Chetumal » Palenque; Becán Ruinas

Latitude 18.49669°N Longitude 88.29761°W

Wednesday, October 2, 2002

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Got up at the crack of dawn and out of Chetumal as fast as we could! Got almost no sleep last night due to the sauna-like ambience of the hotel room.

Highway 186 west was a boring drive through close jungle, so there was not much to see along the way except the grotesque remains of ancient road accidents involving large vehicles and animals.

We stopped for a break at the ruins of the ancient city of Becán. This was a cool site, occupied between 550 BC to AD 1000. And apparently it was off the Tourist Bus circuit, so we had the whole place to ourselves to explore as we wished in total solitude. Nestled in the jungle as it is, the site is excellently maintained and the relics are well preserved and surprisingly complex - a lot of fun to clamber around and explore. We even saw a beautiful toucan in the trees.

Lunch at a truck stop at the hot and dusty intersection town of Escarcega.

Continued on into the state of Chiapas and on to Palenque, which surprised us with how nice it was. We were expecting something like Piste, the very "rudimentry" town near Chichén Itzá. But Palenque was very quaint with its small streets, central park and rustic shops.

We arrived around 4pm, looked around for some hotels, chose the basic Posada Kin, cleaned up, then went walking around the town. We ate a simple but filling dinner at a lovely restaurant serving local antojitos (lit. "small whims"), and finished the day with a great steaming mug of locally grown organic Chiapas coffee.

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

Ruins at BecánRuins at BecánRuins at BecánCar searched for Weapons of Mass Destruction
at the Chiapas border
(Can you spot the terrorist?)

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