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. It is located 22 kilometers south of ruins of Xpuhil.
Hormiguero is a little known site that is a delightful pleasure to visit.
The word “hormiguero” means “ant hill” in spanish.
Only a few of its 84 known structures have been excavated. 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.
Structure II is the most completely excavated building at the site and one of the most wildly theatrical of all Rio Bec buildings. It is 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.
It is a rectangular platform, with two soaring, false-staircase towers either side of a colossal Chenes-style monster-portal. Inside there are several large chambers.
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.
Nearby is the Central Group, a complex of large temples, most of which are not excavated. Of those that are, Structure V is the most impressive. It is a towering pyramid with a well-preserved Chenes-style temple at the top.
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 was a Mayan city which was at its peak in the Late Classic Period (650–850).
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.
From Escarcega: just 2:40 hours in bus, taxi or by car.
From Campeche: is around 5 hours by bus or 3:30-4:00 hours by car or taxi.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Suggested visiting time: 2 hours
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.
It is possible to combine Hormiguero with a visit to Xpuhil and Becan as all three can be easily visited in one day.
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