El Mirador, once home to an estimated 200,000 people and the capital of a complex society of interconnected cities and settlements that may have supported upwards of a million people.
Every topographical contour in the primordial forest was created not by geological and environmental forces but by the vanished inhabitants of one of the world’s foundational civilizations.
This fantastic temple complex is now realised to contain the largest pyramid on the American continent, and probably the whole world (in terms of mass).
The site lies within the ruins-rich Mirador basin, which forms part of the vast Maya Biosphere Reserve. This is one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world, home to jaguar, puma, giant anteaters and scarlet macaws, as well as hundreds of unique plants and trees.
You can hike to it.
It’s a fierce hike, not for the faint hearted. Deadly snakes abound, and conditions are very basic. Depending on your route, it takes 2-3 days. The Mirador Basin in the far northern Petén region of Guatemala is known for its abundance of sites, many of which are among the largest and earliest in the Maya world. Of 26 known sites, only 14 have been studied; an estimated 30 more await discovery. Since 2003, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) has been working in Mirador to protect its priceless ancient cities and monuments and preserve the site for future generations. In 2010, after completion of site conservation, El Mirador opened to the public for the first time.
The largest pyramid in the world
La Danta is 230 ft high (70m), and is the largest structure ever built by the Mayans. El Tigre pyramid is only 180 ft high, (55m), yet from the top one still looks over the treetops in the Mirador Basin. The El Tigre and La Danta complexes face each other on an East-West axis.
Are you up for the challenge?
“My wife and I wanted to travel through Chile, Bolivia and Peru and were slightly daunted by the logistics of organising such a varied trip.John Resse, USA
Chris was incredibly helpful not only mapping out the most exciting and engaging trip, but also using his extensive personal knowledge of the best things to do. They were reassuringly efficient in organising the trip, monitoring how we were doing during the trip and making adjustments to improve the trip.Tracy Williams, UK
Chris’s passion and enthusiasm encouraged us to do things we wouldn't have thought to do, which gave us fantastic memories of the trip of a lifetime.”Tony Thomas, USA
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