Yaxhá La Esmeralda del Petén

Once you enter Yaxhá, you are surrounded by a unique atmosphere in which the vegetation is observed in its maximum splendor, covered by fog. The first monument to welcome you is a pyramid – preserved in very good condition – that served as one of the astronomical observatories. The sky is always blocked by huge trees that few solar rays can filter through to certain areas.

The meaning of Yax-há is green-water, which translates as “the place of green water”. Its urban complex was strategic, given that it is located between two large lagoons – one called Sacnab and another called Yaxhá – that at times in the particularly strong winters are intertwined in some points.

This was economically convenient for the locals because their trade used the water ways. Yahweh can be associated with water and its benefits to provide abundance. An example of this is that the view you have on the road that leads to this beautiful site, it is full of lagoons, you can count 17.

Yaxhá is listed as one of the best archaeological parks in Guatemala, since it has all the adequate services and accessible trails. The fauna is very varied, and large rodents and birds guide the tourist confidently. During the tour you can experience special moments, such as reaching the top of the great astronomical observatory in the square “C” where you can see the Yaxhá lagoon.

The nature feels alive and with a high level of nobility that one respects and admires, when arriving at the temple I – that is a pyramid in the oldest ceremonial center – the perception of the sacred alone is comparable to being in the central square of Tikal and fair In this space a Sacbé is visible – a royal road towards the sacredness.

At the base of the temple-pyramid 216, there is another square, where you can contemplate the magnificence of the fusion between the kingdoms of nature and man. It is indescribable to be in the same place where many years ago, rulers observed their lordship and connected with their gods, where they heard – and still do – the winds that were inspired by the water, establishing a communion of the earthly and the universal.

Written by:  Erick Reyes Andrade
Photos by: Erick Reyes Andrade
Translated by: Melissa Schroden

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