• INAH - DMC / Archivo
    INAH - DMC / Archivo
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
  • INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
    INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
Hormiguero
(Anthill) Its name refers to a camp of rubber tappers set up here in 1930 close to the archeological remains.
Similar to Hochob, it has a building whose facade has a great mask with a monstrous open mouth with enormous fangs, which has been interpreted as an entrance to the underworld. Also worthy of note is the zoomorphic facade and the masks of the god Chaac which decorate another of the structures.
About the site

Ensconced in the heart of the southern jungles of the state of Campeche, El Hormiguero consists of around a hundred pre-Hispanic structures. It was reported in 1933 by the Americans Karl Ruppert and John Dennison, who named it El Hormiguero (“the anthill”) due to the large number of anthills found there. It was a Maya city of medium importance and subordinate to Becán, the principal city in the entire Río Bec region. The settlement was first inhabited at the beginning of the Common Era, during the Late Preclassic. In the Early Classic (300 AD) there already existed a small, self-sufficient community, and a century later this transformed from being a village to a more hierarchical society that built a number of monumental structures.

However, it was only in the Late Classic, in around 750 AD, when construction work intensified: the buildings became larger, had more refined finishes and bore more symbolic features, indicating a stratified society. Impressive structures with towers were erected during this period of the city’s development. For example, Structures 2 and 6 have an integrated zoomorphic entrance, while Structure 66 has a series of mask panels. Also, a particularly fine example of a tripartite facade has been preserved on Structure 2, as well as a large zoomorphic entrance with lateral towers.

The site was abandoned in around 950 AD and its buildings looted. By contrast, the population of Becán grew considerably, perhaps because it received the people who had left El Hormiguero and other Maya settlements in the region.

Since the 1970s, a number of archeological studies have begun to be carried out at El Hormiguero. Specifically, Agustín Peña of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) was in charge of early conservation works at the site. Between 1984 and 1985 the INAH initiated—under the supervision of Román Piña Chán and with Ricardo Bueno in charge of the team in the field—projects to excavate and consolidate Structures 2 and 5, which are now some of the few remains of the architectural features open to the public, with their zoomorphic entrances and a series of administrative or residential chambers.

Between 1991 and 1994, with Ricardo Bueno as director of a team of graduates from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH), work was resumed at El Hormiguero. Another INAH project was led by Ángeles Cantero from 1997 to 1998, focusing on previously unexplored parts of Building 2, and exploration of Structure 5 began. In 2001, archeologist Luz Campaña was in charge of conducting maintenance on the ceiling of the temple on top of this building. In late 2011, and during early 2016, Vicente Suárez of INAH’s regional office in Campeche carried out both small and large-scale interventions on Structures 2 and 5, which were showing signs of damage due to the ravages of time and a lack of upkeep. At the same time, the west facade of Building 6 was explored, consolidated and restored. In recent dates, Structure 7 was completely restored. The damage seen in Structures 2, 5, 6 and 7 of this archeological area were caused by exposure to the elements, encroaching vegetation, cracks and filtrations in the wall faces, causing ashlar stones to become detached, disintegration of mortar and sections of some walls to crumble.

300 - 950

Clásico Temprano a Clásico Tardío

Did you know...
  • Many buildings of different kinds and sizes are found at the center of the pre-Hispanic settlement; the larger and more profusely decorated structures were built between the sixth and seventh centuries.
  • Masks feature in the decoration of the site’s most important buildings, and these reflect the local elite’s ideological and dynastic importance.
An exert point of view
Archeological site
Hormiguero
Practical information
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00 hrs

Free entry


  • Extra fee for video cameras
  • Extra fee for professional cameras
  • No Smoking
  • No entry with food
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza en el sector oriente de la Reserva de la Biosfera de Calakmul, a 8 km al sur del ejido Echeverría Castellot y aproximadamente a 24 km al suroeste del poblado de Xpuhil.

Desde la ciudad de Campeche la distancia a Hormiguero es de 327 km.

From the city of Campeche, take Federal Highway 180 towards Champotón and then Federal Highway 186 Escárcega-Chetumal until you reach Xpuhil. Continue south for 14 km until you reach the village of Eugenio Echeverría Castellot II or Carrizal; the site is 8 km to the west.

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Directory
Encargada de Operación de Zonas Arqueológicas del Centro INAH Campeche
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+52 (981) 816 9111, exts. 138016 y 138017
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259_A_002
INAH - DMC / Archivo
259_estructura_hormiguero_estructura_II_area
INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
259_estructura_hormiguero_estructura_V_2
INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
259_estructura_hormiguero_estructura_II
INAH - Zona arqueológica / Archivo
Sureste
Igual que el sitio de Hochob, tiene un edificio en cuya fachada aparece un gran mascarón con una boca monstruosa abriendo sus fauces, lo que se ha interpretado como una entrada al inframundo. También hay que ver la portada zoomorfa y los mascarones del dios Chaac que decoran otra de sus estructuras.
Similar to Hochob, it has a building whose facade has a great mask with a monstrous open mouth with enormous fangs, which has been interpreted as an entrance to the underworld. Also worthy of note is the zoomorphic facade and the masks of the god Chaac which decorate another of the structures.
Su nombre hace alusión al campamento chiclero que existió cerca de los restos arqueológicos en 1930.
(Anthill) Its name refers to a camp of rubber tappers set up here in 1930 close to the archeological remains.

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