structure I                          juan c. costal perez

structure XI/palace                           hjpd

structure XX                           sonja a hannover

structure XX                                          steve mellard

​​​​​welcome to the mayan ruins website .

structure VI                                         hjpd

                                                                      steve mellard

structure X                                                    by hjpd

site plan                                            inah                       

structure II                                       vargatamas


CHICANNA-Campeche (Yucatan), Mexico

Chicanna, “House of the Mouth of the Serpent”, is a small archaeological zone considered to have been a center for the surrounding regions elite. It was dependent on the nearby site of Becan. There is a range of architectural styles that includes Puuc and Chenes, though most of the standing structures exhibit strong Rio Bec influence. The site is known for a very impressive temple containing a large doorway framed by the gaping mouth of a giant earth deity.

The site is located south off Highway 186, about 80 miles/126 kms west from Chetumal, and about 5 miles/8 kms west from the small town of Xuphil.

HOURS: 8 A.M.-5 P.M.
ENTRANCE FEE:  U.S. $3.00/60 Pesos
SERVICES: Restrooms and visitor kiosk
ACCOMMODATIONS:  Basic food and lodging available in Xupihl. Chetumal, as the state capital, has a much wider selection to offer
GPS: 18d 30' 05" N, 89d 28' 54" W

The earliest habitation extends back to about 300 B.C. Masonry structures appeared in the Late Pre Classic (300 B.C.-200 A.D.) and the site reached its height in the Late Classic Period (600-900 A.D.  Like other sites in the area, Chicanna began a gradual decline and was abandoned by the end of the Terminal Classic (900-1100 A.D.) 

The site was rediscovered in 1966 with restoration commencing in 1970. Excavation and restoration work continue at the site. 

Chicanna contains five main structural groups. The main plaza contains the Central group consisting of 4 structures situated around the plaza. Structure I is located on the west side of the plaza. It consists of a long platform with two towers on its extreme ends exhibiting a Rio Bec style with stairways to faux temples, along with stone mosaics of the rain god Chac. The middle portion contains six chambers, three of which face on opposite sides of the platform.

 Structure II is on the east side of the plaza and was built in the mid eighth century. The impressive entrance to this temple is encircled by an intricate mosaic of Itzamna, the supreme earth deity. The floor resembles the lower jaw with stone teeth set up in front of the entryway with the upper jaw above. One passes through the jaws of this deity to enter the temple. The sides of the temple are decorated with masks of the rain god Chac. The temple consists of eight rooms and was once crowned with a roof comb. Partial glyphic inscriptions have been discovered here painted on interior walls. A similar structure was recently revealed at the rediscovered site of Lagunita (August 2014) located to the north. Another exists at the nearby site of Hormiguero, and one is also seen at the northern Yucatan site of Ek Balam. 

The north and south sides of the Plaza have low platforms that contained a number of chambers, each with a central stairway. Structure III on the south side has evidence of additions that were added at a later time.

Structure VI is located to the southeast of the Central Plaza and is built atop a low platform. It contains a central and side stairway which leads to a series of chambers. The façade consists of a series of mosaic masks stacked one above the other. The roof was once adorned with a roof comb. 

Located to the southwest of the Central Plaza is a group of structures arranged around two courtyards. Structure XI is a small palace consisting of twelve rooms, and is considered to be among the earliest structures at the site. 

The most important structure in the northwest group is that of Structure XX. This is the highest structure at the site. The façade of this temple features a zoomorphic mosaic design. The first floor of this two level structure has eleven rooms, and contains an interior staircase leading to the second level which has four rooms.