Rio Bec Sites - Campeche and Quintana Roo
(This is Structure XX at Chicanna- almost the "prototypical" Mayan ruin).
Among the most beautiful but overlooked Mayan sites are known collectively as the Rio Bec sites, on the southern part of Campeche and Quintana Roo bording respectively Guatemala and Belize. There are two ways to tour this area, starting from the west in the small town of Escarcega, or from the east starting from Chetumal. Either way it will be a long, lonely, and arduous journey across this part of Mexico, and you will surely need more than one day to do it. The main sites are Calakmul (newly accessible with accomodations), Balamku, Chicanna, Becan, Xpujil and Kohunlich.
Chicanna stays in my mind. I was the only visitor there and was awestruck by the quiet stillness and beauty of the place. However, the caretaker's little daughter decided to play "hide and seek" with me, smiling and peering at me from behind trees.It made the experience a lot of fun, and very memorable.
Chicanna- The Temple of Itzamna- the Serpent God.
Notice the serpent's teeth above the doorway and on the step in front.
Becan - perhaps the only Mayan city to have a protective moat. The cross-hatch, mosaic motif is typical of the Rio Bec region. Notice that some of the original red paint is still on these walls.