Uaxactun

The most famous building at Uaxactun

Uaxactun is in the Peten department of the Northern Lowlands of Guatemala.

Understand

Uaxactún was under the control of Tikal. It is a smaller ruin. There is a modern village on the site, which used to deal in chiclero.

History

Uaxactun is well known for holding the oldest known Maya astronomical complex yet to be found in completion. It is one of the longest occupied Maya sites.

Landscape

Jungle

Flora and fauna

Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Ant-Eaters, Birds, deer, jaguars, coatimundis. This is north of Tikal Park, but much of the road between it is in the park itself and the rest looks undeveloped away from town.

Climate

Tropical

Get in

Take a bus from the market in Santa Elena at 2pm (it passes through Tikal around 5pm - times approximate) for Q20, drive, or arrange with one of the tourist agencies in Flores to get there. If you're driving your own vehicle, you need to get permission from the Tikal administration office first. A mountain bike could be a good option here also, and they are available for rent in Flores. It is 23 km from Tikal. The bus returns at 6am, so you´ll need to spend the night if you go by bus.

Two buses each day travel from the bus station at Santa Elena via Tikal, departing at 1PM and 3 PM. They arrive in town at 4 and 6 PM, respectively. The first morning return bus leaves at 6 AM. I am not sure of the second departure time.

Fees/Permits

Entry is Q25 or $3.50 US (May 2008).

Get around

Walk

See

Mayan Ruins, Animals, Birds. A community of Chicleros (gum collectors) currently live on the site and many of Uaxactun's residents gather chicle, xate palm leaves, and allspice from the forest to make a living. The local community also offers a small archeological museum.

Main portions of the Uaxactun ruins are on either side of the airfield.

Do

Take photos, hike in the jungle. You can hire a local tourism guide (inquire at the OMYC office) to show you around or guide you on hikes or other activities.

On Dec 21, 2012 the Maya calendar located at Uaxactun completed its final cycle. Tourists planning to commemorate the milestone will be camping out on this evening during the winter solstice at the ruins in conjunction with the Guatemala tourism board.

Visit the ceramics museum at Campamenhto El Chiclero.

Buy

Nothing

Eat

What you bring

El Chiclero has a restaurant, where the food is very good and there is a comedor in town.

Drink

What you bring

Good luck getting anything but Gallo beer.

Sleep

Lodging

El Chiclero and Posada Aldana are the places to stay in town. There looked to be another near the furthest southern end as we entered and rode by in the bus.

Camping

People can camp at El Chiclero in your hammock or tent.

Stay safe

Carry a hiking stick; if you don´t use it for hiking it might be useful to defend yourself from wild animals!

Go next

Bus (5 and 6am) or private transport.

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