Chicanná, Campeche, Mexico
House of the Serpent MouthChicanna was a small Classic Maya (250-900 AD) town located in southern Campeche, Mexico that thrived despite its close proximity to larger regional powers. The site is composed of palaces, plazas and relatively small temples and contains no large pyramids like its nearby neighbors Becan and Calakmul. However, the ruins are very interesting due to the remarkable preservation of the structures and the wide ranging Classic Maya architectural styles, including Chenes (monster faced facades), Rio Bec (false pyramids) and Puuc (chac gods with upturned noses). Structure II is the site’s namesake, appropriately named House of the Serpent Mouth (Chicanna). The single story building is a small temple with an intact monster faced doorway in the local Chenes style. The site lies along Federal Highway 186, which runs east-west through the southern Yucatan Penninsula, linking Chetumal in Quitana Roo with sites in southern Campeche. The highway is named the Corredor Arqueologico (Archaeological Corridor), because it passes close to several Maya archaeological sites, including Calakmul, Balamku, Xpujil, Hormiguero, Kinichna, Kohunlich and many others. I suggest staying a night or two centrally along the route near the town of Xpujil in order to explore the area comfortably. I really enjoyed my stay at the Chicanna Ecovillage Resort in Xpujil. The rooms are spacious and air conditioned, there's a nice pool and the hotel restaurant prepares delicious Yucatecan favorites.