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“Definitely worth the trip”
Review of El Pilar

El Pilar
Ranked #13 of 39 things to do in San Ignacio
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Definitely worth the trip”
Reviewed 6 March 2014

We had an extra day in the Cayo, but not enough time to go to Tikal, so we decided to try El Pilar. It was definitely worth the bumpy ride and the cost of our guide to wander around the partially exposed ruins and explore the history and the ethno-botany of the site. We didn't have a way of getting there, so we contacted the guide (Teddy Waight) who is mentioned in Lonely Planet as someone who will show you around El Pilar. He was great!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this review, 29 August 2016
El Pilar is a special place and a place to enjoy Archaeology Under the canopy!
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62 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Denver CO
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An unusual small site”
Reviewed 17 December 2013

El Pilar is a 30 minute 4WD ride from San Ignacio and is well worth a visit. The site is not excavated for tourists but was excavated for research purposes and then covered up again. So you won't see many exposed structures, The setting is one aspect that is very interesting in that they have left scattered trees in place to stabilize things and to provide a shielding canopy. There is a guide book "Trails of El Pilar" guidebook written by the archeologists at UC Santa Barbara.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank GeneDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this review, 29 August 2016
Great to see interest in the special nature of El Pilar and the conservation strategy of Archaeology Under the Canopy!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chiapas, Mexico
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“El Pilar: Mayan Monuments Beneath the Canopy”
Reviewed 17 August 2013

i definitely recommend visiting El Pilar. It is an extensive Mayan site, discovered by Archaeologist Anabel Ford in 1983, who has since mapped it and explored it extensively. El Pilar consists of majestic, vegetation-covered monuments and numerous house sites beneath the forest canopy. Ford explains that exposure to sunlight, air and rain promotes the rapid growth of biofilms, which erode the historic stone structures, many of which contain carvings and paintings. For this reason, Ford´s work over two decades has been to consolidate and preserve the structures for study and partial viewing by visitors, rather than expose them completely to the elements.
To experience this site, well-preserved in a forest garden much as the ancient Mayas must have created and enjoyed, is refreshing and instructive. Native plant species flourish in the house compounds, and the shade is welcome protection from the tropical sun of the Belize-and-Guatemalan border region.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank KatharineCrocker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this review, 29 August 2016
El Pilar and Archaeology Under the Canopy can be appreciated on so many levels!
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Brier, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Hard to get there but interesting”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

If you don't have a 4-wheel drive and strong nerves --- don't even try it. We made it out the goat-path to the ruins and were rewarded by virtually untouched ruins. They are largely consumed by the jungle so you get the sense that you are discovering them. Beautiful views.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nona C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this review, 29 August 2016
Where can you enjoy ancient monuments that are only 7 miles from the village of Bullet Tree Falls and 12 form the town of Cayo? So close to "civilization" and full of mystery! This is the nature of El Pilar and Archaeology Under the Canopy.
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NC
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nice”
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Road needs work but, that is part of the fun of it. Site was primitive. Bring bug spray, water and have fun!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank NcQueenLisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this review, 31 August 2016
Primitive! that is one way to think of it, and yet such a destination involves you in the site, draws you into the setting, and requires imagination!
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