9 julio, 2024

Geographical location of the Maya (and time)

What was the location of the Mayans in the American geography?

The geographical location of the Mayans covers a fairly large area: there are more than 350,000 square kilometers that occupy spaces in Mexico, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala. The Mayan civilization was present in this territory for more than two thousand years.

The oldest records of this culture correspond to 2000 BC. C., when the first inhabitants began to become sedentary and created the first populations, which had their corresponding social structures.

This civilization saw its end in 1697, in the 16th century, when the Spanish conquest was finally completed in the region. The most relevant historical moment for the Mayan culture was between 250 and 900 AD. C.: It was at that time when it had a very important boom.

Main locations of the Mayans in Mexico

Chichen Itza

This ancient city is located in the Yucatan peninsula and was one of the main cities of the Mayan culture. This site is considered so important and imposing that it is part of the new wonders of the world.

In Chichén Itzá is one of the most characteristic pyramids of the Mayan civilization: it is the Kukulkan pyramid, which is about 25 meters high and where the Mayan calendar can be seen.


This city was named by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. Among its numerous buildings, the Pyramid of the Fortune Teller stands out, which is about 35 meters high.

The city of Uxmal is located within the jungle, so its access is somewhat limited. According to archaeological records, this city was created to honor the god of rain and thus receive favors from him, since there were no natural sources of water in Uxmal.


It was a fairly populated location, it is estimated that more than 15,000 people lived there. One of the most outstanding characteristics of Ek Balam is the presence of great walls that were intended to defend its inhabitants from foreign invasions.

Another very striking element of this Mayan site is that there is the tomb of one of the most important kings of this civilization: Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’.

Main cities in Guatemala


It is located in the department of Chimaltenango, specifically in the Tecpán municipality. It has more than 170 buildings and covers an area of ​​more than 3 square kilometers.

This city was quite protected: the main gates were made of obsidian and had a deep artificially made moat.

Another of the striking characteristics of Iximché is that in the middle of the buildings there are vestiges of a large central patio, in which the inhabitants used to carry out social and sports activities.

It was precisely in this location that the first capital city of the colonial era was founded, in 1524: it was called Ciudad de Santiago.


In 1979 Tikal was declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. It is the largest Mayan city in Guatemala and the largest excavated site in the Americas.

According to archaeological records, the Maya abandoned this city in a hurry and their presence was unknown until 1848, when the merchant Ambrosio Tut discovered some temples and informed the ruler of that time, Modesto Méndez.

The city occupies 576 square kilometers, a fairly large area that is completely surrounded by dense jungle.


It is located northeast of Guatemala, towards the lowlands. This is one of the best-preserved Mayan cities to date.

The entire site occupies some 34 hectares and is surrounded by a tropical rain forest that is home to a large number of endemic fauna and flora. There you can find various sculptures and buildings that surround a large central square.

Main cities in Belize


It is the largest site in Belize. It is located in the Cayo district and covers about 170 square kilometers.

The largest temple in Belize is located in this city; It is the Canaa temple, which has a height of 46 meters. In addition, this city has an astronomical observatory and five large squares.

Cahal Pech

It is also located in the Cayo district. It has a significant number of buildings: 34 buildings, seven patios and several courts for the game of ball.

Cahal Pech is one of the oldest cities, as its inhabitants are considered to have lived there in 900 BC. C. The tallest building in the city is 25 meters high and has an archaeological excavation area that can be visited.


The ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Lamanai are very well preserved. This is located in the north of Belize and it is believed that its most prominent period was between the 4th and 1st centuries BC. c.

In one of the central squares of the city, there is a very striking sculpture that represents the head of a jaguar.

Main cities in Honduras


This city is located in a space that is not very accessible and, according to the researchers, it was a location clearly dedicated to war.

It is believed that Rastrojón was a space in which nobles and kings protected themselves in the midst of strong conflicts that took place at that time. This space is located on a mountain, which allowed the Mayans to be prepared to face their opponents, since they anticipated their arrival thanks to the privileged view.


Its 120 hectares make it the largest Mayan city in Honduras. In Copán there are a large number of sculptures that tell the story of those who inhabited this space.

For example, several of these sculptures were built to venerate the kings of this city, and thanks to this record it has been discovered that Copán was ruled by 16 different kings.

One of the most peculiar characteristics of this location is the existence of a system of tunnels located 4 kilometers below one of the main buildings, the acropolis, which is 30 meters high.

In addition, the city is home to Altar Q, a construction considered to be of great historical importance because the names of all the characters who ruled this location are carved on one of the sides.

Nunez Chinchilla

In this location, which is part of the archaeological park of Copán, 23 different and imposing structures have been found.

Likewise, there are some 145 burials, where you can see the elements that the Mayans gave as offerings to the gods through those who died.


“Geographical location of the Mayan culture” in Mexico unknown. Retrieved on November 12, 2019 from unknown Mexico: mexicodesconocido.com.mx
«They discover a new Mayan city in Petén, Guatemala» on TelesurTV. Retrieved on November 12, 2019 from TelesurTV: telesurtv.net
García, L. “10 most fascinating Mayan ruins in Guatemala, according to Touropia” in Guatemala. Retrieved on November 12, 2019 from Guatemala: Guatemala.com
Vásquez, V. «Archaeological ritual deposits of the Classic period in Campeche» in Elsevier. Retrieved on November 12, 2019 from Elsevier: elsevier.es
“Mayan Highlands” at Mundo Maya. Retrieved on November 12, 2019 from Mundo Maya: gomundomaya.com

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