by Alejandro Gillot
My first contact with an ancient culture was at the age of 12, when I first visited the ruins of Iximche in the Guatemalan highlands. I was so captivated by the experience that I didn’t hesitate to make a decision, later on, to study archaeology; I got my bachelors degree in archaeology at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.
Stepping into an archaeological site is a unique experience that must be lived to understand the drive behind it. In my career I’ve had the opportunity, not only to visit a number of sites through out Guatemala, but also to perform field work and excavations at magnificent Mayan sites like Piedras Negras, Tikal, Uaxactun, El Zotz and El Peru – Waka’. I’ve also carried out field reconnaissance of Post Classic sites in Northwestern Petén and Izabal, Guatemala.
Based on these experiences plenty of stories can be told. One of the highlights was being part of the archaeological team that found Panel 15 at Piedras Negras, one of the most important sculptural findings in the last 65 years, in the Usumacinta region. Also, as a member of the Tikal Osteological Project, I had the chance to hold in my hands the lower jaw of Tikal’s ruler Siyaj K’ak (Smoking Frog), an astonishing experience as well.
The goal of this tour is travel to different regions that make Guatemala a unique archeological center. To witness its archeology, its abundant flora and fauna and its rich culture, history and people.
This tour is based mainly on archeological history and culture, but in the different destinations you can observe other attractions, such as nature and great volcanic scene.
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Guatemala City Tour
Day 3: South coast archaeological sites
Day 4: Takalik Abaj
Day 5: Lake Atitlan
Day 6: Highlands’s archaeological sites (Postclassic)
Day 7: Antigua Guatemala (Colonial period)
Day 8. UAXACTUN (Classic period)
Day 9: Tikal
Day 10: Yaxha & Topoxte