A well-deserved break along the way
The name Hecelchakán has always been linked to rest for travellers. The name comes from the Mayan words helel (savanna) and chakan (rest), a good description of what this place still is. Founded between 1500 and 1600, it has been said that in ancient times, travelers on long journeys stopped here for water from the large cenote, where the leafy trees provided them with shade and fruit.
Later, in colonial times, the small town shone again due to its strategic location on the Camino Real, where the paths to the cities of Campeche and Merida converge. Do not miss the Camino Real Anthropological Museum, a beautiful 17th century mansion in the main square with a simple collection of Mayan artefacts.
If you get as far as the town, about 50 kilometers northeast of Campeche, you'll find a large indigenous population who have kept many of their traditions and where the houses have retained Mayan features. There are almost no cars, and tranquillity and kindness are the norm. It has a very interesting market.
Most of the municipality is jungle, located in the heart of the Los Petenes reserve, and the coast is lined with mangrove and tular trees. Here by the sea, waits a Mayan treasure that leaves no one indifferent: the island of Jaina, a necropolis with ruins dating from 600 to 1200 A.D. There are an estimated 20,000 graves here.
On November 2, don´t miss the World Festival of the Day of the Dead in the Pomuch Mayan World.
Church of St. Francis of AssisiCity of Hecelchakán
Jaina IslandMunicipality of Hecelchakán
SquareCity of Hecelchakán