Hotel pick up in Panajachel or at our travel office.
Depart for the Pacific coast in the morning, and drive through several eco-systems. Elevation ranges from 7500 ft. above sea level in the morning to 800 ft. above sea level in the afternoon. Observe cloud forest and a variety of agriculture such as coffee, mango, pineapple, sugarcane, and chichle (rubber).
The drive is approximately 3 hours, so there is time to stop along the way.
Overnight accommodation has a swimming pool, hiking trails, and bird watching areas. Free time to enjoy on your own.
Dinner is on your own.
Travel to the archaeological site in the morning, and spend 3 hours on a guided tour. Entrance fee and translator is included.
Lunch is on your own.
Board the vehicle for a return trip to Panajachel in the afternoon.
Tak’alik Ab’aj (Standing Stones) is one of several Mesoamerican sites with both Olmec and Maya features. The site flourished in the Preclassic and Classic periods, from the 9th century BC through to at least the 10th century AD, and was an important center of commerce, trading with Kaminaljuyu and Chocolá.
Investigations have revealed that it is one of the largest sites with sculptured monuments on the Pacific coastal plain. Olmec-style sculptures include a colossal head, petroglyphs and others. The site has one of the greatest concentrations of Olmec-style sculpture outside of the Gulf of Mexico.
Takalik Abaj is representative of the first blossoming of Maya culture that had occurred by about 400 BC. The site includes a Maya royal tomb and examples of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions that are among the earliest from the Maya region. Excavation is continuing at the site; the monumental architecture and persistent tradition of sculpture in a variety of styles suggest the site was of some importance.
Finds from the site indicate contact with the distant metropolis of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico and imply that Takalik Abaj was conquered by it or its allies.
Takalik Abaj was linked to long-distance Maya trade routes that shifted over time but allowed the city to participate in a trade network that included the Guatemalan highlands and the Pacific coastal plain from Mexico to El Salvador.