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Ecolodge El Sombrero

INFORMATION OF THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES OF NORTHEAST PETEN

RIO AZUL
The National Park of Rio Azul/Kinal (130 km2) is found in Guatemala’s northeastern vertex near the Mexican and Belizean borders. Only during the dry season (March/September) is it possible to go to Rio Azul by 4x4 jeep. Access roads are old lumber roads, used by the collectors of xate leaf (Xateros) and by collectors of the resins from the sapodilla tree to make chewing gum (chicleros). These roads cross the big low-lying area of Chochkitan up to Ixcanrío.
This river performed a double function, one for security and the other as a commerce rout for the Mayas who lived in the fortified producer center of tools in Rio Azul. This city-state was built atop a flattened hill made by the farmers during the Pre-Classic period. It has a stretch of 3 km2. It has 41 plazas and 750 registered structures.


The most important thing in the site is a 47-meter tall temple complex with painted tombs of the Early Classic period, containing fabulous treasures reflecting the owner’s position in society. Rio Azul was continuously occupied since the Middle Pre-Classic period until the Late Classic period. Lacandon incense burners dating the 18th and 19th centuries were also found at the site.

The site is about 6 hours away by jeep from Flores or Melchor de Mencos.


KINAL
This fortified site discovered in 1957 is found in the Chochkitan lowland, 12 kilometers south from Rio Azul. It is situated on top of a 150-meter tall hill and it is designed along a main road or Sacbe. It has 20 plazas with a huge concentration of buildings, acropolis, 2 pyramids and places that contain more than 150 rooms from the early Classic through the late Classic Period may be appreciated.

The site is 1 hour away by jeep from Rio Azul.

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