|Temple A - 3 & Stela 10. Dated At 849 A.D.|
Ceibal, is sometimes spelled Seibal. Seibal is a Spanish word for "place of the ceiba tree. Locals use the word Seibal. Seibal is located on the bluffs about 100 meters above the Pasión River, a major tributary of the Usumacinta River.
We think that Ceibal was first inhabited in the Middle Preclassic Period around 800 B.C., then the city grew in size and population until about the time of Christ, then it began a long decline. It was then abandoned between roughly A.D. 500 and 690, and then it was reoccupied. In 735 AD, Ruler 3 from the Maya city known today as Dos Pilas, captured the ruler of Seibal, Yich'ak Balam, and his city, leading to about 60 years of foreign rule. Around 830 AD, a non-Classic Maya group settled in Ceibal, which witnessed its greatest growth over the next 100 years as its population reached about 10,000. The city was then permanently abandoned in 930 AD and not rediscovered until about 1890 AD. Today, it is most noted for its beautiful carved stelae sculpted from high-quality limestone.
"The Maya ruins of Seibal rest on several steep hills on the left bank of the Pasion River, above the village of Sayache of the Peten Area of Guatemala. The archaeological site is located a short distance inland, just above the great bend of the Rio Pasion and the lowland tropical forest."
"The Principal Ceremonial Center at Seibal is composed of three architectural groups, designated as "A", "C", and "D". These groups occupy different hilltops and are so separated from each other by small, but often steep valleys or ravines; a system of causeways, however, connects the three groups." Group "A" was the only group known by Maler in 1895. The Harvard Expedition team in 1964-1965 discovered groups "C" and "D" during the course of mapping and clearing the area.
It is of interest that the earliest signs of civilization in the Petén were ceramics dated just after 100 AD found at Seibal along with jade objects showing an Olmec influence. Seibal was occupied throughout the entire classic period and was invaded around 830 AD by the Putún or Chontal Maya from the Gulf coast known by the Maya as the Itza, "people who speak our tongue poorly". Seibal's last carved stela is dated 889 AD.
We reached Seibal by a river trip from Sayache or Sayaxché, but the ruins can be reached by taking National Road 5 from Flores, the capital of the Department of Peten, to Sayaxche and then on to Ceibal. If you go by river it is about a mile walk up hill on a very slippery trail during the rainy season. But, the road trip will take you right up to the ruins. We were rather shocked to see school buses of children at the ruins after we had walked up the rather difficult trail.
If you want to feel the spirit of adventure and what it is like to be in a rain forest, we suggest the river trip and the trail up the banks of the Pasión River. If you want to spend more time exploring the ruins, we suggest the drive instead.
We suggest getting a hotel in Guatemala and then letting them arrange either a car or a tour of Guatemala. We prefer Clark Tours, who have been in business for over 80 years. If you call the hotels Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.
We do this all the time, when traveling in Guatemala. It is safe and it works!!! We have never experienced a problem doing it this way!
La Aurora International Airport (IATA: GUA, ICAO: MGGT) serves Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is located 6 km south of Guatemala City's center and 25 km from Antigua. It is administered by the Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil.
However, here is another option.
The Mundo Maya International Airport (IATA: FRS, ICAO: MGTK), also known as Flores International Airport, is the international airport located in the suburb of Santa Elena, in the city of Flores, Guatemala. It serves national and international air traffic for the areas of Flores, Santa Elena, and San Benito, as well as all the Mayan sites like Tikal or Yaxhá and destinations like Guatemala City, Belize and Cancún.
You could fly into that airport and stay at a nice hotel like the Hotel Camino Real Tikal. You could then let their Concierge Services arrange a tour of Ceibal, or Tikal and the Petén area of Guatemala.
Hint: Use the airport code for Flores, Guatemala (FRS) when doing your search and look for Package Vacations..
We have placed a link to Priceline.Com on this page so you can arrange your flights into and out of Guatemala; as well as your hotel, when visiting this area.
|The Pasion River.||The Pasion River.|
|The Pasion River.||The Pasion River.|
|Temple A - 3 & Stela 10|
Dated At 849 AD.
In Front Of Stela 10.
|Stela One, Dated 689 AD.||The "Round Pyramid."|
|Crocodile On Pasión River.||Jungle Trail In Ceibal.|
|Stela 9, Dated 849 AD.||Stela 10.|
|Stela One, Dated 689 AD.||The "Monkey God."|
|Stela.||Stela 8 - AD 849.|