Tikal impresses with its massive structures jutting out of exotic jungle. Copan intrigues with its rich design elements. And, Quiriguá beguiles with its intimate and beautiful setting. Though much smaller, Quiriguá offers huge, intricately carved stelae, remarkably preserved. The Great Plaza and Acropolis are in a parklike setting with towering ceiba and teak trees, itself set among thousands of acres of banana plantations.

The best part is: it's easy to get to Quiriguá from the Rio Dulce. From Fronteras, take any bus toward Guatemala City and ask to let you off at Quiriguá Ruinas. You will be left at a dusty intersection, about 4 km from the ruins. Wait at the corner. Soon, either a bus or pick-up truck will come along (Q1) and take you to the gate. The ruins are open daily, 7am to 5pm and the entrance fee is Q25. Take a picnic along as there are plenty of shady benches in this beautiful park.

The return is just as easy. A bus or pick-up will take you to the main road. Take a bus to Fronteras. Most buses go to Puerto Barrios, but you can transfer in Morales to a bus for Fronteras. Travel time will be one to two hours, depending your luck with connections.

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November 9, 2012
© 1997-2012 Phillip Landmeier