Maya Ruins > Hormiguero, Campeche

Hormiguero is a little known site that is a delightful pleasure to visit. It means "ant hill" in Spanish. We not only were the only visitors on the site, but there had been no North Americans who had signed their names on the register for days. Its a pity, because the site is rich in architectural ornamentation on the buildings. The site is located on flat land with slight elevations towards the south and consists of three main group of structures.

Hormiguero was reported by Ruppert and Dennison during their Carnegie expedition in 1933. Nevertheless, it wasn't until 1979 when the first excavation of the zone were begun. Hormiguero height was in the classic period, between 600 and 800 AD.

Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Suggested visiting time: 2 hours

Services: None -- gasoline and food can be found in Xpuhil

Map of Mayan Ruins
Hormiguero is located in the state of Campeche midst the large group of ruins in the Rio Bec area. Take highway 186 from Chetumal or Escarcega. Take 180 toward the town of Champoton, about 20 km. The site's location is well marked.

Structure II

In the North end of the South Group is Structure II, the most important temple of the site due to its size and the elaborate carvings on the facade. The facade consists of three main sections divided by two towers with rounded corners, typical of the Rio Bec region.

Unlike some structures, the towers are not false in that underneath a corridor exists that connects the platform of the central facade with the side ones. The central faced is a large mask of Itzamna, the door a giant mouth. The steps of temple are carved like teeth, with the entry way, a giant tongue.

Structure V is located in the Central Group and is a building much smaller than Structure II, but the mask is much better preserved. The mask is an enormous representation of the monster of the Earth, in which the open jaws form the entrance to the building. On each corner of the building are multiple rows of well preserved Chaac masks, God of rain.

Hormiguero is in the jungle, so can be hot and muggy. In the months of June, July and August, it is a good idea to use insect repellent and bring rain gear.

We suggest combining Hormiguero with a visit to Xpuhil and Becan as all three can be easily visited in one day.

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