Balankanche Cave, Chichen Itza

3.8
#7 of 15 in Things to do in Chichen Itza
№ 27, May 2004. P. 79.)№ 27]]
Balancanché (Grutas de Balancanché) are the most famous Maya cave sites, near Chichen Itza, in Mexico. Other names of the cave include, Balancanche, Balaamcanche, Balaancanche, Balankanche and Balancanchyn. The name translates to "the cave of the sacred jaguar throne". According to Bruce Rogers, the name of the cave is related to the Mayan leaders, not the animal jaguar. For the past 22 years, the cave has been used as a tourist attraction.
Balancanché was known to the Mayans as early as the pre-classical period, 3,000 years ago. The cave was a source of water and because of this, was the object of worship to the god of rain, Chaac.
For the first time in modern times, Balancanché was visited by Edward Thompson and Alfred Tozzer in 1905. In different periods, the cave was studied by: A. Pearse and his team of biologists (1932 and 1936), E. Wyllys Andrews IV (1930), Edwin Shook and RE Smith of the Carnegie Institution (1954). In 1954, José Humberto Gómez found a walled-off passage in one of the branches of the cave. Behind it was a Maya sanctuary consisting of the "Altar of the Jaguar" and the "Altar of Pristine Waters." The cave ended at a small lake. The sanctuary has been studied and described by Ramon Pavon Abreu. It turned out that the sanctuary was built in honor of the god Tlaloc, and walled in about 842 AD during the Classic Maya collapse.
With our international travel planner, Chichen Itza attractions like Balankanche Cave can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Source
Create an itinerary including Balankanche Cave
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Balankanche Cave Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
137 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • An excellent place to know something different about Mayan culture, and in my opinion a worthwhile tour after visiting Chichen-Itza at a very affordable price, remember to inform yourself before the scheduled schedules of your guided tours in the different languages, you will enter 35 meters approximately below the surface where the ancient Maya performed rituals /sacrifices and used it as a lair, being a little ventilated place is not recommended for claustrophobic people. Don't forget your IFE/INE for your national discount.
    View original
  • As taken from a sci-fi book, this place is absolutely fascinating. It's amazing to think how nature is so great and creates such whimsical formations. In the caves you feel like in another world, totally out of the ordinary.
    View original
Google
  • We could not go in as they don't let fewer than 6 people in at a time. It might be fabulous, but we will never know. We hung around and watched the pictures on their screens, but left after 30 minutes when no one else arrived.
  • This cave has an impressive collection of original Maya artifacts still in the cave. There are lots of bats living in this cave, which is fun to see. We had a wonderful tour guide, who was happy to tour us in Spanish (for our practice) and help us understand concepts.
  • Build a plan

    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it

    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package

    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!

    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance

Popular things to do in Chichen Itza

4.3
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 30​min
5.0
Duration: 30​min
4.8
Duration: 30​min

Side trips from Chichen Itza

4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Historic Sites in Chichen Itza

4.6
Duration: 30​min
4.3
Duration: 30​min
4.0
Duration: 30​min
2.3
Duration: 30​min

Nearby attractions in Chichen Itza

4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.9
Duration: 2​h 30​min
3.9
Duration: 4​h
3.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min