El Mirador

This place called El Mirador is a wonderful place stuck in the middle of the jungle in the northern part of Guatemala. Stuck in the upper north regions of the Petén department of Guatemala, near the border of Mexico, rests the ruins that some scholars believe to be the original "cradle of Mayan civilization". El Mirador is an expansive pre-Classic Mayan city that until 1926, remained unknown.It is truly a jewel in the jungle in an area called the "Mayan Biosphere Reserve". The Guatemala section of the Maya Forest forms the six million acre Maya Biosphere Reserve and is the largest protected area within the Maya Forest. In fact, it contains over ten percent of Guatemala's total land area. The Guatemalan government and UNESCO established the Maya Biosphere Reserve in 1990 to safeguard the region’s outstanding biological and cultural diversity. Within the internationally recognized World Biosphere Reserve are eight core protected areas, including the famous Tikal National Park which was declared a Natural and Cultural World Heritage site in 1979. 

The Mirador ruins are very valuable and interesting because the city of EL Mirador was the oldest and the biggest Mayan city of the whole Mayan empire. El Mirador is the largest known site of the preclassic era. Dating from 300 BC to 200 AD this city is one of the most important and monumental sites ever build in mayan history. The largest architectural works of the entire pre-classic period are found here. The biggest temple at the site ¨La Danta¨ is one of the worlds biggest temples and only it`s base is measured at 600 meters wide.

El Mirador is over 2,000 years old and it is believed that it thrived between 150 B.C. and 150 A.D. Believed to have been a major Mayan trade center with an impressive "urban" configuration, it is larger in size than other sites in the surrounding area. Together with the Mayan ruins at Tikal, El Mirador is one of the best examples of the accomplishments of the once great Mayan civilization. Civic buildings and complexes constructed for religious purposes comprise the center of this ancient city, and besides being a trading center, it is also believed that El Mirador was also a strong political and economic power in its time. The two main structures at El Mirador are the large "El Tigre" complex and the "La Danta" complex. El Tigre rises to about 180 feet tall, while La Danta tops out at around 230 feet high, making it one of the loftiest of all Mayan civilization structures. El Tigre's base alone spreads over 14 acres, while the base of La Danta comprises an area the size of around 35 football fields.