Home Free Listings Exchange Rates Contact
Balankanche Yucatan

Grutas de Balankanché (Balankanche Caverns)

The Maya believe caves and caverns to be links with the underworld, or “inframundo.” Often containing pools of water, caves were thought to be the domain of Chac, the rain god. There is evidence that this idea was shared by other important civilizations in Mesoamerica, including the Aztecs, Teotihuacanos, and as far back as the Olmecs (predecessors to the Maya). Archaeologists have theorized that water channeled through a cave under the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, indicated that it was the domain of the pop-eyed rain god, whom they called Tlaloc. The Aztecs (who flourished in the Post-classic era, until the conquest of Mexico) believed that caves generated clouds and rain.

Although the outer chambers of this series of caves have been used by modern Maya, a sealed inner chamber was only discovered in 1959. Pottery found within showed that the caves were used in religious ceremonies for millennia. Incense censers with Chac faces were carbon dated to about AD 860, and it’s a wonderful thing to see them in situ instead of in the glass case of a modern museum.

As we wandered through the caves on a recent trip, we asked about the meaning of the word Balankanché, also written Balankanchen or Balancanchen. Our guide said that many people confuse the Maya word “Balan” with “Balam” (“jaguar”), mistakenly translating it as “the jaguar’s throne.” His interpretation, however, was “hidden throne or altar.” The altar-throne was an icon important to Olmec rulers.

For more information, check out our Balankanche Travel Guide.

BALANKANCHE LOCAL LISTINGS


Great, large house for sale in Buenavista

House/Condo for Sale
Buenavista, Yucatan

More Info


Merida rental

Rentals
Merida, Yucatan
+44 (0)1303 210422

More Info


Great house for sale or rent, swimming pool

Property for Sale
Merida
Merida, Yucatan
9999475428

More Info


House for rent between merida and progresso

Rentals
Tamanche
Merida, Yucatan
9991065115

More Info


condo on the beach for rent

Rentals
Progresso, Yucatan

More Info


Handcrafted Fun Jewelry

Fraccionamiento Montebello
Merida, Yucatan
999.913.8568

More Info


HACIENDA-STYLE, 2 BED, 3 BATH HOME 4 SALE, IZAMAL

Property for Sale
Colonia San Juan, Calle 18 #268
Izamal, Yucatan, Yucatan

More Info


Condo for rent in puerto morales

Rentals
Puerto Morales, Yucatan

More Info


Put your free listing here