Becan

Becan, in the state of Campeche, is one of the most impressive archaeological sites of the Yucatan peninsula. As a religious and political center, Becan offers many interesting buildings to visit with several pyramids.

Becan was the political, religious and trade center of the area and the ruins reflect its position in the Mayan world. One of the most interesting facts is that the city is surrounded by a ditch made by the inhabitants of the city and still visible, a unique feature in all the Mayan cities. There are remains of a wall that in some places is 11 feet tall. Together they constitute what is considered the oldest known defensive system in Mexico.

The central plaza is surrounded by many buildings of the elite, many of them still have high and low-reliefs in a calcareous material, as well as crosses carved on the fringed walls. There is also a large building in one level, with towers on its end and an enormous mask on the central fa├žade. It apparently had 9 inner rooms on its upper part with no natural illumination at all. they were probably used for religious rituals in which darkness and isolation was required.

The ruins of Becan are located in the state of Campeche, only a few miles away from Xpuhil, on highway 186 from the city of Escarcega to the capital of Quintana Roo: Chetumal.

You can reach the ruins either from Campeche or Cancun, but it takes a long trip. The closest city is Tulum, around 4 hours by car.

The first inhabitants arrived at Becan around 500 BC and the city reached its first peak of influence some 200 years later, in the late Preclassic period. During this time, the city was heavily involved in trade with Teotihuacan (north of Mexico City), with the population around Chetumal and the in the northeastern Campeche.

Around 500 AD the population grew again rapidly and many new buildings were erected during this period, most of them in the purest Maya style. The construction stopped around 830, but the city remained inhabited until 1200 . It was then abandoned for unknown reasons. This archaeological site was discovered in 1934 by archaeologists Karl Ruppert and John Denison.

It will take you around 3 hours to visit the site of Becan. It is in the middle of the jungle so we recommend you to carry water, hat and mosquito repellent. The site receives few visitors, allowing you to enjoy the visit in a quiet atmosphere.