My Trip to the Maya Ruins of Xpujil and Becan, and the Museo de la Cultura Maya in Chetumal, Quintana Roo by Phil Konstantin
Xpujil, Becan and Museo de la Cultura Maya
Xpujil (also spelled Xpuhil) and Becan are ruins in what is called the Rio Bec area. They are both just west of the small town of Xpujil, Campeche. Xpujil is a approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Chetumal, Quintana Roo. Both are easily reached from Highway 186. It was here I first encountered an old nemesis, the mosquito. While they were not so thick you could knock down a few dozen with a single swing, they were numerous enough I could hear a constant buzz. Actually, to do them justice, in my experience no mosquito can be knocked down by a swing. They keep coming back like the villian in a cheap slasher movie. Even though (thinking ahead) I wore long sleeves and long pants, I still got quite a few bites. This, and the heavy coastal rains, played a major role in my decision to not visit Coba, where the mosquitos are known to be worse. I arrived in Xpujil around 11am. The local taxis and combis all seemed to be on their midday break. As I walked past a few of them, I did not get a single solicitation for a ride. The entrance to the Xpujil ruins is less than 1 kilometer from the center of town. The entrance to Becan is about 6 kilometers (3.5 miles) further west. Chicanna is another kilometer further down. I did not have enough time to go to Chicanna. I was the only visitor at both Xpujil and Becan. The Rio Bec area gets much fewer of the casual tourists than do the northern Maya sites.
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