Iximche
Plan your visit

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles344 reviews
Excellent
157
Very good
146
Average
39
Poor
2
Terrible
0

rjonsun
S E Pennsylvania83 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I have been to over 40 different Maya ruins in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala and have seen all the major sites. Not much has been reconstructed or preserved in Iximche but there are a few interesting things. First is the location: 3 sides are deep ravines which helped greatly in defending the city. Second is that there are still Maya religious ceremonies going on daily. You can watch at a distance. Third, after President Bush was there, the shamans had a cleansing ceremony to rid the ruins of his bad ju-ju. Most tours originate in either Antigua or Pana and many are priced over $75 per person. The 3 of us decided to hire a taxi in Antigua to visit the site then take us to Pana. The price of $125 (for all three of us) did not include entrance to the ruins. Our driver had no problem waiting the 1.5 hours for us and we ended up saving money over the regular tour and got from one destination to another. Look up taxi driver Santo s Fernandez 48234645 on the main square in Antigua. He speaks some English and is a very funny happy man. Izimche is not frequently visited during the week.
Written 17 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VeganMadeEasy
Glen Ellyn, IL2,178 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
We booked a ride from Panajachel and the driver dropped us off at main road intersection, about 5km from Iximche. Although we booked the tour to the site we didn’t understand that we’d be dropped off 10 min away from it. We took a TukTuk Q20/person. Q50/person entrance fee.

The site was quiet and enjoyable as only a few visitors were there. There is a small museum that offers some basic information and a nice model of the entire site. Restrooms are right next to where you enter.

Wikipedia has great details which we used as our guide. The first plaza has a temple and next to it an altar that was used for human sacrifices. The further in you go, the less excavation has been performed. It’s not one of the most impressive sites we’ve seen but well worth the visit.

Be sure to go past, what seems to be the last structure. There is a little pyramid that is still used for prayers and sacrifices by the locals.

If you plan for 1.5 hours, self guided, that should give you plenty of time.
Written 19 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

d s
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Friends
Our trip to this site was unforgettable. Our tour guide Melvin was so knowledgeable, kind, funny, and proud of his culture. All this shined from him and as a result it was truly a potent experience to learn about Iximche from him. Our tour guide for Guatemala, Diego Leal (whom is an incredible guide in his own right, having provided us with safe and comfortable, knowledgeable and wise, and a beautiful tour of Guatemala City, Antigua, and Panahachel), worked seamlessly with Melvin to create a wonderful and moving experience for us. The energy here is tangible and it is SUCH a powerful place to learn about Mayan history.
Written 2 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveltheorient
San Antonio, TX595 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
There was a small museum and several "plazas" that appear to have been excavated recently. Unlike the pyramids in Egypt, the purpose of these "pyrimids" was to "meet with the Gods" and to offer them goods, sacrifices... But then the Spaniards came who declared their "God" is better than the Maya's God. Some of the natives spend time here honoring their ancestors and the "God" they believe in but then they throw a cross (like the Catholics) upon leaving... Interesting place to study evolution of religions....
Written 31 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BlondeSquadMom
Augusta, KS45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
Our mission team stopped here on our way to Chichi to learn about Mayan culture. We had an English speaking guide. He did a great job of explaining the ruins in an interesting way! We learned a lot! We were disappointed to have missed the ceremony that had taken place earlier in the day, as I am sure that would have been fascinating.
Written 10 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SB Brown
Lundbreck, Canada155 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
First time visiting this ruins and was quite impressed with how well the ruins that remain are preserved. There wasn't a lot to see but it is an interesting place due to its historical significance. It was very pleasant to wander around the grounds imagining what this place looked like when it was bustling place 500 years ago. Would recommend spending and hour or two if you're in the area.
Written 17 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Albert B
Cincinnati, OH483 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
So glad our tour group spent about 90 minutes here. A trip to Guatemala is incomplete without visiting Mayan ruins. Sports fields caught my interest. Very well cared for plus interesting small museum. Surprising very clean restrooms.
Written 21 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OD
Grand Bend, Ontario290 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When travelling in Guatamala, if you can fit it in on your way to Panajachel, drop in for a couple of hours to Iximche, the small Mayan archeological site. We were there in Jan 2008. The weather was not too hot, and there were lots of trees and shade. It is a small compact site, easily walked in a couple of hours, very quiet and contemplative. There are washrooms just off the parking lot. The local Mayan people come here even today to make small ceremonies and offerings which makes it more interesting than some sites. While there we were able to witness a Mayan priest, hands raised, doing a ceremony for a small group standing in a circle on the top of one temple just off the central plaza. Then we went down a long pathway at the back of the site, and found another small temple at the back set apart from the rest. This this one is currently being used for offerings, so if you go to Iximche make sure you take the short walk to it. There were small flat round altars surrounding the temple and they were all blackened by recent use. While there we saw a couple of women and some children making offerings of wax candles, flower petals, branches of herbs, foods, and lard on one of the round altars at the base of the temple. They put flower petals all the way down the steps from the top of the temple to the altar they were using. They were singing, praying, adding more items to the pile, stroking one of the young children with herb branches and laying those on top, and crying with emotion. They went on like this for at least a half an hour before lighting the entire pile of stuff and stood watching the smoke rise as it burned up. The image of the god they were praying to was quite clearly carved in the stone at the top of the temple. It was very impressive and moving. All those of us who were tourists watching, as if by agreement stood apart respectfully, and did not go around looking at the temple while the Mayans were doing the ceremony. Occasionally a couple of new tourists would come down the path, see all of us standing still, and would without asking do likewise. Everyone was completely still and did not talk until the Mayans finished and went on their way.
Written 27 January 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Antigua G
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala136 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Couples
Tecpán - Iximche, Guatemala

Tecpán Guatemala (or Tecpang), located about 35 miles (55 kms) northwest of Antigua Guatemala, is best known as the main town right next to Iximche, site of the last capital of the Maya civilization. The Iximche ruins have been dated circa 1493 to 1524. Though relatively junior in the scheme of Maya history, these ruins have their own majesty.

Most tourists seek out Tecpán Guatemala as a mere launch pad to get to nearby Iximche, a pre-Columbian archeological site, somewhat overshadowed in allure and reputation by the mighty, more imposing and highly excavated Tikal. Yokobsens got on a series of Saturday chicken buses and headed out with two goals: to explore both Tecpán and the ruins.

To get to Tecpán Guatemala from Antigua Guatemala, allow at least an hour and a half. Total cost of return fare is about 45Q (about $5.50 US). Catch the bus to Chimeltenango (affectionately known and shouted out as "Chimel") and tell the chicken bus wing man when you pay to let you off in Chimel where you can hop the bus to Tecpán Guatemala.

Be warned that Chimel is a dusty and diesel-fumed environment and you'll be on a main thoroughfare as you wait for your connection. However, buses come every few minutes so you won't be standing in the less-than-ideal spot for very long.

Another thing to know is the bus from Chimel will pass Tecpán Guatemala and not let you off until about three to five minutes up the highway. Don't panic; they have not forgotten you. It is very dangerous to pass the busy four-lane Pan American highway at what seems clearly marked as Tecpán Guatemala and the Iximche site. Further up the highway, the traffic flow permits travelers to cross the road in relative safety, and from there, head back via southward bound chicken bus.

Once in Tecpán it's easy to get to the Iximche site. Just hop in a tuc-tuc in Tecpán and 5Q will take you for the five- to eight-minute ride to the archeological site. It's 50Q to get in if you are a gringo. Now, here is where the Do-It-Yourself approach wasn't quite perfect. We expected to find at least one or two English-speaking guides who, for a fee, would take us through the compelling site. Nada. Nobody. A Saturday afternoon found the museum doors locked. And all of the explanations on panels throughout the site are, naturally, in Spanish and Kaqchikel. Our advice is to do your homework before you go.

Unfortunately, there is surprisingly little to be found about this site online. It's relatively unresearched and excavated compared to its flashier cousin sites elsewhere in the country and so doesn't get a lot of online profile. Here are two sites that are helpful to have read or print off and bring with you.

At its height, Iximche had a population of 10,000 and it was not all one homogenous group, but rather a number of clans within the city. The site was chosen for its strategic advantage: a high plateau more or less surrounded by ravines, which still are much in evidence. The palaces, six plazas, temples, stone relics where sacrifice is theorized to have taken place, are there in traces, and though some restoration has take place, the visitor requires some exercise of the imagination to envisage the former glory.

But make no mistake; this is a very spiritual place. The Maya use an area adjacent to the ancient site to perform ritual ceremonies and apparently, on a regular basis. You kind of have to luck out to be there at a time when the ceremonies take place. I've been told it's usually in the mornings, but there is no set time, at least in a way that a gringo can understand it.

A last word about getting back to town. The best thing to do (and actually the ONLY thing) is wait for an enterprising van to come into the roadway that leads to the site. We didn't have to wait long. For 2 Q the van, designed to transport 10 passengers, will pick you and 17 others up along the way. It's a bumpy, cheek to cheek ride with a set of Mayans who know how to make the best of a fun ride back from a spectacular ancient monument.
Written 12 December 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barry H
Antigua, Guatemala263 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Without the long drive to Tikal or Copan, Iximche gives you a look at the Mayan culture. There are signs located near most points of interest but most of them are in Spanish. Make sure to visit the back of the site where you might be able to see a Shamanic ritual taking place. This is one site I highly recommend. About one and one half hour drive from Antigua, roads are good, but make sure you stay within the speed limit. Expect heavy traffic in weekends. During the week, you will probably have Iximche to yourself, but weekend will be busy.
Written 6 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 206
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Iximche, Tecpan

RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire