Today, its pyramids and plazas are interspersed with the tiny houses of a modern village (also called Uaxatún), once dedicated to the gathering of chicle. Tourism is now a small but growing business.
The city’s original Mayan name, Siaan K'aan, or "Born in Heaven” reflects the city’s astronomical obsession. Solstices are marked by temple pyramids, which form part of the oldest known Mayan calendar. While crowds come to see these impressive alignments, you may have the site to yourself other times of year.
Buses leave the Santa Elena market in Flores in the afternoon, returning very early the following morning. Since you need to obtain permits and pay fees at Tikal, independent travelers usually spend the first day at Tikal, catch the afternoon bus to Uaxactún, then spend two nights in the village, with a full day at the ruins.