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El Mirador Archaeological Site

 El Mirador





Location: El Petén Department     Map




Description of El Mirador Archaeological Site

El Mirador Archaeological Site is ancient Mayan archeological site situated in El Petén Department in Guatemala. It is one of the largest and oldest of the Mayan sites. Unlike many other site El Mirador Archaeological Site is largely covered by jungle and it is still awaits discovery. There are no roads that take you here other than a simple hiking trail that starts at Carmelita. It is advisable to take guides with you so you don't get lost on the way to the site. It will take two to three days to get here by foot. Rain, heat and mud is not the worst thing in the jungle. Take plenty of mosquito repellants and antihistamines. Termites, ants, plants and other living creatures can sting pretty bad causing allergic reactions even in those who never had them before. Although you can take another route and simply take a helicopter.
El Mirador Archaeological Site was an important trading center in the early years of Mayn civilization. It flourished from 300 BC to 150 AD in the Pre- Classic Period. The population of El Mirador swelled to 80,000 residents. They helped construct many grand pyramids, religious complexes and other structures on the area of 2 km2. The largest pyramid of La Danta temple reaches a height of 70 metres (230 feet). Another religious temple of El Tigre reaches a height of 55 meters (180 feet).


La Danta (El Mirador)




El Mirador is located in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and can only be accessed by helicopter on a 30-minute flight from the Mundo Maya International Airport or from the village of Carmelita located 37 km south of the archaeological site, on a two-day trip walking in nine-hour days between the jungle. This reserve is located in the extreme north of the Republic of Guatemala, 90 km from the Isla de Flores, in the jurisdiction of the municipality of San Andrés, department of Petén.

The viewpoint is located on the shore of the low "La Jarrilla" and this was very important for the development of the place since the first inhabitants populated it because it was used as a resource for collecting rainwater and major drainage. The bass "La Jarrilla" was also a source for the extraction of clays to build their structures and to make their pottery, in the area there are also marshes, small lakes and lagoons, and average elevations of 100 m in height formed by carbonates, Clastic rocks, antigenic carbonates and precipitated anhydrites The relief of the land consists of extensive or low lowlands with slopes and relatively well drained soils.

Other important sites in the area
From Carmelita to El Mirador, nine major sites are visited, including El Tintal, the second largest Mayan city in size and also larger than Tikal. This ancient city was connected to El Mirador by means of a Mayan road (sacbé) of 20 km in length. On January 31, 2007, a technical assistance treaty was signed for the sustainable development of ecotourism and archaeological conservation for US $ 35 million between the Governments of the United States and Guatemala, which began in the Mirador Basin, creating basic facilities in the Carmelite village, and avoid the looting of archaeological sites, including the Rio Azul region.




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