Halfway between Flores and the Guatemala/Belize border, on the shores of the Yaxha lagoon, lies an ancient Mayan ruin second only in fame to that of Tikal. Not only is it home to amazing relics, structures and monuments of a far distant era, but it is also the domain of a wonderful diversity of wildlife, including the Moriletti Crocodile, a smaller and less understood version of the species.
Excavation Still in its Infant Stages
While Tikal has been under excavation since the mid 1800’s, the glories and mysteries of Yaxha have only recently come to light. In fact, the exploration and restoration of Yaxha are only in the preliminary stages. Visitors who make their way into the ruins and structures can expect the added pleasure of watching archeologists actively working to unearth, explain and preserve pieces of the ancient past. You can also look forward to interacting with these archeologists and historians during your tour for a chance to gain a deeper insight into the history and magical lore of what was once a great city.
A Jewel in the Jungle
As of yet, only one of the temples in the region has been largely restored, and the rest of the more than 500 structures are still overgrown with the trees and vegetation of the surrounding jungles. Spider and howler monkeys make up the majority of the local population, and the screeches and havoc shouted out by the howler monkeys never lets you forget that you are in the midst of a wild, dangerous and largely unexplored land. As the wildlife mingles with the emerging ruins of acropolises, palaces, temples, observatories and ball courts, there is a distinct air of mystery and antiquity that few visitors are able to shake.
Yaxha Enters the Limelight
This pristine gem is surrounded by enough of the ancient and mysterious that it has received a great deal of media attention as of late. Survivor, one of America’s top reality television shows, decided to film their 11th season in the wake of the world of Yaxha, perfect in its remoteness, and atmosphere of both danger and adventure.
A Pristine Treasure
Yaxha is a great destination not only for history buffs, but also for avid nature lovers. For, while excavations are yet underway, and there is so much left to be uncovered, wildlife is still the dominating force in the area. But, as more is unearthed, and new discoveries are made, it is quite likely that Yaxha will lose a great deal of its primitive splendor and beauty, and will quickly become overcrowded with curious tourists and travelers who aren’t quite at home with such a wild environment.
Watch as History Unfolds Before You
If you’re spending time in Guatemala, and truly want to experience an ancient and nearly unspoiled look into the Old World, there is no greater treasure or destination that Yaxha. While there aren’t yet any hotels or lodgings available within the immediate region, Yaxha is situated close enough to places like Flores, Santa Elena and the Belizean border that finding nearby, affordable accommodations won’t prove to be too much of a chore. Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in a site still full of mystery, unanswered questions and myth and legends that will fill your mind with ancient dreams and unlimited imagination!