Tayasal is mis-named, since the original Itza capital was on what is the present island of Flores (now obliterated by the church and hotels). What is called Tayasal today is an earlier Classic period Maya site, same time period as Mayan archaeological ruins elsewhere such as Tikal , Yaxha, and everywhere else. When you go over to Tayasal to climb up the observatory, you are climbing up a Classic period pyramid; a second pyramid is on top of the first one. It’s a great view of the lake and Flores . Be sure to have a local guide hike up with you, both to show you the way and as a bit of extra protection. The trails were not marked at all during our visit during 2006. If I had not known where the pyramid was from previous visits in past years (when the trail went up starting far to the left), I never would have found the lookout point.

 

Tayasal lake maya archaeology
Tayasal view from the island of Flores, Peten

 

 

First Posted Jan 2007.

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