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Maya Ruins > BECAN

Becan, it's name meaning "Way or cavity left by the running water (ditch),' is one of the most fascinating sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. Discovered in 1934 by Karl Ruppert, the area was originally settled as early as 2000-1000 BC. It is believed that there was a village on the site around 300 BC and you can see evidences of buildings built in the Late Preclassic, after 50 BC.

We think Becan is actually more enjoyable than Chichen Itza because of the fact that you may have the place to yourself and can climb most of the buildings (you can see two of my guests climbing the temple to the right).

Hours 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance price: $46 pesos

Allow at least 1 1/2 hours, especially if you like to climb

Click for a larger view
Mayan Ruin of Becan
What makes Becan so interesting is that is an excellent example of Mayan fortification. Between AD 100 and 250, a defensive ditch or moat was dug surrounding the ceremonial city and reservoirs. The dirt from the ditch was piled up to create a fortified wall around the city. Originally much deeper, the moat is now about 4 meters deep and 15 meters across. It was dug in the early decades of the city, and it appears to have been partially filled about 700 AD. At one time Becan was the dominant center of the Rio Bec area. The oldest permanent structures have been dated to about 550 BC. Because it is enclosed by a wall, the site is compact and rich in its temple structures. This is one of my favorite sites, and one not to be missed if you are in the Rio Bec area or finding yourself going to Calakmul.

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Map to Becan

Zoom into the Google map at the left to see the ruins of Becan. Sometimes they are obscured by clouds - it depends on when Google updates the images.

The drive from Mayan Beach Garden is about 3 hours. Most people who do it leave at 6 in the morning with a "breakfast to go" and see Becan and on the way back Kohunlich. Its a long day, but possible. To get there, drive south on 307 then after the road is divided, look for the exit to 186 to Escarcega. Take that highway. Becan can be seen from the highway sticking up above the tree-tops. You will pass through the town of Xpujil, located on the border of Quintana Roo and Campeche. Becan is in the state of Campeche.

Becan Tunnel
The red arrow in the map above is near the entrance to Becan. When you enter you see a tunnel that goes under part of the building around the courtyard. The tunnel on the left is a good example of Mayan arches.

Baby Eagle
Peaking out of one of the tunnels in Becan and blending into the rocks, a baby eagle waits for mom - we decided not to enter this tunnel so that the parent wouldn't be bothered.

Sacrificial alter with temple in the background.

One of the many large buildings in Becan.

Mask of Sun God Kinichna on Structure 10. The intricate carving is protected by glass - hence the poor quality of the image. It contains original red paint.
This is a view of Temple four viewed from temple nine (seen at the top of this page)
To the right is an image of one of the walkways that traverse the Moat that is the entrance to Becan. You can walk inside the moat, but not all appears to be cleared.
pathway into Becan walway over the Mo
This large building is one of the first you will see as you enter into Becan. It is unusual in that you can enter into some of the rooms, go through some small tunnels and explore. I think I said this ruin could be seen in 1.5 hours, but once you start exploring, you could double the time.
Becan Building
Becan as a small, but very nice ballcourt that is at this time open ended (not an enclosed I as in Chichen Itza) although it has gone through some remodeling.
Becan Ball Court