Mayan Archaeology > Campeche

Kilometer 153 of the Escárcega-Chetumal highway


See the famous Building of the Three Towers, unique in the Río Bec style

Its name comes from a wild plant known by its shape as the “Cat’s tail”. The site is located in the southeast of Campeche and had its peak in the late Classic period (500-800 A.D.). The first evidence of human occupation in the site dates back to 400 B.C., in the late Preclassic period. Its decline occurred towards the early post-Classic period, around 1200 A.D.

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This dispersed settlement was discovered in 1938 and still preserves some isolated remnants of Río Bec style architecture.

Xpuhil consists of approximately 17 architectural groups and numerous residential platforms, dispersed over an area of 5 square kilometers. North of the highway are the first four buildings, Structure I, or the Building of the Three Towers, stands over a rounded-corner platform and is characterized by its third tower, in addition to the two towers usually present in Río Bec style buildings. Structure II has a façade where there are foundations for small rooms; Structure III was apparently for residential use due to its inner sidewalks; and Structure IV, also for residential use with two levels with chambers.

The fifth building, known as Xpuhil 2 or Temple of the Cresting, has 19 rooms; the ones in the center had horizontal walls with hieroglyphics. Its main façade is characterized by its upper cresting, which show signs of gutters and stylized figureheads.

The Building of the Towers is the most important feature of the site, it is famous worldwide due to the unusual presence –in fact, the only case– of a Rio Bec style building with 3 towers. The site is reached through eco-archaeological paths, allowing visitors to observe the pre-Hispanic architecture while enjoying the surrounding natural environment.


42 pesos


Monday through Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00

How to arrive

It is located 302 km southeast of the city of Campeche (an approximate 4-hour journey time), on km 153 of Federal Highway 186 Escárcega-Chetumal, in the municipality of Calakmul.