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Chenes Tour a Success!

It's been a very busy season here at Bob's MayaWorld Tours. New day trips, a lot of new friends and a fun time for all. Just a week ago we returned from a terrific adventure in northern Campeche. After a nice long walk at Sayil to get a baseline on Puuc architecture and history we drove to the incredible site of Santa Rosa Xtampak.

This is the largest of all Maya Chenes sites. Located between the Rio Bec region to the south (near Calakmul) and the Puuc sites in Yucatan, this is a unique style that borrows heavily from the other regional architectural traditions. By 550 AD Xtampak was a major city - contemporaneous with the Oxkintok ceremonial center. It maintained its status for 400 years - a long time for sites so far north. Located on two adjacent hills the climbing required is well worth the effort. I consider this one of the hidden gems of the Yucatan Peninsula

Alley at Santa Rosa Xtampak

We spent the night in the clean and comfortable Jaguar Hotel with great wifi, hot showers and air conditioning and had a nice meal at a local seafood joint. Then up the next morning to another site very infrequently visited: Dzibilnocac.

Discussing Rio Bec influences at Dzibilnocac

The oval shaped temple base reminds me of Uxmal

Dzibilnocac reached its zenith in the 7th century through the 9th century. Originally the palace structure pictured above had three temples in the Rio Bec style complete with fake stairways.

Hochob features an iconic Chenes temple with a "monster mouth" portal to the underworld. Perhaps you've already seen the reproduction of the most famous temple at Hochob in the courtyard of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It represents the continuity between the world we inhabit and the underworld along with the ancestors of the king. With an extremely baroque style that features elaborate jungle vines, Chat masks, and serpent/reptile iconography.

We stopped on the way back to Merida at the famous Pickled Onion and enjoyed and excellent lunch along with a cold beer. A good time was had by all. As usual, the tour was right on schedule throughout the weekend, thanks to planning and a terrific group of interested and enthusiastic travelers. Hope to see you soon on our next journey!

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