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“Mayan ceremony”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Iximche

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Iximche Mayan Ruin from Panajachel
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Panajachel
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Saint Albans, West Virginia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Mayan ceremony”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2012

The mayan ruins in guatamala are unlike all other ruins we have visited in Mexico and Central America. They are still used by the Mayans for traditional ceremonies and are not just tourist destinations. We were fortunate enough to see one of these ceremonies on our visit with a guide that we had hired that could explain what was taking place. It was a very special thing to see and will be a memory that we will not forget.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank Pauleywog113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Panajachel, Guatemala
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“formidable site great signs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2012

This is a very nice park with a tiny useful museum and a nice gringo restaurant as you come in.
The Plazas are well maintained and we saw two groups holding Mayan ceremonies. This is a very manageable walk if you have kids over 5.-- the signage is a good as that in Tikal.. very detailed giving a broad context of the fight between the Katchiquelles (who sided with the Conquistadores) and the Quiches -- If you are a ruin junkie this is a confection on the scale of Q'umarkaj -near Sta Cruz d'Quiche...and both are about half way through the process of excavation... we we very happy that we brought watermellon and fruit for a picnic..

Visited November 2012
2 Thank didreyfus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pinellas Park, Florida
Level Contributor
49 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2012

The visit to Iximche was very interesting but it would've been VERY helpful if the signs were also in English. The grounds are small and compact but contain a lot of interesting sights including a tree in the rear where a ritual was being performed.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Gypsyrver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Murwillumbah, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Iximché (Mayan ruins), Guatemala”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2012

The day tour from our cruise ship, berthed in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, to the archaeological ruins at Iximché, probably the last of the world's primitive ruins we shall visit, was most interesting. Smaller and more compact than Chichen Itza and Palenque, more like Tulum in size, but in appearance more primitive than any of these, it was inhabited from 1460 to about 1530 only. Its total population of something just over 1,000 comprised four large families, each living in a different sector of the raised residential zone surrounding the ceremonial and religious core.
In the centre of the complex is a sacrificial altar, where only animals were sacrificed. From here one could turn to a temple in each of the east, west, north and south directions and see a paddock leading out to a temple. Prayers were offered in each of these directions to a different aspect of the life of the Mayabs (more correct than Mayans, and translated as “Maya I am”). Only the temple in the south was used for human matters and, indeed, human sacrifices were made here.
The high point of the tour was in the Ball Court, in which the traditional Ball Game was played between two walls by two teams of five players. As I reported in my Chichen Itza review, the ball was spherical, slightly smaller than a football, and made of solid leather. It could be projected through a small circular aperture for a goal, and any part of the body except the hands could be used. Here was the highlight of the day. A film was being shot in the Ball Court so we were lucky enough to be treated to a re-enactment of the game by ten young men in loin cloths (apparently they were naked in the original games) who were actually manipulating this extremely heavy ball with feet, elbows, shoulders, heads, knees and thighs, and even buttocks, and passing the ball and aiming for the “goals”. Unlike Chichen Itza, where the goal rings are still attached to the side walls, here, because the tops of the walls have gone, the stone rings are no longer there. Instead, two goals were suspended in the vertical plane on taut wires above the centre of the court. Nevertheless, this was an exciting game to watch. The only thing really missing was the original practice of the losing captain beheading the winning captain with one swipe of a large knife, and then holding up the head by the hair and showing it to the crowd, a great hpnour for the winner, with no shortage of men vying for capaincy. This was done at Iximché and also at Chichen Itza, where the gruesome process is graphically displayed on carved stones in the walls of the court.
A fascinating visit, enhanced by a side trip to Panajachel, a nearby town on the shores of Lake Atitlán.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank harrtwee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Iximche ruins”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

Ruins were good, obviously not the same grandeur as the more well known sites of Tikal etc, but decent all the same. All of the information signs were in Spanish...so unless you have a decent grasp of the Spanish language it will be difficult to get a full experience.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Krusty_02_79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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