• INAH - FN
    INAH - FN
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
Balamkú
The temple of the Jaguar
Deep in the Campeche jungle, this site is composed of three building complexes.
The polychrome molded stucco frieze of the Central Group, unique in the Mayan area,
is proof of the artistic mastery of its ancient inhabitants.
About the site

After being overlooked by specialists for many years, Balamkú was only officially discovered in 1990 when archeologist Florentino García Cruz, from INAH’s regional office in Campeche, followed up reports of the ransacking of an archeological zone that was unknown to that point, and had only been visited by locals. The looting was so extensive that it left exposed a large part of the molded stucco frieze that was mainly painted in red and black. Its name derives from the words “balam” and “kú”, which in Yucatecan Mayan mean “jaguar” and “temple” respectively, thus the building is known as the Temple of the Jaguar. The name is inspired by the feline designs found on the frieze.

Balamkú is a small site and consists of three main groups of buildings and their immediate surroundings, covering 0.4 square miles in total. So far, only the South and Central complexes have been explored and restored by experts.

The Balamkú site shows evidence of a long period of human occupation, from the Middle Preclassic (600-300 BC) until the Late Classic (800-1000 AD). During its early years it was strongly influenced by the cities of the Petén region (such as Calakmul, Nakbé, El Mirador, Uaxactún and Tikal), but between 600 and 1000 AD it came to bear a greater resemblance to the site of Becán, in the Río Bec region.

The Southern Group of buildings consists of 13 structures of varying sizes that were used for different purposes, and are distributed around four civic and ceremonial plazas. However, it should be noted that no more than six or seven of these constructions ever existed at the same time. All of the structures in this complex have been explored and most have been completely restored.

The earliest human occupation of this area of Balamkú can be dated to the Middle Preclassic and continues without interruption until the Late Classic, when it was abandoned and only briefly reoccupied in around 1200 AD.

600 a.C. - 1200

Preclásico Medio a Posclásico Temprano

Did you know...
  • Balamkú is a pre-Hispanic city linked to the Petén region in its earliest phase of occupation, and subsequently with the Río Bec area toward the end of the Classic period.
  • The center of the pre-Hispanic settlement consists of four main groups of buildings where civic, religious, political, administrative and residential activities took place around the beginning of our era.
  • The decoration of the most impressive buildings' façades reveal the ideological and dynastic importance of the local elite.
An exert point of view
Vicente Maximiliano Suárez Aguilar
Vicente Maximiliano Suárez Aguilar
Centro INAH Campeche
Archeological site
Balamkú
Practical information
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a 15:00 hrs

$45.00 pesos


  • Extra fee for professional cameras
  • Sundays free for Mexican citizens
  • Free entrance for Mexicans under 13 years old
  • Free entrance for Mexican students and teachers
  • Free entrance for Mexican senior citizens
  • No Smoking
  • No entry with food
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza en el sureste del estado de Campeche, en el municipio de Calakmul.

A 245 km de la ciudad de Campeche

From the city of Campeche, take Federal Highway 186 towards Escárcega-Chetumal and, at km 95 located in the community of Nuevo Conhuás, follow the road to the archeological zone, which is only 3 km away.

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Encargada de Operación de Zonas Arqueológicas del Centro INAH Campeche
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+52 (981) 816 9111, ext. 138016 y 138017
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INAH - FN
223_estructura_balamku_friso_modelado_de_la_subestructura_I_Grupo_Central
INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
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INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
223_estructura_balamku_Grupo_central
INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
Sureste
Enclavado en la selva campechana, cuenta con tres grupos arquitectónicos. El friso de estuco modelado y policromado, ubicado en el Grupo Central, es único en el área maya y una prueba de la maestría artística de sus antiguos pobladores.
Deep in the Campeche jungle, this site is composed of three building complexes.
The polychrome molded stucco frieze of the Central Group, unique in the Mayan area,
is proof of the artistic mastery of its ancient inhabitants.
Templo del jaguar
The temple of the Jaguar

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