Saturday, July 5, 2014

Maya Ruins of Quirigua, Guatemala

Maya Ruins of Quirigua, Guatemala; near Lago de Izabal, north of Honduras and south of Belize. It is set in an isolated rainforest pocket, surrounded by banana plantations and home to some of the finest Maya carvings (only Copan in Honduras are better they say). 

The sites magnificent stelae, altars and zoomorphs, are covered and well preserved. The stelae were built during the reign of Causac Sky and depict his image. The nine stelae are the tallest in the Maya world. The tallest one is eight meters (26 ft) above ground and weighs 65 tons. 

This site is small and well maintained with a very small museum (free) which explains the sites history starting from 250BC to 738AD when Causac Sky was beheaded. Jade Sky in 790 took the throne and for more than 50 years the area embarked on a building boom including radical reconstruction of the acropolis. From the end of Jade rule to the mid ninth century the historical records fade out, as does the time of prosperity and power.
The price for this site was 80Q ($10US) I found that was too much, but if you plan on staying overnight then it is OK.

Camping is available overnight in the parking lot free. After about 5pm you have the place to yourself except the night guard. This spot is quiet and restful, without hookups but bathrooms are available.   

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