• INAH-DMC/Mauricio Marat
    INAH-DMC/Mauricio Marat
  • D.R. © Carlos Blanco/Arqueología Mexicana/Raíces
    D.R. © Carlos Blanco/Arqueología Mexicana/Raíces
Balamcanché
The throne of the Jaguar
The ancient Maya inhabitants of the region constructed a ceremonial center within a cavern. Most notable is a giant pillar made by the fusion of a stalactite with a stalagmite known as the Sacred Ceiba (silk-cotton tree).
About the site
This archeological site, located nearly four miles to the east of Chichen Itza, consists of a quadrangle of platforms and a cave system. It can be deduced that at some point it was part of the ancient pre-Hispanic city, and that it was in fact an important place for the worship of the rain god Chaac.

Six hundred and fifty feet from the entrance there is a geological formation, the product of the union of a stalactite and a stalagmite, whose form closely resembles the great ceiba: the sacred tree of the Maya. This is a place where ceremonial objects such as pots, incense burners and grinding stones where found. Also, at the bottom of the cavern where it meets the aquifer, an offering can be seen with incense burners and small grinding stones.

The site was discovered in 1932 but investigation began in earnest after September 15, 1959, when José Humberto Gómez, a tour guide and Mayan culture enthusiast, realized that one section of the cave chamber was man-made. Close examination revealed a stone wall with a stucco covering. Upon removal of the stones which sealed the access, it was proven that the space was connected to other chambers and that the cave was larger and more important than had previously been assumed.

Pottery finds indicate that the cave was used for ceremonies from 300 BC in the Late Preclassic up to 1200 in the Late Postclassic. The main materials used were from the Terminal Classic and the Postclassic from 900 to 1200, which would indicate that at this time the space was used intensively, when Chichen Itza was at its peak. It can be deduced that Balamcanché was very important in the sacred landscape of the city and was therefore a significant location in terms of the Mayan world view.
cat_307119
INAH-FN. ca. 1945
cat_311145
INAH-FN. ca. 1955
900 - 1200

Preclásico Medio a Posclásico Temprano

Did you know...
  • According to the ancient Maya, the gods of the water, night and underworld dwelt in caves.
  • The cave goes down to a depth of approximately 33 feet, while the passages extend to more than 1,600 feet.
An exert point of view
Marco Antonio Santos Ramírez
Marco Antonio Santos Ramírez
Zona Arqueológica de Chichén Itzá
Archeological site
Balamcanché
Practical information
Temporarily closed
Monday to Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs

$55.00 pesos


  • 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 entry with food
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza a 6 kilómetros de Chichén Itzá.

From the city of Mérida, follow Federal Highway 180 towards Valladolid and at kilometer 123 take the exit that leads to the site.

Services
  • Estacionamiento
  • Módulo de información
  • Sanitarios
  • Visitas guiadas
  • +52 (999) 944 4068
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Directory
Responsable
Marco Antonio Santos
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (985) 851 0137
1882
222_A_000
222_A_001
INAH-DMC/Mauricio Marat
222_A_003_balamcache_raices_carlos_blanco_2
D.R. © Carlos Blanco/Arqueología Mexicana/Raíces
Sureste
Dentro de una caverna se encuentra este centro ceremonial de los antiguos pobladores mayas, donde llama la atención el gran pilar formado por la fusión de una estalactita con una estalagmita conocido como La Ceiba Sagrada.
The ancient Maya inhabitants of the region constructed a ceremonial center within a cavern. Most notable is a giant pillar made by the fusion of a stalactite with a stalagmite known as the Sacred Ceiba (silk-cotton tree).
El trono del jaguar
The throne of the Jaguar

LEGAL NOTICE

The contents of this website belong to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, and may be downloaded and shared without alterations, provided that the author is acknowledged and if is not for commercial purposes.

Footer MediatecaINAH

Guardar
Lugares INAH

Idioma