- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Fodor's See It Mexico, 3rd Edition
An interesting feature of this once-important city is its defensive moat—unusual among ancient Mayan cities—though barely evident today. The seven ruined gateways, which once permitted the only entrances to the guarded city, may have clued archaeologists to its presence. Becán (usually translated as "canyon of water," referring to the moat) is thought to have been an important city within the Río Bec group, which once encompassed Xpujil, Chicanná, and Río Bec. Most of the site's many buildings date from between about AD 600 and 1000, but since there are no traditionally inscribed stelae listing details of royal births, deaths, battles, and ascendancies to the throne, archaeologists have had to do a lot of guessing about what transpired here.
You can climb several of the structures to get a view of the area, and even spot some of Xpuhil's towers above the treetops. Duck into Estructura VIII, where underground passages lead to small subterranean rooms and to a concealed staircase that reaches the top of the temple. One of several buildings surrounding a central plaza, Estructura VIII has lateral towers and a giant zoomorphic mask on its central facade. The building was used for religious rituals, including bloodletting rites during which the elite pierced earlobes and genitals, among other sensitive body parts, in order to present their blood to the gods.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Just back from 5 days (Feb 13 -17) in Puerto Vallarta. Read more
Forty five minutes by good highway from Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo Airport is the small fishing village of Troncones which we think is almost perfect. Read more
I am flying into Cancun with my husband and infant around 3pm on a Friday. Read more
· News & Features
After the recent debut of his Grand Cayman-inspired novel The Forever Girl, author Alexander McCall ... Read more
When's the best time to go?... Read more
The world's northernmost capital is a charming destination in all seasons.... Read more