Xlapak has just three standing structures — this is the north face of the best of them:
Xlapak is a tiny little Maya site along the “Puuc Route” in Yucatán, Mexico. It’s so small that it may well have been a “suburb” of one of its Puuc neighbors. Still, admission is free, and you can see what there is to see of these ruins in well under an hour — so if you’re ever in “the neighborhood,” it’s worth stopping to check it out.
This was a tricky shot to get — bright sky above, and (dark, cave-like) cenote below. It didn’t turn out well as a multi-image HDR, for some odd reason — but tweaking a single image and running HDR on that did the trick. Amazingly, the structure at the top still has some of its original (500+ year old) plaster, in spite of being close to the cliff’s edge and the Caribbean.
Want to know more about photography in Tulúm? You might want to check this out…
Balcony House is one of the “marquis” attractions at Mesa Verde — you can only see it as part of a group, you have to get a timed ticket in advance, etc. But oh, is it ever worth the bother! Here’s the view looking out from just short of the “exit:”
Right in the middle of the frame you can *just* see the 30-foot-tall ladder you climb to get into the site.
This shot is actually a panorama stitched together from two portrait (vertical) frames; I tried to pull as much of the resulting “fisheye” distortion out as I could, but as you can see, there’s still a bit left.
The “marquis” structure at the Maya ruins of Uxmal in México:
Sadly, you can no longer climb this pyramid’s steps — they were showing the toll of thousands of tourists’ feet over the years. At least visitors can still admire this beautiful structure from a not-too-great distance.