The exotic woodland of Campeche is a silent protector of spectacular Mayan places like Calakmul, Chicanná, Becán, Edzná, Xpujil, Hormiguero, Balamkú among others that as the years pass by continue leaving its visitors astonished with is a marvel.
In this adventure you will visit the World Heritage site of Campeche City, an encounter with dolphins at Isla Aguada, the Magic Town of Candelaria and amazing secluded archaeological sites.
Campeche International Airport
Trip may include activities like walks.
This morning you will enjoy a cultural city tour in the City of Campeche, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Your first stop will be at the Museo de Estelas Mayas, which exhibits Mayan stelae and regional art located in the San Pedro Bulwark, then continue with the tour visiting the Puerta de Tierra.
A bronze cannon from the 18th century with the royal insignia welcomes you to Puerta de Tierra. Walk to the top of the rampart, from where you will be able to observe the domes of the Campeche churches. Then visit the Bastion of San Francisco and the Bastion of San Juan, located in the same complex, where you will be able to visit a small museum dedicated to piracy.
After the museum visit, walk along Calle 59, also called Casas de Colores (Colored Houses). Along the street you will observe brightly colored houses, colonial doors, and windows. You will visit art galleries with works of Campeche artists, handicraft stores, churches, the Campechano Institute, Parque de la Independencia, the Cathedral, and the Puerta del Mar, which was the first and main entrance to the walled city by navigators.
At night, don’t miss the fascinating light and sound show at La Puerta de Tierra. After the show, you can take a walk along the Historic Center’s cobblestone streets, where you’ll see a wide variety of stores, restaurants, bars and cafes. You can also take a stroll down the beautiful 3.5-km boardwalk, which leads to a tourist walkway, parks and a bicycle track.
Morning transfer to Isla Aguada (2 hours)
Isla Aguada is a beach that has been kept very hidden in the state of Campeche. Although its name says it, it is not an island, but a bar that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna de Terminos. It is precisely the privileged location of this place that gives it all the charm, since on one side you have the sandy areas of the sea and on the other the beaches of the lagoon.
It is a small town where fishermen go out early to work and where the different blue shades of the sea create a visual spectacle that you cannot miss.
Here you will have a boat tour at Laguna de Terminos to spot dolphins in their natural sanctuary, also a tour through mangroves and the Island of Birds,
After this tour full of nature and wildlife you will continue with the trip to Candelaria (2 hours)
2 nights of lodging at Candelaria.
Morning departure from your hotel, first you will visit El Tigre Archaeological site (1 hour)
banks of the Candelaria River was known.
Due to the imposing construction and the size of the area, El Tigre is thought to correspond to the Itzamkanac from historical sources, the capital of the Acalanes, and the place where Hernán Cortés murdered Cuauhtémoc. In the ceremonial center today, vestiges are sought that indicate the dedication of the temples, presumably consecrated to deities of chontal origin such as Ixchel and Itzamná. The latter was the god most adored by the ruling classes, who may have attempted to establish monotheism.
The site of Itzamkanac or El Tigre sits on a hill next to the Candelaria River, with a long sequence of occupation that goes from the Middle Preclassic (600-300 BC) to the Protohistoric (ca. 1557 AD). Comprised of 6 architectural groups, the central area of the site has not shown a defined style. One of the squares is surrounded by pyramidal foundations and anthropomorphic masks from the Preclassic. The settlement has several architectural styles: Petén, Río Bec, and Tardío.
On the way back to Candelaria you will stop at Pedro Baranda Springs, the place has a light rustic pier but what is worth it to see the vast expanse of the spring, you can swin in the middle of the forest.
Afternoon transfer back to Candelaria.
Morning transfer to Hotel Puerta Calakmul (3 hours approximately)
On route you will stop at Balamku, here, there is a stucco frieze modeled and painted unique in the Mayan area, which was made between 550 and 600 AD. C. The frieze displays 4 ascension scenarios alternated with 3 jaguars. Every includes an animal having its head flipped back, seated at the front slit of the Earth Monster figurehead; his mouth gives way to a king on his throne.
Along with showing in depth complementary facets of the underworld, the set reveals that the dynastic period is compared with the solar cycle. Access throne is represented by the king, emerging from the jaws of terrestrial monster when the sun rises from the mouth of the Earth.
The king’s death is seen as a sunset, when it falls into the mouth of the Earth Monster,
After sunset you will visit the Bats Cave, this cave is inhabited by more than 2 million bats divided into 9 species,
After sunset return to your hotel.
Today you will have full day to enjoy Calakmul Archaeological site, a World Heritage Site declared by Unesco in 2002.
Calakmul means in Mayan “Two Adjacent Mounds” (Ca dos, adjacent Lak, Mul artificial mound or pyramid), a name that refers to the two magnificent structures that dominate the jungle.
Calakmul was discovered in the early 30s of the last century. Still, it was not until the 80s that systematic research permitted to discover the essence of the town among the most significant in the Classic Maya. The most recent surveys have concluded that Calakmul is the most important city of the Classic Maya, and together with Tikal and Palenque, they headed the political organization of the highlands. Hieroglyphic studies have revealed a history of wars between Calakmul and Tikal for almost a century of history, which speaks to the political rivalry of these cities.
Unique urban planning is observed, with large ceremonial squares and residential complexes. It is also the site where the most considerable quantity of stelae has been discovered within the Mayan region, most of them from the Late Preclassic period (400 BC).
These constitute the main object of epigraphic and iconographic study, which has made possible the reconstruction of the political and dynastic history of this city. Calakmul presents a settlement pattern that was adapted to the geography of its surroundings, and its nuclear area is represented by five architectural groups that were connected by squares.
Today, full day archaeological adventure visiting 3 cities of the Rio Bec architectural style. The first sto is Chicanna, located just 35 minutes from the hotel, Chicanna is know as “House of the serpents’ mouth” and this refers to the huge head figure at the central façade of structure II. According to archeologists, the head figure represents “Itzamna” reptile personification of their divinity.
Due to its elegance and decorative richness it is thought that Chicanná was a place for the “privileged”. Due to its location during the Classic late and classic terminal periods (300-800 AC) it must have been part of the commercial route that crossed the Mexican gulf until reaching the southern coast.
The earliest sign of occupation of the site goes back to the pre-classical period (300 BC – 250 AC) and it was inhabited until the end of the Classical and Post-classical periods (800-1100).
Then move to Becan, an urban settlement whose development encompassed from the Late Pre-classic (100-250 BC), the period in which it was built, until its peak, which took place during the Late Classic period between 550 and 830 of our era.
Last site to visit is Xpujil, this site was occupied since 300 B.C. until 1200 of our era.
It is a grouping of approximately 17 architectonic groups and numerous platforms of a housing type dispersed on a surface of about 5 square kms but only 4 buildings can be visited.
Today you will have a 4X4 adventure and visit the archaeological site of Oxpemul.
Oxpemul is located approximately 30 km northeast of Calakmul. Its geographical location makes it a strategic site, as it is close to the limits of two regional states from the Classic period, that of Río Bec to the north and that of Calakmul to the south. However, according to the model of territorial organization of the southern Maya Lowlands, established by Flannery, Marcus, and Adams, Oxpemul is listed as a tributary city of Calakmul during the Late Classic.
You will conclude your day visiting Nadzca’an to have a nighttime experience inside of Mayan site including a star’s garden.