Chiapas Journals

Yaxchilan, Adventures on the River

A January 2004 trip to Chiapas by JesusW

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico More Photos
Quote: This Mayan ruins are only accessible by boat (and before only by small plane,) as there are no roads to get there. The adventure begins at Frontera Corozal, a riverside town on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins

Attraction | "The city by the river"

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico
Quote:
This place is located in the middle of the jungle, you really feel isolated from the world, except for the motor boat that brings you to the archaeological site and for the smallish guard house at the entrance, beyond that you are in a very secluded and remote area.Yaxchilan was one of the strongest city/states in the Usumacinta region and most of the towns in the area brought tribute to its king. One of the most famous and powerful was Bird Jaguar IV, whose statue lies broken in temple 33. The head is kept separate from the body, as there is a tale that if both pieces get reunited the world will come to an end, and so far nobody has tried to prove it wrong.The archaeological site is a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 3, 2006

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins
Bank of the Usumacinta River
Chiapas, Mexico

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins

Attraction | "Temple of the Bird Jaguar, Yaxchilan Ruins"

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico
Quote:

The temple of the Bird Jaguar is the main building of the zone, it was the place to honor the god Bird Jaguar whose statue is still inside.


The head is in a different room from the rest of the body and there is a legend stating that if both are reunited one day, the end of the World would happen. Just outside the temple don´t miss the steps leading to the building, some of them are carved with scenes depicting stories of the king and the city.


The view form the temple is amazing as it rests on the top of the hill, the stair leading to the temple is a very steep one but it's worth the climbing.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 5, 2006

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins
Bank of the Usumacinta River
Chiapas, Mexico

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins

Attraction | "Stelae"

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico
Quote:
There are some amazing stelae (carved stone columns) in excellent shape after so many centuries in the jungle, fortunately for us, the place was just abandoned, not destroyed by war like in other places. The restoration works are still taking place in several buildings and you can see the findings almost as fresh as they can.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 5, 2006

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins
Bank of the Usumacinta River
Chiapas, Mexico

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins

Attraction | "Temple of the Bird Jaguar II"

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico
Quote:
The building in itself is not too big, there are three chambers without decorations or carvings (maybe the stucco was destroyed by the pass of time). But the structure of the building is amazing, it has stood almost intact after many many centuries withstanding earthquakes, hurricanes, and the invasion of the jungle. The style involved having a tall "crest" on top of the building, adding height to the structure but in an efficient way so to elevate the top without adding too much weight to the roof.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 5, 2006

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins
Bank of the Usumacinta River
Chiapas, Mexico

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins

Attraction | "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, not, mostly."

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins Photo, Chiapas, Mexico
Quote:
The site is located on the shores of the Usumacinta River. It is the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala and a very wide but calm river during the dry season. The Mayans selected this place to build their city because the river is the best way to travel in this region, and they had very busy commerce routes and military expeditions.The place is so isolated that the local wild fauna and flora are still very buoyant and present; I was able to photograph a family of howler monkeys just a few meters from the main pyramid of Yaxchilan and a crocodile in the river in our way back to Corozal. You have to walk a lot to visit the major temples on this site, but it is worth the effort. Bring wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 5, 2005

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins
Bank of the Usumacinta River
Chiapas, Mexico