The proximity of the Balankanche caves to Chichén Itzá places them prominently on the map. The Yucatan Peninsula is an extraordinary underground world to discover. 

All the Balankanche grottoes in Yucatán they were one of the first suitable for the visitor. The scarce 6 kilometers that separate it from the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá has greatly favored them, being a practical stop for the traveler, very sweet to promote and make profitable.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a wonderful place to practice speleology, visit caves and discover the fascinating underground world, where many of the traces of our Humanity are. The Balankanche caves are not considered adventure caves, rather it is a cultural visit.


Balankanche Grottos: archaeological site administered by the INAH

The Balankanche caves and those of Loltún are the only caves administered by INAH in Yucatán. There are many other very interesting caves in the Yucatan Peninsula, in most of them archaeological evidence of the past has been found such as ceramic objects, jade and other materials, offerings, animal bones, burials, wall paintings.

These underground spaces are part of the Mayan culture, and today they are still used: the caves are part of their underworld, a place where initiatory tests are passed, and rites and ceremonies are practiced.


Balankanché caves map

Thanks to the maps that the INAH we can give more precise information about the route. Get ready for a tour of the underworld and don't miss the essentials of Balankanché caves.

balankanche map
balankanche caves

Itinerary Balancanche caves

The Balankanche caves It is a space adapted for tourism of all conditions, something that does not happen in these cavities that usually have a little more adventure component.

The route of more than 1 kilometer is made by an illuminated concrete path that takes you through the different galleries where some of the findings of the cave are displayed. There are schedules to visit the caves: the guided tours are in Spanish, English and French through an audio that honestly sounds terrible and contributes little.

It will be that I am very well used to other types of caves, but the visit to the Balankanche caves disappointed me. A small museum site in the tourist parador at the entrance gives a little light on the history of the place.

Grottos Balankanche are the lucky neighbors of Chichén Itzá 1

Balankanche cave finds

All the  Balankanche caves (throne of the jaguar priest) owes its name to its main gallery, where 29 miniature censers, metates and plates were found, as well as jewelery and ceramic offerings.

Part of the findings can be seen in situ, surrounding the natural column that forms in this vault of 7 meters of altitude. This column is compared to the Ceiba tree, another important representative element within the Mayan world, sacred tree that joins the underground plane with the celestial one. 

These grottos stand out for the relevant finds rather than for their beautiful galleries. Reading the report of the Ajau Group I saw that surely it is not the best way to preserve the findings.

Grottos Balankanche are the lucky neighbors of Chichén Itzá 2

Balankanche caves cenote

At the end of the tour we find water, the magic of fresh waters that seep into this porous limestone land. Thanks to the karst soil conditions of the Yucatan Peninsula and its altitude at sea level, we enjoy the cenotes.

It is Group III, known as the Water Chamber. Ceremonies were held in this space.

Grutas Balankanché, Yucatán

All the  Balankanche cavesWithout being an extraordinary stop on the way, they do stand out for their ease and comfort. Despite the facilities of the route, the heat and humidity can overwhelm a bit, without realizing it you go down to 10 meters. If you are a person of adventure, these caves will know you little by little.

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Balankanche caves, nature

LOCATION:The Balankanche caves are located just under 6 km from Chichén Itzá and 35 km from Valladolid on the federal free highway 180.
SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: there are visiting hours in different languages. The group must be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 30.  Services at the entrance and a site museum.
Balankanche grottoes
PRICE ENTRY: 118 mxn general admission, 88 mxn Mexicans and permanent residents. The Sundays the entrance of INAH is free for Mexicans and permanent residents. Access to archaeological zones is free every day to children under 13 years, students, teachers and senior citizens with valid credentials.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Buses leave from Piste and Valladolid that leave you at the entrance of federal highway 180, just 1 kilometer from the entrance to the caves.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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