Departure: 7:00 am
Drive time: 1 hour
Yaxhá, which translates to "Blue Green Waters", sits between two beautiful lakes. The climb up many of its Temples, yields breath taking views of the surrounding area, including both the lakes and the Rio Azul that feeds them.
Occupied from 600BC to 900AD, the site offers a variety of construction styles. It is famed for its organized street structure, unique to the Mayan world, and Stelae which are influenced by Mexico's Teotihuacan.
North Acropolis Offers Unparalleled Views
There are several complexes excavated, the most famed of which is the North Acropolis. This Plaza contains three tall temples with unparalleled views of the surrounding rain forest and lakes. The Plaza of the Shadows and the Astronomical Plaza are both examples of the Mayan ability to chart the skies.
Both spider monkeys and howler monkeys inhabit the area. In particular, howler monkeys add quite an element to the experience of seeing these ruins. So named because of their lion-like roar, hearing these primates throughout the afternoon is a constant reminder that you are in the jungle. After an afternoon of exploring the ruins, walk down to nearby Lake Yaxhá for a swim.
General Tour Information
Light-weight, comfortable clothing and shoes with a good grip. Long trousers are more suitable than shorts as they give more protection from insects and weather. Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water are advisable.
Yaxhá is located between Tikal and the Belize border. If you are staying overnight at Tikal you can stop by for a visit on your way to or from Tikal.
Sunset Tour - A popular option, from duPlooy's, is to head out to Yaxhá after lunch, cross the border into Guatemala for the 1 hour drive to the site and then a guided tour; Afterwards climb to the top of the North Acropolis, which overlooks Lake Yaxhá and watch the sunset while you enjoy a wine and cheese snack. Afterwards return to Belize and duPlooy's.
* See Tours & Transfers for current rates and more tour options.