A pyramid at Tikal soars over the Mayan plaza ruins. Dense jungle covers most of northern Guatemala, and “discovering Mayan ruins” is a daily venture for archaeologists. Nowhere has Mayan civilization been more hidden compared to Guatemala. Excavations always uncover grand pyramids, plazas, monuments and artifacts. But tourists could also discover Mayan ruins by touring several sites, on the world-renowned
ruins at Tikal to climbing a pyramid with a lesser known site and imagining how Mayan life was previously.
Tikal sits in Peten, the northernmost district in Guatemala. Mayans built greater than 4,000 structures from the city spanning a 1,700-year period from 800 B.C. The population mysteriously abandoned the town about 900 A.D., leaving the buildings and temples to get consumed because of the jungle. It lay dormant for over 1,000 years until archaeologists began uncovering the city within the mid-1900s. Visitors may now see spectacular, well-preserved ruins. The Great Plaza is flanked by two pyramids, the 154-foot-high Temple from the Great Jaguar and 125-foot-high Temple on the Mask; you may climb these for views of ceremonial buildings, palaces plus a ball court.
Nearby, the Temple in the Double-Headed Serpent rises to 230 feet. Other structures, some only partially visible, always hide from the jungle, while more remain completely paid by dense growth, requiring imagination to visualize how this important area of 90,000 people once bustled.
Other Peten Ruins
Southeast of Tikal, Yaxha is one kind of Guatemala’s largest Mayan sites. More than 500 structures, including 40 monuments, grace nine plazas. Visitors may climb to the peak of a 100-foot four-sided pyramid for views with the jungle and lakes. Another plaza features twin pyramids. Also nearby, the Uaxactun Archaeological Park features temples aligned together to mark astronomical events, including the solstice and equinox. Mayans still celebrate important astronomical events
in the pyramid complex. Farther north, deep from the jungle, El Mirador remains mostly hidden from view, aside from the pyramids. The city is divided into two sections connected with a causeway. In the western section, El Tigre Temple rises to almost 200 feet, and it is base covers a region six times over the largest pyramid at Tikal. The western section is created on terraces, while using pyramid Danta rising to 230 feet.
Southwest Guatemala Ruins
Fifty-five miles from Guatemala City, the ruins at Iximche represent a later Mayan period. The city was founded in 1470 with the Kaqchikel Maya. The Spanish attacked metropolis, also it was abandoned in 1526. Vegetation largely buried town until archaeologists started to uncover it in 1960. Visitors may explore six plazas flanked by temples and palaces, although high of the city remains buried. A museum displays artifacts recovered on the excavations. Mountains overlook Zaculeu, a ruin that sits about 165 miles west of Guatemala City. Visitors may stroll through eight plazas to see several large temples. The structures were produced about 250 to 900, however, many have been restored. A museum exhibit details Mayan burial techniques.
Antigua, a tiny, historic town about 25 miles from Guatemala City’s airport, often serves as a base for touring Mayan ruins. Tourist flights depart daily for Flores, an urban area near Tikal. One day tours through Caribbean Experience (sailing-diving-guatemala.com) include round-trip air transportation and park fees. Longer tours occasionally includes an overnight stay in the Jungle Lodge located close to the ruins. For a less pricey option, visitors can travel by bus - it's 10 hours one of many ways from Antigua to Flores. Visitors ought to be prepared for extensive overnight hiking to attain El Mirador, and plan trips over the dry season from November to April. Buses be the sites in southwestern Guatemala.