Yaxchilan

Yaxchilan is an archaeological site located along the Usumacinta River in Mexico. One bonus about the Yaxchilan ruins is that you need to take a boat to reach them—some Mayan ruins are located deep in jungles, or reachable only by tour bus, but Yaxchilan Mexico requires visitors to hop aboard a relaxing boat trip in Mexico. (Or less commonly, you can take a small plane to a nearby airstrip).

Organized tours are one great way to see these ruins, and tour guides take care of all the transportation and you just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Boats leave from an eco-center called Frontera Corozal that has a good restaurant and upscale hostel. These Mayan ruins in Chiapas are open seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm, leaving you plenty of time to explore the area if you arrive in the morning.

There are several key attractions to explore when visiting Yaxchilan. You’ll arrive first at the pier of the archaeological site, and will walk up a ramp to the dense jungle. After passing through a tunnel, you’ll enter the Grand Plaza, which is surrounded by a variety of structures. The first glimpse of the Yaxchilan ruins is one that continues to surprise and delight travelers.

Carved stone blocks contain both artwork and Mayan script; these types of artifacts are especially significant, as they have helped scholars to understand the Mayans better, both from translating the writings and interpreting the scenes. There are more than 120 structures at these Mayan ruins in Chiapas, and they are divided into three areas: The Great Plaza, the Grand Acropolis, and the Small Acropolis. The city is thought to have lasted more than 400 years and been very influential during its time, making it a fascinating historical site for travelers who are interested in learning about Maya culture during their trip to Mexico.

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