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El Mirador: The Cradle of Mayan Civilization

Often when you hear about the great pyramids of the world you think about the Egyptian pyramids or perhaps the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico. But did you know that Guatemala is actually home to the largest pyramid in the world?

The Mirador, known to many as the cradle of Mayan Civilization, is located in the dense jungles of northern Guatemala. El Mirador is one of several large ancient cities that resides in the Mirador Basin, which is a vast expanse of virgin rain forest. El Mirador is comprised of miles of unrestored pyramids and structures that have seemingly became part of the jungle. The area, 38 square miles in size, has been seemingly untouched by man for thousands of years.The Mirador, known to many as the cradle of Mayan civilization, is located in the dense jungles of northern Guatemala. El Mirador is one of several large ancient cities that resides in the Mirador Basin, which is a vast expanse of virgin rain forest. El Mirador is comprised of miles of unrestored pyramids and structures that have seemingly became part of the jungle. The area, 38 square miles in size, has been seemingly untouched by man for thousands of years.

El Mirador originally functioned as trading center, and was in operation from 200 BC to 150 AD. At its peak, it was home to nearly 100,000 Mayans, which essentially designated it as the first American city. The vast ruins were unearthed in 1926, and other than some small excavations they have remained largely untouched. Occasionally there are some archaeologists working on the site, but the excavating that they are doing is typically minimal.

La Danta

Pyramid of El Mirador is located in the Northern Petén region of Guatemala. It measures approximately 70 meters (230ft) tall from the forest floor and its total volume is  2,800,000 cubic meters.

The city is so vast that it can take days to explore, and so it is advisable to take the trip to El Mirador with the help of a guide. The main group of buildings in the city cover a massive two square kilometers, and features three pyramids, El Tigre, Los Monos, and La Danta. These three towering structures rise hundreds of feet into the sky, and each of them features an ancient temple at their apex. To give you some perspective, the base of the Danta is so vast that it would cover 35 football fields. La Danta is in fact the largest structure that has ever been built by the Mayans, and some consider it to be the largest pyramid in existence.

An additional feature of El Mirador are the intricate causeways, which link important structures within El Mirador and were critical entry points in and out of the city. The causeways are known as sacbeob, and raise 2-6 meters above the level of the landscape. They allowed for seamless travel between the structures and allowed for easy travel in and out of the city.

 

El Mirador

Due to the area being largely untouched by man, El Mirador is exceedingly difficult to get to. There are no roads that lead directly to the site, nor is there a river that would allow you to land nearby. There are really only two choices if you want to reach El Mirador. Mayan Gateway offers both of them:

1.) Embark on an adventure five day hike which is typically made with the assistance of a guide and mules or

2.) Join a helicopter tour which can fly you directly to the city.

It is advisable to take the journey with a tour so as to ensure your safety and to maximize your experience.

 

Mayan City El Mirador

Helicopter Tour - 1 day

Itinerary

You would leave from the airport Mundo Maya and come back the same day. The entire tour lasts 4 hours. You would have around 3 hours to explore the site. It is possible to add 1 or 2 hours for an extra cost upon request.

Expenses Included

-Helicopter

-Certified and bilingual guide

-Entrance fees

-Transportation from and to the airport

Hike - 3 days & 2 nights

Itinerary

Day 1: You would be transferred from Flores Island to Carmeli

ta very early in the morning.

The hike to El Mirador lasts about 12 hours.

Day 2: You will have a few hours to rest and after have the rest

of the day to explore and

discover this beautiful historical site.

Day 3: Hike back to Carmelita (12 hours) and transferred to Fl

ores Island.

Expenses Included

-Private transportation from Flores Island to Carmelita

-Food: 3 meals on the first and second day + 2 meals (breakfast

and lunch) on the third day.

-Purified water

-Local guide in Spanish (We can include English speaking gu

ides in private tours)

-Mules and camping equipment

-Entrance fees

22 days & 21 nights

Explore the best of Mexico, Honduras, Belize & Guatemala in this 22-day tour. Visit impressive archaeological sites, beautiful cities, the incredible Lake Atitlán, and spectacular beaches where you can relax and rest.

Introduction

The Mayan Trail  - Yucatan Tour

22 days & 21 nights 

Explore the most beautiful places in Mexico, Honduras, Belize & Guatemala in this 22-day tour. You will explore many impressive archaeological sites, beautiful cities, the incredible Lake Atitlán, and amazing beaches where you can relax and rest.

Yucatan Tour Holiday Highlights

Cancún
With their warm, white, powdery sand, and turquoise, crystal-clear waters, Cancún’s beaches are one of the biggest attractions to tourists.

Chichén Itzá
Chichén Itzá which is known as ‘El Castillo’ (the castle), is one of the new “Seven Wonders of the World,” elected in 2007.

Mérida
The beautiful Mérida is known for its magnificent buildings and architectural diversity. It is also recognized as a ‘second Paris’.

Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world surrounded by majestic volcanoes and indigenous villages on the shores.

Antigua Guatemala
The most beautiful colonial city of the Americas where Spanish architecture and impressive volcanoes can be discovered is located in Antigua Guatemala.

Rio Dulce 
Take a boat trip on the river Rio Dulce and discover the impressive castle and flora with its waterfalls and hot springs.

Tikal
This is Guatemala’s greatest Mayan city, surrounded by vast jungles.

Mayan city Copan

Archaeologists consider Copán to be the cultural center, the Paris, of the Mayan World.

San Ignacio Belize 
In San Ignacio the cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal can be visited and several Mayan treasures and bones of people who were once sacrificed by the Mayans can be seen.

Caye Caulker
Discover one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and relax on the white sand beaches.

Tulúm & Playa del Carmen
Enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches with clear turquoise water.

Yucatan Tour General Information

Accommodation
For this tour, we select accommodations that meet your interests and budget.

Transportation

Door-to-door private transportation or car rental.

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

8 days & 7 nights

Enjoy a special holiday at Playa del Carmen. This remarkable beach boasts long white sand shores on the Caribbean Ocean, palm trees, and cool sea breezes.

Introduction

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

8 days & 7 nights 
Explore one of the most beautiful and romantic places at the Riviera Maya. Playa del Carmen is situated directly at the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast. The long white sand beaches, the many palm trees and the cool sea breeze make this place unique in the region. Experience this remarkable world and enjoy the most special holiday of your life at Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen Honeymoon General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your desires and budget.

Transportation
Door-to-door private transportation by shuttles.

Guide
English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

8 days & 7 nights

Mexico is filled with culture and impressive Mayan Cities. Mexico's beaches will welcome you with warm, white, powdery sand and turquoise, crystal-clear waters.

Introduction

La Riviera Maya, Mexico

8 days & 7 nights 

La Riviera Maya Tour Holiday Highlights

Cancún
With warm, white, powdery sand and turquoise, crystal-clear waters, the beaches are the biggest draw to Cancún.

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá which is known as ‘El Castillo’ (the castle), is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, elected in 2007.

Mérida
The beautiful city of Mérida is known for its magnificent buildings and architectural diversity. It is also recognized as a ‘second Paris’.

Tulúm & Playa del Carmen

Enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches with clear turquoise water.

La Riviera Maya Tour General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your interests and budget.

Transportation
Door-to-door private transportation by shuttles.

Guide
English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

10 days & 9 nights

White sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and activities for all ages… a perfect family holiday in the Riviera Maya. Visit a family park, one of the seven new world wonders, and the largest aquarium in the world!

Introduction

Playacar I - La Riviera Maya in Mexico

10 days & 9 nights 

White sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and activities for all ages - a perfect family holiday in the Riviera Maya. You will visit a family park, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, an aquarium which is considered as the largest one in the world and experience the thrill of flying above the jungle! During your family vacation you will stay in a 5 star all inclusive hotel which has great facilities to offer. You can enjoy the shows, practice golf, play bingo, go to the kids club and even take salsa classes. At this hotel you will always have something to do.

Mexican Beach Vacation Holiday Highlights

Xcaret
Enjoy this park with your family. Swim with dolphins or go on a musical journey through the history of Mexico.

XelHa
Mexico, a natural aquarium park considered the largest aquarium in the world.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza which is known as ‘El Castillo’ (the castle), is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, elected in 2007.

Turtle Bay
Go snorkeling while watching marine turtles.

Mexican Beach Vacation General Information

Accommodation
5 star all inclusive accommodation

Transportation

Door-to-door transportation

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during all the tours.

Price
Prices are available upon request. Special prices are available for tour operators and travel agencies.

4 weeks & 28 nights - Group tour

During this holiday embark on exciting travels while learning Spanish! Explore Panama's cultural richness and relax in absolute paradise at a beach in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Adventure on and experience Costa Rica’s rich flora and fauna.

 

Introduction

4 weeks & 28 nights
During this holiday you will travel through different spots in Panama and Costa Rica and receive 72 hours of Spanish classes. The journey starts in the stunning metropolis Panama City. One of the highlights of your trip through Panama is the visit to the San Blas Islands, a group of hundreds of islands in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Furthermore, you will stay in Boquete, a small town in the green mountain highlands of Panama and Bocas del Toro, a slow paced Caribbean Island group. In Costa Rica you will stay in Turrialba, a modern mountain town and a regional agricultural center. As final highlight of your journey you will make a 2 day white water rafting tour on the River Reventazon and camp one night in the middle of the jungle.


Panama Travel Package Holiday Highlights

Panama City
A great mixture of a stunning modern metropolis with an impressive old city and lots of culture.

Locks of Miraflores
The tree locks that form part of the unique Panama Canal which connects North and South America. From Miraflores it is possible to see the impressive process of ship transits.

San Blas Islands
A group of hundreds of still quite undiscovered islands in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. A place that be called a paradise on earth with good reason.

Rafting tour in Turrialba
Turrialba is also known as the gateway to some of the world’s best white water rafting. You will explore the jungle of Costa Rica during a two day rafting tour.


Panama Travel Package General information

Spanish courses
This journey to travel and learn Spanish includes 72 hours of Spanish classes.  All Spanish classes are in small groups with a maximum 6 students.

Accommodation
This Travel & Learn Spanish journey includes 28 nights of accommodation. Accommodations vary depending upon location.

Transportation
Up on arrival to Panama City all transportation between the five locations you are going to visit until Turrialba en Costa Rica are included.

14 days & 13 nights

During this trip discover the great biological variety such as rainforests, swamps, lagoons and beaches. Visit one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics.

Introduction

14 days & 13 nights

The 14 day family holiday in Costa Rica offers a great combination of adrenaline in the rain forest and relaxing at the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. During this family vacation the entire family can enjoy Costa Rica, as it has excursions for all ages. With this program you can choose to have shuttle transfers between the destinations or a car rental.

Costa Rica Travel Package Holiday Highlights

Tortuguero National Park
Discover the great biological variety such as rainforests, swamps, lagoons and beaches.

Arenal volcano
The Arenal volcano woke up 400 years ago and has been constantly active since then.

Monteverde
Monteverde is known as one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Relax at the amazing white beaches or explore the park by horse or rafting or kayaking.

Costa Rica Travel Package General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your desires and budget.

Transportation

Door-to-door private transportation.

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

9 days & 8 nights

This 9 day family holiday in Costa Rica offers a great combination of volcano, mountain and beach adventures. You will visit a butterfly garden, see the Arenal Volcano, relax at the Tamarindo Beach and get the thrill of flying above the rainforest.

Introduction

9 days & 8 nights

The 9 day Costa Rica family holiday  offers a great combination of volcano, mountain and beach adventures. During this vacation you will visit a butterfly garden, see the Arenal Volcano, relax at the Tamarindo Beach and get the thrill of flying above the rainforest.

Costa Rica Family Holiday Highlights

The Arenal Volcano
The Arenal volcano woke up 400 years ago and remains currently active.  If you are lucky you can see lava or even a spectacular eruption.

Monteverde
Monteverde is known as one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics.

Tamarindo Beach
Relax at white sand beaches or discover the beautiful nature of Vieja National Park that surrounds Tamarindo.

Costa Rica Family Holiday General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your desires and budget.

Transportation

Door-to-door private transportation.

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

9 days & 8 nights

Explore Costa Rica’s rich and diverse flora and fauna in Tortuguero, Arenal, and Manuel Antonio. Visit Tabacón Resort's thermal natural springs, where you can take time to rest and rejuvenate.

Introduction

9 days & 8 nights 

During this highlight tour you will see a little bit of everything of Costa Rica in 9 days. Explore Costa Rica’s flora and fauna in Tortuguero, Arenal, and Manuel Antonio. You will discover the several highlights not only by foot but also by bus and boat. Halfway during the program you will have time to relax at the Tabacón Resort's thermal natural springs.

Costa Rica Tour Holiday Highlights

Tortuguero
Discover the great biological variety of rainforests, swamps, lagoons and beaches.

Arenal volcano
The Arenal volcano woke up 400 years ago and has been constantly active since then. 

Manuel Antonio National Park
Relax at the amazing white beaches or explore the park by horse, rafting, or kayaking.

Costa Rica Tour General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your desires and budget.

Transportation

Door-to-door private transportation.

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guides.

8 days & 7 nights

Visit Arenal and Potrero Beach. In Arenal, participate in all kinds of excursions and in Potrero Beach, relax on the sandy beaches and enjoy turqoise waters.

Introduction

8 days & 7 nights

Discover the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in just 8 days. With this program you will visit Arenal and Potrero Beach. In Arenal you can participate in all kinds of active excursions.  At Potrero Beach you can relax on the sandy beaches with turquoise water. The program also includes shuttles between destinations or a rental car if you wish to do the program by self drive.

Costa Rica Vacation Holiday Highlights

Arenal volcano
The Arenal volcano woke up 400 years ago and has be active ever since.

Potrero Beach
A quiet but wonderful beach with turquoise water.

Manuel Antonio National Park
Relax at the amazing white beaches or explore the park by horse or rafting or kayaking.

Costa Rica Vacation General Information

Accommodation
For this tour we select accommodations that meet your desires and budget.

Transportation

Door-to-door private transportation or car rental.

Guide

English, Spanish, German, French, Italian or Dutch speaking guide will be available during the whole tour (only for group tours).

 

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