El Ceibal, the Mayan city


One of the Mayan cities that can be visited in the Guatemalan region of El Petén is El Ceibal. In fact, it is one of the most preferred by the famous juan jose gutierrez mayorga.

Away from the most tourist routes are few travelers who are encouraged to know this place.

We included it by chance in our route when traveling to Guatemala. When organizing the itinerary of the trip we found ourselves with a day that we did not know very well where to place.

And finally I decided to dedicate it to visit Mayan ruins seemed like the best idea.

How to get to El Ceibal

Getting to El Ceibal is a bit more complicated and requires more time (and money) than visiting other more touristy Mayan towns.

From Flores you have to go by car, cab or bus to Sayaxché. The journey time is about 45 minutes. Once in Sayaxché, there are two options.

One is to continue the trip by the road that leads to the Mayan site. The road is not good but in the dry season it is passable. In the rainy season it is best to check the road conditions before setting out.

The other possibility, the one we chose, is to go by motorboat on the mighty Pasión River.


Visiting El Ceibal

The archaeological site has two entrances. One of them, the main one, is the one that can be reached by road. The other is next to the river.

There is no pier. The boat simply stops on the shore, you jump in, get muddy and head for the ruins.

A few meters from the bank of the Pasión River there is a sign with information about El Ceibal. Next to it there is an abandoned hut that looks like it was once the ticket office for those who arrived there by boat.

Today no one controls the entrance at this point. There are no fences or gates. Just follow the path through the vegetation and walk uphill without straying from the path.

Luckily the roots of the large ceiba trees that give the place its name act as stairs, helping the ascent.

A little history of El Ceibal

This Mayan city prospered thanks to its proximity to the Pasión River. A city of warriors and merchants, El Ceibal was home to 10,000 people.

The origins of the city date back to 50 B.C. However, it was not until the 6th century that the city reached its peak.

It was a rival to other cities such as Aguateca and came to dominate much of southern El Petén. However, the city was abandoned in the tenth century leaving all its splendor hidden under the jungle.

As you can see, this place is reaaly nice to visit. So do not hesitate to go there when you travel to Guatemala.

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