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Aguateca was only discovered in the late 1950’s and so is one of the newer more exciting Mayan cultural monuments in the area. Located at the southern edge of Laguna Petexbatún, this historic site is divided in two by a dramatic chasm filled with exuberant vegetation. The two main features of Aguateca are the Palace Group and the Main Plaza. There is a concerted effort to conserve the ruins and relics and you will find excellent replicas of original stelae in the Main Plaza beside the remnants of the original ones. Back in the Pre-classical period, along with Dos Pilas, Aguateca was the capital of a powerful dynasty that originated in Tikal. However, judging by the remains of an unfinished temple and the scattered nature of found relics it would appear the settlement was quickly abandoned at the beginning of the 9th century. A causeway connects the two core areas of the ruins and the journey there alone makes for an exciting adventure by canoe and through lush jungle. There is a modest visitor’s centre and a place selling snacks and refreshments located near the entrance to the site. The rangers will usually let you camp there for free provided you have your own equipment and it is common to give them a small gift of food by way of thanks. As is the case for Dos Pilas and other sites, there are several tour operators with whom you can arrange a guided trip to the ruins. Nearby lodging options such as Chiminos Island and Posada Caribe also offer guided tours.

Other neighborhoods in Sayaxché: Punta De Chimones , Laguna Petexbatún , Ceibal and Dos Pilas .

11 Aug 2010

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