounding the site and experience its majesty with your specialized guide
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Round transportation
Bilingual guide
Buffet Lunch
Air-conditioned vehicle
Toll road
Ticket to Ek Balam
Ticket to Chichen Itza
Admission to Cenote
Optional gratuities
Life vest (mandatory)
Taxes ($48 USD)

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Arrive at 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 scared 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.
To end the trip, visit Ek Balam, 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.
Stop At:  
Chichen Itza
With this Viator Exclusive, your early morning visit to Chichen Itza allows you to explore the site before the crowds so you can enjoy the rest of your day on the beach.
Duration: 3 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Cenote Saamal
Swim in a sacred Cenote
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Ek Balam
Have a guided visit to Ek Balam. Then you'll have free time to explore on your own
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • It is recommended that you wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Taxes of Archeological Sites are not included (48USD)
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Amigo Tours Mexico
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.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour.
What is the policy on sanitization during Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Chichén Itzá Early Access, Ek Balam & Cenote Small Group Tour.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

  • "Going early is imperative as it was HOT even at 9am." See review
  • "Going early is well worth it to beat the rush and heat." See review
  • "Getting to Chichen Itza early is highly recommended to not only beat the heat but also the crowds." See review


420 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 420 reviews
The tour guides were great but let down by Amigo Tours
, 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.
icon 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
Fascinating trip (thanks to our guide)
, Feb 2022
Our guide Daniel was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Mayans. He kept us well advised of what to expect at each stage of the trip. Lunch buffet was good quality. There is a lot of time on the road, but this is unavoidable given the number of places we visited. The only downside was the 'detour' on return trip to drop 2 people in Playa del Carmen (the rest of us were based in Cancun - this added c. 1 hour to the return.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2022
Dear Amig@ For us, it is very pleasant to know that the service you took with us was to your total satisfaction. Dulce, Amigo Tours
1 traveler found this review helpful
Cultural experience
, Feb 2022
Daniel was a wonderful guide to teach us about the Mayan culture. Be prepared for a long day and lots of driving. Worthwhile to enjoy some culture during your beach vacation.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2022
Dear Amig@ We are delighted to hear that you had a pleasant experience. Thank you very much for letting us know. Dulce, Amigo Tours
1 traveler found this review helpful
Enjoyed it
, Jan 2022
I am the kind of person who wants DETAILS before I book a tour. So I am going to provide all the details! Note that I booked the Playa del Carmen meeting point tour. Be sure to check your email the night before. Our meeting time was changed from 6am to 625am. The van driver was right on time. Unfortunately if you are coming from Playa del Carmen on this tour, the van takes you all the way up to Cancun to meet the tour bus so a lot of time is wasted in the car. The van dropped us at a gas station and the bus arrived 10-15 minutes later. Then we began the drive to Chichen Itza. We arrived at 9am local time (it is 1 hour earlier there than on the coast). On the bus we had to pay around $50 more person for the Chichen Itza taxes and tickets. We were there for 2 hours. The first hour our guide Ruben gave an amazing tour. The second hour we could explore on our own, but it did feel rushed. I don't think walking to the cenote was worth the time it took as you can barely see into it. I was worried it would be so hot but there was lots of shade. But still bring lots of water! After that was lunch. When we got to where lunch is, we had to wait around 30 minutes to eat and were given time for shopping. We did eat around noon local time, which was 1pm our time, so we were very hungry. Don't forget to bring snacks! The food was OK, what you would expect from a buffet. Drinks are not included. Then we went to Cenote Saamal. You need 40 pesos to rent a life jacket. I am big (2x American size) and they had one that fit me. It was very refreshing and I loved it! There is a bar and places for people to hang out who don't want to swim. The last stop was Ek Balam. This cost around 500 pesos ($25) per person and was not included. I'm not sure if it was worth it. Some people chose to stay on the bus. You can climb on the ruins and there is a really steep and scary set of stairs you can climb to the top of the main structure. The ride back seemed really long and we were exhausted. We did not get back to Playa del Carmen until 8:30, so a 14 hour day! But overall we enjoyed it.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
Dear Amig@ Excellent comment, thank you very much for letting us know your point of view and your experience. It has been a pleasure to serve you. Dulce, Amigo Tours
1 traveler found this review helpful
The visit to Chichen...
, Dec 2021
The visit to Chichen Itza, El Bakam and the cenotes was excellent. The lunch was lovely and Reuben was very informative and friendly! The only downsides were being informed the day before we'd be meeting at 5am (not 6 as described) and returning for 7pm which was both earlier and later than expected.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Dear Amig@ Thank you very much for your comments, we take into account the observation you made to continue improving. It was a real pleasure to have been at your service. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Great itinerary. Unreliable operator.
, Dec 2021
The company cancelled on me once and never showed up when they rescheduled. I guess they had transportation issues, but didn’t tell me until I called (after waiting an hour). That said, I did the itinerary on my own (well, with the two others that were left stranded). And it was great!!! Ek Balam is small but underrated. Not sure why other tours overlook it.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Dear Amig@ Amig@ We appreciate your comment. We are sorry for the situation, we had a mishap and we are very sorry for the situation, we proceeded with the refund. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Had a great time.
, Dec 2021
Thank you Daniel and team. They were very knowledgeable about the pyramids. Had a nice swim at the cenote. I would highly recommend :)
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Dear Amig@ We are glad to read from you and know that you had a pleasant experience. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Mostly good
, Nov 2021
The visit to Chicken Itza covered a few highlights. For those who want to see the entire site that would necessitate a private tour or driving yourself. Buffet lunch was fine and was served in an outdoor setting used by all tour groups. However, it was quiet during my visit. Cenote visit was at Selva Maya, a site also used by many tour groups. Selva Maya is ok but not the best cenote by any means. At Ek Balam I felt the guide could have been more engaging in his description of the site. After the tour I looked up Ek Balam online and learned so much about it that wasn't told to us on site. Ek Balam is small so it shouldn't be a problem for any guide to describe it in depth. The tour van driver was personable but was driving somewhat recklessly as we approached and entered Cancun. I know it was a long day but safety is paramount. COVID protocols were not followed. Mask use was not enforced and in a passenger van it should be enforced. Sorry to be critical. But I hope this will be considered constructive criticism and not simple complaining. The Mayan sites are worthwhile and I always recommend them.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2021
Dear Amig@ Thank you very much for your comments and observations, of course, we take with great appreciation every observation you share with us to be studied with the rest of the team to continue improving. Thank you very much for taking the time to let us know about your experience. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Small van tour of Ek Balam and Chichen Itza
, Nov 2021
This was a great trip for our family of seven. We had taken another trip with Frank before and live his matter of fact attention to detail. No BS just good archaeological and historical facts and when something wasn’t backed up by facts he said so! Alejandro was the driver and he did a great job getting in and out of places. With a small van this was nice. If I had one suggestion it would be if you are six ft tall sit in a space where you can stretch your legs. We all loved every bit of Frank’s Amigo tour. He is truly a treasure to the company.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2021
Dear Amig@ We are delighted to hear that you had a great experience. We are very happy to know that we did our job; to provide you with an incredible experience. Thank you for letting us know. Dulce, Amigo Tours
Great Early Tour
, Mar 2020
The guide Marco was very informative. They were nice enough to pick us up at our hotel even tho we were supposed to go to a central meeting place 10 minutes away. They picked us up in a van with about 12 people. We stopped once to pick up before heading to the ruins. Had one stop at a convenience store on way for break (heartbreaking to see a nursing female dog with porcupine quills imbedded in its mouth so that it couldn't eat) Wished they had a humane society that could have put it out of its misery and rescue the pups. Anyway, they provided a box lunch and the tour was facinating! Well worth beating the crowds! Took about 2 hours each way
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Hello :) We are happy that you enjoyed this experience since in amigo Group we strive to offer the best to our customers as we love what we do. We hope you return to live a new experience with us soon. Regards, Amigo Group.

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