Quirigua, Guatemala Vacation Guide
The archeological park of Quirigua contains the most outstanding monuments of Mayan history. The stelae in Quirigua represented hieroglyphics describing significant calendar dates, eclipses, passages of Mayan mythology and historic events of the development of this ancient city. An impressive collection of handmade carved monuments that will take your breath away.
Quirigua is an ancient and magic city listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site that will allow you to travel back in time. Make the journey to the Guatemalan highlands and appreciate these peculiar masterpieces from one of the most important civilizations in the history of the world, the Maya.
Attractions and Activities
They used local hard red sandstone that allowed them to build the tallest freestanding monuments in the Americas at the time. The beauty and meaning of these masterpieces has remained almost intact, making them one of the most attractive pre-Columbian works. We encourage you to visit this magnificent place and discover the universal masterpieces built by the sculptors of Quirigua.
Excursions from Quirigua to other destinations near by
Reachable within two hours from Quirigua, Izabal offers a Caribbean atmosphere full of natural beauty. This department surrounds the largest lake in the country, Lake Izabal. Among the hot sun, breeze from the sea and the Caribbean humidity, this region concentrates the essence of a different Guatemalan culture.
Located in western Honduras, Copan is an ancient Mayan city about 16km / 10mi from Guatemala's border. The ruins of Quirigua and Copan share the same style, making them a feature attraction in Honduras. The Copan ruins are also a protected area by UNESCO. Don’t miss the opportunity of knowing this ancient city.
Here sits the main Caribbean Sea port of the country. Is a convenient base for tours in the region. Close to Puerto Barrios you will find many touristic attractions like San Felipe de Lara Castle, an old Spanish fort, Siete Altares, seven natural ponds and Lake Izabal, the biggest in the country. An interesting mix of cultures between Maya, Afro-Carribean and West Indian groups will give you a memorable experience.
Museums and architectonical treasures
La Gran Plaza
La Gran Plaza served as a celebration area for religious ceremonies. It hosts 11 of the biggest Mayan sculptures in Mesoamerica and a concentration of palaces and decorated walls, each of them, coding different events and Mayan gods.
The largest monolithic monument of its kind. Standing 10.6m/35ft tall and 3m/10ft sunk in the ground to hold it upright, represents the Earth Monster. This masterpiece provided inspiration, power and finances for the rest of the monuments in the Park.
A small center for visitors to have a picture of Quirigua's history. It contains a scale model of the place, pieces of the sculptures, ceramic artifacts and information panels that will allow you to understand the importance of this archeological park.
Quirigua Map and Location
Quirigua is located 200 km/120 mi northeast from Guatemala City, in the eastern peninsula of Guatemala. Quirigua's importance was based on trade and is one of the most important ancient cities protected by UNESCO. Visit the home of the most glorious and artistic stone monuments of the Maya civilization, very close to Hondura's border, giving you the opportunity of knowing more of the Mayan Route.
Elevation: 75 m/246 ft