Buried within the furthest reaches of the Petén jungle, just 7km south of the Mexican border, the Late Preclassic metropolis at El Mirador contains possibly the largest cluster of buildings of any single Maya site, among them the biggest pyramid ever built in the Maya world. Ongoing excavations have only scratched the surface, so many are still hidden beneath the jungle.
El Mirador was so-named by local chicheros (chicle harvesters) for the excellent views provided by some of the pyramids. La Danta (the Tapir) looms 70m above the forest floor. El Tigre is 55m high with a base covering 18,000 sq meters. At its height, the city spread over 16 sq km and supported tens of thousands of citizens. It was certainly one of the greatest Maya cities of the Preclassic era.