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  • Address: Quirigua, Izabal, Guatemala
  • Hours: Daily

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Quirigua Tours

Quiriguá is an ancient Mayan site in southeastern Guatemala. Although it’s considered a small Mayan city, it is without a doubt one of the most important. It was here that the tallest stela from the Maya world was discovered. The monolithic stone stands 35 feet high (10.6 meters), 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide and 5 feet (1.5 meters) thick, weighing over 60 tons (53.6 long tons).

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Quiriguá once controlled the jade and obsidian trade route. During the same time, the city had a fierce rivalry with its neighbor Copán in Honduras. Researchers believe Quiriguá was inhabited starting in the second century, and the bulk of the most important monuments were carved between A.D 426 and AD 810. It is unknown why Quiriguá entered a period of decline, but evidence suggests that when the Europeans arrived, the jade route was under the control of Nito, a city closer to the Caribbean coast.

The stelae, or monolothic sandstone monuments, at Quiriguá were carved without tools and contain hieroglyphic texts that provide information on the Maya city’s rise and fall, along with details during the most important years. These monumental structures also tell an important tale of Quiriguá’s relationship with Copán and were built around the Great Plaza. The Ceremonial Plaza and the Plaza of the Temple are renowned for their complexity.

The last known hieroglyphs from Quiriguá date back to A.D. 810, which was around the time of the entire Classic Maya collapse. Researchers believe that the reduction in trade along the Motagua may have caused Quiriguá to ultimately be abandoned.

Practical Info

One of the best ways to see Quiriguá is to take a combination Copán (Honduras) overnight tour that departs from either Antigua or Guatemala City. It is only 58 miles (94 km) from Guatemala City, making it the closest ruins from the capital. 

Tours & Tickets

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11-Day Mayan Ruins Tour: Guatemala and Copán, Guatemala City, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

11-Day Mayan Ruins Tour: Guatemala and Copán

Your 11-day journey begins in Guatemala City. Continuing to the Western Highlands of Guatemala you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Santo Tomas Church ...  Read more

Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Duration: 11 days (approx.)

From USD $1,812.00
Copan and Quirigua Overnight Trip from Antigua, Antigua, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Copan and Quirigua Overnight Trip from Antigua

Take an overnight trip to Copan and Quirigua from Antigua and discover the beauty of these ancient ruins. After a scenic drive in a comfortable vehicle, spend ...  Read more

Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $332.49
Copan and Quirigua Overnight Trip from Guatemala City, Guatemala City, Overnight Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Copan and Quirigua Overnight Trip from Guatemala City

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Discover the beauty of the ancient ruins of Copan and Quirigua on this overnight trip from Guatemala City! After a scenic drive in a comfortable vehicle, spend ...  Read more

Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $332.49

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