Ek Balam was part of a two part tour we did with Altournative. It's 2 hours northwest from Playa Del Carmen to the Mayan ruins. Ek Balam is smaller than the grand Chichén Itzá, but it's much less crowded and you can still climb the temples. There is also one of the best preserved stucco facades in Mesoamerica. Stucco figures were excavated in nearly pristine condition, having been carefully buried by the ancient Maya about 1200 years ago.
We learned about the very interesting Mayan culture from our guides. The Mayans had massive advancements in society while in contradiction worshipping disfigurement and human sacrifice. We explored the grounds and ascended the main temple. The steps to the top of the main temple are really steep with no railing. I wouldn't recommend ascending if you're afraid of heights. It can be a little dizzying for most looking down the narrow steps, but the view from the top is spectacular and worth the trek. Temples rise out of the forest greenery.