Archaeological Sites in Campeche; Balamkú and Becán

BALAMKÚ; Located in the jungle, on the southeast of the State, in the municipality of Hopelchén, it hosts the “Templo del Jaguar” or Balamku in Mayan, estimated to be a square kilometer wide, integrated by three architectural groups: South Group, Central Group and North Group, although only South and Central have been excavated, partially. Balamku provides travelers with the possibility of interacting with nature in their tour through the city. A polychrome strip can be noticed, unique in Mayan areas, with a history dating from 550 to 650 AD. The set is an example of Maya cosmogony and the relationship of men with the universe.

Access begins on a paved road of approximately three kilometers, found next to the town of Conhuas, kilometer 93 of the Escárcega - Chetumal highway. Schedule for visitors is from 08:00 to 17:00 hrs. If you are visiting during spring, the ideal is to wear light clothes, because of this season’s high temperatures, and if you visit from October to November, don’t forget a good insect repellent.

BECÁN; Becan, meaning “Ravine or Canyon formed by Water” was classified by different researchers as “Regional Capital” in the area integrated by Bec River. Its main characteristic is a moat surrounding the architectural sets, making it an area of restricted access. This moat is unique among Maya regions, considered from a testimony of the town’s warrior activity, up to a representation of social divisions; because sites destined to privileged classes were erected here. As an example is Structure VIII, with the particularity that it can only be accessed through a tunnel communicating the two main plazas. Outside of this area are constructions that served as houses, granaries, sanctuaries, etc.

There is evidence of Becan being inhabited approximately in the year 600 B.C. But it seems to have reached its peak from 600 to 1000 AD. Back then, it was the region’s capital and the place where goods and services of many settlements concentrated, it gradually diminished until its disintegration, believed to have happened in 1450 AD.

You can reach Becan through seven different entrances, located three on the north, one on the west, two on the south and one more to the east, which is the one currently used for access. On the surface surrounded by the moat is Plaza A, where marvelous Structure I is located, this has two lateral towers 15 meters in height and on the summit are four openings believed to have been used for observing the universe. To the south of the structure there are two levels of bended rooms. Structure II has various rooms in its front and sides, the rear rooms show their former residential use. Structure III has a central stairway and masonry rooms to the sides.

Located on the southeast of Campeche, it can be reached through Federal Highway 180 towards the town of Champoton followed in the Escárcega – Chetumal direction at kilometer 148. Its schedule for visitors is from 08:00 to 17:00 hrs.

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