Yolkobsens are glad we visited Maya ruins in Guatemala before the end of the world arrives and we are all left staring over the mortal abyss. That’s right, The Maya calendar ends December 21, 2012 and, according to many, the interpretation is that the world will end on that date.
Iximché is in Guatemala.
This is a moderately sized Maya ruin. It is accessible from the highways in the Guatemalan west central highlands, an easy less-than-a day-trip from Guatemala City or Antigua Guatemala. It lacks the impressive monumental art and architecture of the more famous larger Maya sites, but remains popular due to its convenient location and pleasant setting.
El Mirador is a large site of Mayan ruins in the Petén region of Guatemala.
The reasons that El Mirador is not swamped with tourists are its inaccessibility and, although a lot of work is being done here, most of this huge site involves many unrestored mounds and pyramids in the jungle. Structure 34 is an exception, where some interesting figures were unearthed and an entire wall has been laid bare. Danta is another exception, where work to stabilize it was done. Once a person has hiked to the top of El Tigre, the view that awaits is mostly of jungle and other ruins, such as Calakmul and Nakbé in the distance. However, any mound or group of mounds that you can see as far as the horizon are former cities. It is the idea of lost cities in the jungle that brings people to see it.
Because of serious ongoing work, this site will become more and more visibly intriguing as time goes on.
El Peru, also known as Waká, is a Mayan ruin in Guatemala. More recently, it was identified as the long-wondered-about “Site Q,” the source of many looted Maya objects. You can normally see it from Flores as a three day, two night trip that involves some, but not a whole lot of hiking. Part of the trip is by river.
The ruins of Tikal include more than 3,000 structures extending over six square miles and including palaces, temples, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, plazas, avenues and steam baths. The ancient Maya began building Tikal around 600 B.C., and for the next 1,500 years the area was an important religious, scientific, and political center.
Visiting the Mayan ruins is a must if you have come all the way to Honduras. Copan is a beautiful mystic site and one you will never forget. Try to arrive at the park early, it opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. The fee to enter the park is about $4.00 per person. Guides are available, some of whom do speak English. A small tip for their services is appreciated.
A new large museum is being built on the park grounds near the Mayan ruins. When it is completed it will be the foremost museum of its kind in Central America. The entry way is like a “portal”, something like you would see at Copan’s Temple 22. It has carvings like serpents. Plans are also underway to bring the Copan stela originals into the museum for preservation and replace them with reproductions.
If your stay permits, visit the Village of Santa Rita and the waterfall “El Rubi”. There is also the ecological reserve Peña Quemada” with its wide variety of birds, flowers and howler monkeys. During the “rainy season” even a white rapid raft trip can be arranged.
Those up for more Mayan ruins can find them three miles past La Entrada (you passed it on the way up). The site is called “La Puente” There are three plazas and extends for about a mile and has 210 structures. The site is only partially restored.