08/02/2005 - 08/02/2005
Ceibal was a reason for overnight stay in Sayaxche.
In Lonely Planet guide Ceibal Ruines were described as less known (=less visited), which immediately made them attractive for us.
History of Ceibal begins in the Middle Preclassic Period around 800 BC. Then happen this and that, and in 930 AD the city was permanently abandoned and not rediscovered until about 1890 AD. The Maya ruins of Ceibal rest on several steep hills on the left bank of the Pasion River, 15 km above Sayaxche. The archaeological site is located a short distance inland, just above the great bend of the Rio Pasion and it surrounded with jungle (at least now. Jungle is growing very fast)
For getting there we took a boat ride from Sayaxche. We were three: Sonja was happy to have companions. She came to Sayaxche earlier, and she already negotiated it there. Going there alone made a boat ride terribly expensive. So, she waited for somebody else to share expenses with. Lancha can take 5-6 passengers. Then the cost will be about Q50/ one. We paid double as we were only three, it was almost a private tour, so we didn't have much choice but agree.
RIO LA PASION
Water way with La Pasion was hypnotic something. It's alike Amazona adventure. What can be better then morning on the river? Once a while the serenity was broken by occasional flurries of flapping wings or a loud splash of crocodile tail. Air was full of butterflies, fish splashed in the water (and God knows what else!), crocodiles and turtles sunbathed, iguanas hunted or just chilled, strolling along the shore and slipping in the mud with massive paws. Incredible number and variety of birds lived and had business around the river. Is it shame to say that I enjoyed river trip even more then ruins of Ceibal?
RUINS OF CEIBAL
Name Ceibal came from ceiba - huge tree, at size of building, and like building having "separate rooms" between its roots. The short walk from the river to ruins was amazing. It could be perfect if no clouds of mosquitoes that accompanied us all the way. It was smooth jungle, with such a great variety of plants that it seem botanical garden. We didn't see much animals in the forest, but could hear them well. chorus of monkeys was so loud and looping, that I even doubt it was true. For a while I thought that it's an artifical voices, coming from load-speakers - to attract tourists. But no, it was true. SIte itself contains few ruins of buildings and beautuful stelas made from lemon stone.