Which Mexico/Guatemala ruins to prioritize on a short trip?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Apr 10, 2012 10:24 AM Last Post By: ruminyahui
Apr 1, 2012 5:05 AM
Which Mexico/Guatemala ruins to prioritize on a short trip?I'm planning a short trip to the Yucatan peninsula and will only have 12 days total. I want to visit some of the highlight Mayan ruins but do not need to see everything or spend my entire visit with ruins.
Which ones would you prioritize if you limited yourself to, say, four sites on the same visit? For example, which sites are similar where one might be skipped if you are seeing another?
Copan and Queriga
Apr 1, 2012 5:49 AM
1If you have never visited a Mayan archeological site before, I'd prioritize as follows:
-Chitzen Itza, yes it can be obscenely crowded but it is the classic Mayan site with probably the best preserved ball court of all. Everyone should see Chitzen Itza at least once.
-Palenque, stunningly set in the jungle with howler mokeys grunting in the forest and from Palenque you can take day trips to the magnificent ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak.
-Tulum, maybe not one of the more extensive sites and also very crowded, but its setting on the Caribbean coastline is unique.
Uxmal and Copan are excellent sites as well. Tikal is in Guatemala.
Apr 1, 2012 6:20 AM
Apr 1, 2012 6:42 AM
Apr 1, 2012 7:26 AM
4With only 12 days I would see Chitzen Itza, Coba, Tulum, Palenque, Yaxchillan, Bonampak. Those sites are some of the best and would cut your travel time. Chichen 1 day, tulum and coba 1 day travel to palenque 1 day See palenque 1 day Yaxchillan and Bomanpak 1 day. Yaxchillan is great because to get to it you have to travel down the Usamacinta River by launch.
Apr 1, 2012 9:44 AM
5I may end up prioritizing Chichen Itza and Tikal given my route, plus either Palenque/adjacent sites or Copan/Queriga. I am thinking of making sure to see other places such as Lake Atitlan villages and other cities such as Campeche.
I read somewhere that Copan is a must see even though it is probably as out of the way as Palenque because of the excellent stonework still there. Would this be right? Why do you guys recommend Palenque or other sites over Copan?
Apr 1, 2012 10:19 AM
Apr 1, 2012 10:30 AM
Apr 1, 2012 11:02 AM
8If you are flying into Yucatan go first to Palenque then take a taxi to the town of Frontera where you get on a boat for 45 minutes and get off on the Guatemala side where you catch a bus to Flores. Spend the ite in Flores and next day spend the day in Tikal. Stay over nite in Tikal or go back to Flores. Next day take a first class bus to Copan Ruins. You may have to change buses. Spend the night in Copan and see the ruins the next day then that same day begin your journey to Atitlan. You should be able to figure out some kind of schedule to fit your plan.
My ranking of the sites would be #1 Tikal, #2 Palenque and #3 Copan. The writings they talk of at Copan are mostly on the Stellae. Copan is one of the smaller sites.
Apr 1, 2012 1:12 PM
Apr 1, 2012 1:17 PM
10If you do as # 7 says and go to Palenque and then to Flores I would take a collective from Palenque to Frontera its much cheaper or book a tour out of >Palenque to Flores to make sure you make your connections. If my memory serves me right Coban is also known for the hieroglyph stairway. Either way you do this you will spend half your time on a bus or collectivo.
Apr 1, 2012 9:16 PM
Apr 10, 2012 10:24 AM
12Uxmal is my favorite for the architecture. Have been to Chichen Itza and would recommend other sites in the Yucatan,rather than going all the way to Guatemala. I would suggest skipping Tulum, as it's full of tourists and not as good as the others. Although I haven't been there (yet), I hear Dzibilchaltun is a good site, and near Merida. If you can get to those and Palenque, you'll see a lot. Google other sites in the same area so you don't spend all your time on the road. You could base your stay in Merida and take trips out of that city. You would see the sights, but have a non-archeological experience in the town.
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