Sayaxché Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by calcaf38
  • Things to Do
    by calcaf38
  • Things to Do
    by calcaf38

Most Recent Things to Do in Sayaxché

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    Gorgeous Laguna Petexbatun

    by calcaf38 Updated Sep 22, 2007

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    This pristine lake is about one hour away from Sayaxché by speedboat (it can also be reached by road). You can let yourself go in the general torpor. This is where the apparently beautiful Chimino Island Lodge is located. Probably much nicer than where I stayed in Sayaxché, but having dinner with a bunch of gringos... no thanks.

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    Enjoy the Rio De La Pasion

    by calcaf38 Updated Sep 22, 2007

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    The river is beautiful. One minute out of Sayaxché and you are in pristine nature. You will see a few people fishing or washing themselves, but it is very quiet. Be sure to shop around before hiring a boatman (easier said than done).

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    Discover Sayaxché

    by calcaf38 Updated Sep 22, 2007

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    There is nothing "to do" in Sayaxché, but you will have a great time just walking through town. Toward the edge of town, you will witness rural life in plank houses with thatched roofs. At sunset, some inhabitants will go wash in the river. Sayaxché is obviously a poor place for most, but you don't have a feeling of misery (the children look well fed). Sayaxché seems to me the definition of a backwater.

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    AGUATECA IV - Plaza Mayor

    by calcaf38 Updated Dec 14, 2006

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    This is where commoners lived and played. It is difficult to imagine, in this quiet site, a vibrant civilization and a community 4,000 strong living here. The reasons why Aguateca was founded and then frittered away so suddenly are not clear, Some monuments are left unfinished.

    All stelae are fiberglass reproductions. The originals are safer away from the elements in a museum.

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    AGUATECA II - The Fabulous Grieta

    by calcaf38 Updated Dec 14, 2006

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    The photos look like nothing, but the grieta (fissure / chasm) is perhaps the most amazing thing I saw in Guatemala. It is a crack in the rock, 2 to 5 meters wide and 10 to 20 meters deep. It is the entrance to the ancient city of Aguateca, making it very easy to defend.

    Later, during the visit of the site, your guide will pick up a rock now and then, and throw it behind some bush behind a ruin, and it will take many seconds for the rock to hit bottom: several grietas traverse the site! It would be easy for a tourist to wander away and fall into a bottomless pit.

    The Grieta from Above
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    AGUATECA I - The Nature Trail

    by calcaf38 Updated Dec 14, 2006

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    Your boat will leave you at a small pier, and you will walk to the park rangers' building. There, a guide will offer his services (for free - you must leave a good tip). The first part of the complete tour is a nature trail. It is a magnificent trail at the base of an imposing cliff. Through dappled light and hanging vines, it leads to a great viewpoint over the lake.

    Mosquito repellent is very needed here, as well as shoes with good traction (the rocks are quite mossy - slimy).

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    Watch the River Traffic on La Pasion

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    As has been said before, a favorite activity in this lazy town is to sit on the balcony and watch the river traffic come and go. I watched pedestrian traffic fill-up the launches on the opposite shore and then power their way across. Once, I witnessed a motorcycle loaded onto the launch, and then watched it unload below the balcony. Farther in the distance, the vehicular ferry periodically made it's crossing. Two outboard motors gave all their whinning efforts to power the diesel trucks and buses across the river. To reverse direction, the outboard motors were rotated 180 degrees. At night, the traffic continued, with lights sometime glaring from the vehicular ferry through the drapes of our hotel room window.

    Motorcycle transported by pedestrian launch Vehicular Ferry on La Pasion at Sayaxche River launches on La Pasion at Sayaxche Lone boatman arrives at Sayaxche Open motorboat upriver from Sayaxche
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    Watch the Mayan Fisherman at Sayaxche

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    The Mayan will tie a hook and weight to a piece of fishing line and toss it into the river waiting for a fool fish to grab it. I saw a woman do just this right near the place were the oil leaking launches came and went. After awhile though, she had a bite. The fish pulled hard, and several people came to inform her that maybe she was hung upon on a log or something. But, she persisted and after some time a very large river fish was pulled ashore. Then, others came to examine the fish, some thinking perhaps that they deserved a part of it. The woman tied it up and kept the fish on the shore of the river until well after dark. All of this I witnessed from the balcony of our hotel.

    La Pasion Fish tied up and ready to go
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    River Ride on La Pasion

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    Recommended as an afternoon day trip from Sayaxche to El Ciebal, the river journey to the ruins is itself worth an adventure. The wildlife along this section of La Pasion is considerable as the rainforest borders the river in many places. I saw aligators and birdlife of all sorts. Negotiations for the boats are done at a riverfront office where an old guy manages his crew of boatman. Despite the prices that may be posted on the wall, the business traffic is light enough for bargaining. Either way, the price will be reasonable, about $20- for a half-day use of boat and driver, as I recall. The driver acts also as a guide for the El Ciebal ruins, and will enthusiastically protect your camera gear for you.

    La Pasion Boat Ride Open bow of La Pasion boat La Pasion captain controls outboard motor Flocks of cranes leave the rainforest trees Dusk on La Pasion River
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    El Ciebal Mayan Ruins

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    At the riverfront in Sayaxche, I hired a boat and guide for the trip up river. The trip took between 30 minutes to an hour. The river was slow moving and the boat cut the still water like glass. There's a dock at the entrance to the ruins themselves where one pays a nominal fee, and then it takes about 10 minutes of uphill hiking to get to a plateau of sorts where the ruins of a road leads to the place where the city once stood. At the time I visited, very few other tourists were around, so essentially I had the place to myself. The Mayan city of El Ceibal was once a great trading center that reached its peak during the 9th century, when other Mayan sites such as Tikal and Copán were already in a state of decline. El Ceibal includes notable stelae, altars and zoomorphic statues. Most of the stellas are protected by palm branch shelters of one sort or another. Much excavation could still be conducted, as vegetation has overgrown many of the ruins so much that only the trained observer can recognize them as such. I had a hard time visualizing the ballpark for example. There is a large open space where a central altar structure of modest height remains, and around that several stella stand at some distance. The chatter of monkeys and birds is continuous, as are the bites of mosquitoes for the ill-prepared. I recommend taking repellent, but all thinks considered the mosquito situation isn't all that bad. The return boat ride was beautiful in the light of dusk. Flocks of birds that collected in trees along the rivers edge took to flight as we raced along in our little open outboard.

    Central Plaza and Altar at El Ciebal Stella at El Ciebal Stella Close-up at El Ciebal Path up from the river at El Ciebal Protected Stella at El Ciebal
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    AGUATECA III - Grupo Del Palacio

    by calcaf38 Written Dec 14, 2006

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    This is the area where the King of Aguateca and his circle lived. The glory days of Aguateca were short, some time in the 8th Century A.D.

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    Admire the Ceibal Tree

    by calcaf38 Written Dec 13, 2006

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    The national tree of Guatemala has an unusual buttressed lower trunk, and an umbrella top high above the canopy. It is also known as a kapok tree, I believe.

    Ceibal trunk at Aguateca Ceibal poking out of the forest
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    Watch the River Traffic

    by calcaf38 Written Dec 13, 2006

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    This is quite a spectacle, and it goes on all day. No need to go in detail: the photos will speak for themselves. The truck line was protected by young men with big weapons.

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Sayaxché Things to Do

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