Tikal: An Ancient Mayan Citadel

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With its plethora of palaces, altars, shrines, and soaring temples, Tikal may be the premier Maya site. For over 1,100 years, the Maya built here, expanding the site until it covered an area of 25 square miles. In its heyday, the city may have had 100,000 residents, and it was ruled by a single dynasty of over 39 successive rulers. The heart of the site is the Great Plaza, which is surrounded by the Central Acropolis, the North Acropolis, and Temples I and II. In the North Acropolis alone, 100 buildings lie piled atop one another. Temple I is 145 feet tall, but it is dwarfed by Temple IV. At 212 feet, Temple IV, built around A.D. 741, is the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Western Hemisphere.

Champey is located 11km to the south of Lanquín, in a valley with steep walls, surrounded by tropical humid forest. There is a 300m long limestone bridge, on top of which there are several natural pools of different sizes, filled with crystalline mountain spring water. The pools are 3-14 ft. deep. Underneath the bridge is the Cahabón River. At the end of the bridge, the water from the pools falls rejoining the river, forming a 40ft waterfall. The color of the water changes during the year depending on the season, sun and other natural factors, making for unique picture-taking opportunities. It is a beautiful place, often called idyllic.

Copan is located in northern Honduras. The first descriptions of Copan appeared in a letter to King Philip II of Spain dated March 8, 1576. Home to the longest text in Precolumbian America, the stairway provides a history of Copan written in stone. More than 2,200 blocks rise from steps that recorded the history of the 16th ruler Yax K’uk Mo’. Carved out of greenish andesite makes this even more fascinating. Alter Q shows Yax K’uk Mo’ transferring power to the final ruler of Copan, Yax Pac.

During Holly Week, Antigua Guatemala hosts the most beautiful religious celebration in the America, when huge processions wind...
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