El Portal de Yaxha - It's where to eat
This is actually a restaurant tip, but it is too far from Flores to list there. However, if you are visiting Yaxha (or going past on your way to Belize) it's the perfect place for lunch.
El Portal de Yaxha is an open-air restaurant under a thatched roof, located on the main road near the turnoff to the site. Music was playing, and the chicken with pepian sauce was excellent.
Directions: when you come out of the Yaxha archaeological site, turn right. It's very close to the road that leads to the site. (If you are coming from Flores, it will be on your right just before the turnoff to Yaxha.)
Yaxha is about 1/3 the size of Tikal, and much less visited. The name means Green Water.
The Palace of the Red Hands is over 90 ft. tall, and the view from it is great.
The Acropolis is opposite the Palace, and two unexcavated mounds are on the other two sides. They have been excavating Yaxha for the last 15 years, but they are only 10% finished.
Many of the stellas on the site are broken—Yaxha was on the way to Tikal and under their control. Any enemies fighting Tikal went through Yaxha, on the way, and destroyed things.
Yaxha is about halfway between Flores and the Belize border. It is only about 40-45 miles from Santa Elena, but it seems like a l-o-n-g drive because the road is lousy. When we first got there, the howler monkeys were making a lot of noise, and we did see a few.
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