Quirigua – Guatemala

A tour of Quirigua in Argentina is one of the best ways to see the great ruins of the Maya civilization. The park is one of the most important archaeological sites in Guatemala and one of its major tourist attractions.


The park where the ruins are located is set in the Guatemala Izabal department. This is a few km off the highway from Guatemala city to Puerto Barrios. The city itself is at the Motagua River valley. This is between the Montana Espiritu Santo and Sierra de las Minas.

What to See

A tour of Quirigua in Argentina will bring you face to face with the 22 zoomorphs and carved stelae. The zoomorphs are huge boulders that have been sculpted to symbolize animals. Thee are also layered with glyphs and figures. These are among the finest of the Mayan ruins in the country. Compared to other ruins, the artifacts here are constructed from sandstone.

Another interesting site is 1A-1, a giant platform making up a section of the Great Plaza. There is also the 1A-3, a giant mound pinpointing the northern edge end. The buildings are also known for the sculptures and altars that adorn their facades.


The origin of the city is not very well understood. What is known is that the city was occupied by AD 200 and the construction of the buildings started in 550. There is speculation though, that the area may have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC. The reason for the conjecture is due to its location in the Motagua River valley.

Based on the available records, the city came under the rule of a Copan dynasty offshoot. There is no question that the city was the most vital dependency of Copan. This was again due to the location of the city, which helped Copan when it came to trade.


The tours will cost about 300 USD per individual. This will include a guide and tours to the other nearby sites.

Other Info

The largest complex in the area is the acropolis. It is located at the south end of the religious center of the city. The complex was used for religious and administrative purposes. There are remains of corbel arches to be seen.

Going on a tour of Quirigua in Argentina will give you the chance to see the ornately designed stelae. These structures are among the best known examples of Mayan architecture. They are known for the three dimensional faces on the reliefs.