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Mayan Ruins and Nature
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Located 40 kilometers away from Tikal and 65 kilometers away from the island of Flores, Yaxha is the third biggest Mayan site in Guatemala yet it is one of the rarely visited ruins that any visitor is sure to admire its beauty.
Considered as a unique archaeological site in the Petén, Yaxha is also one of the Post Classical Mayan sites in the area which functioned as a sacred place and where noble families from Yaxha were buried. It is also one of the few Maya cities to keep its traditional Mayan name which means “green waters”.
For 16 centuries, dating from 600 BC to 900 AD, Yaxha was an important city during the Mayan reign and it was occupied and has supported over 20,000 populations and contained more than 500 Mayan structures which include 5 acropolises, 9 temple pyramids, 13 altars, 40 stelae, and 3 ball courts. Sacbes or ancient elevated roads connect the structures in a manner comparable to Maya sites in the Yucatan. Temple 216 is the tallest structure in Yaxha which is found in East Acropolis. Atop, the temple offers breathtaking view of lakes Yaxha and Sacnab and its surrounding rainforest.
What makes Yaxha interesting is that it is the only place outside of Tikal which holds a twin pyramid complex. This site is located in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve and it has been declared as a Natural and Cultural Monument of the country. It is comprised of 37,500 Hectares of rainforests, wetlands, lakes and lagoons. Any traveler interested in wildlife will not disappointed in visiting this remote jungle site as various species of tropical birds, butterflies, spiders, crocodiles, jaguars, peccaries, deers, foxes and howler monkeys are in abundance. Yaxha makes the experience even more fascinating with its wonderful wildlife opportunities. Most of the time, the climate is hot and humid with temperatures around 22º – 33º Celsius.
In 1989, the restoration work began in cooperation with the German KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). After years of excavation and restoration by archeologists, many of the Mayan buildings were made recognizable. Now, archaeological tours can provide visitors the opportunity to admire numerous temple pyramids, several huge acropolises, sacred roads, as well as the highest temple in Yaxha known as Temple 216.
Your multilingual guide can be able to tell the interesting story that this wonderful place holds in case you are interested to hear it. You also can enjoy kayaking and riding mountain bikes which are for rent in the reserve. The top of the tallest temple is a relaxing place to spend some time and see the stunning view of the setting sun, breathtaking views of the vast rainforest and wonderful birdlife from above. Getting around is easy as the sites are easily navigable by foot.
There are still many main structures left to be uncovered. The remote site is visited and reached by only a few tourists making it very peaceful and thus offering you a magical feeling as you will feel you are the only ones there. Yaxha tour is definitely a must for travelers who want to explore and discover faraway places that hold beautiful secrets.
Yaxha Tour Pictures
These beautiful pictures are taken from our Yaxha Tours. Enjoy!
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