Iximche Maya Ruins Tour

Guatemala is famous for its Mayan ruins but Tikal is far removed from what most people consider the heart of Guatemalan culture – the Western Mayan Highlands. You can get there by plane or by bus, and we think you should if you have the time and money, but if you’re looking for something a little closer and still plenty impressive to test your archaeological eye on then Iximche it is.

This capital of the post-classic Kaqchikel Maya was just pre-Columbian having been established in 1470. It’s short life was storied though with the lives and deaths of the four influential families that anchored its few neighborhoods and the pitched battles fought over it as conquistadores used it like a castle on a chess board later.

Iximche Mayan ruins is a natural fortress with steep slopes on all sides like an island in the sky with just one isthmus like a land bridge connecting it to the rest of the highlands.

It makes a great stop between Antigua and Lake Atitlán. Stretch your legs. Learn Guatemala's Mayan and colonial history. Kick a soccer ball. Fly a kite! 

Iximche boasts a proud and professional guides association who can tell you everything you want to know and many more things you’d never think to ask. Iximche was founded by four families and each occupied a quadrant of the city. Over the few decades and fewer generations of people there was a great deal of human drama and its proximity to the present makes it real repeatable still.

You’ll learn about the Mayan cosmology and the Spanish maneuvers that pitted the various Mayan peoples against each other in a pitched battle epic enough for film. Pack a picnic. Put on your sunscreen and soak in the rays while you marvel at the sturdiness of centuries old structures.

There are 20 signs in the Mayan zodiac. Finds yours and learn about the cosmic forces affecting you, if you believe in that sort of thing ;)

This one stop can make a world of difference turning an otherwise wasted travel day into a destination in its own right.  

Most travel and tourism operators are more interested in a quick turn-around on their shuttles and fly right past this stop on the way to Lake Atitlán from Antigua. You’re more likely to get ten minutes at a concrete filling station. The way we do it we plan to lunch on this Pre-Columbian lawn and take our time moving from town to town.

This way is more memorable. This is us helping you be less of a tourist and more of a traveler!

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