Copán Ruins Archeological Site Copán Ruinas Sitio Arqueológico
Copán is the most studied Maya city in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back nearly 2,000 years, the society that lived here was highly stratified, deeply symbolic and focused on tradition. Copán Ruinas Archeological Site consists of the Stelae of the Great Plaza c 613; the ball court; the hieroglyphic stairway; and the Acropolis, with superb carved reliefs of the 16 kings of Copán.
Opening hours: 8am-4pm
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Las Sepulturas Archaeological Site
Las Sepulturas archaeological site forms part of the "PAC" (Proyecto Arqueológico Copán) and is located 1.6 km/1mi from the central acropolis. This small site has been most important in understanding how the Mayan elite lived during the days before the collapse of Copán. In addition there are trails through the birds and wildlife.
The acropolis is divided in two big plazas: the West court and the East court. In the West court is Temple 11 which was meant to be a portal to the supernatural world and the East Court's Pyramid 16, known today as the Temple of the Sun" is a temple to the god of war, death and sacrifice.
El Puente Archaeological Site
Another Mayan archaeological site, known as El Puente is located along the Chinamito River not far from Copán. Much smaller than Copán, this satellite town has been recently excavated and several pyramids have been partially restored. The ruins offer excellent bird watching opportunities.
Museum of Mayan Sculpture
This massive complex houses a series of original pieces of sculpture, stelae and altars recovered from the Copán Archaeological site. The masterpiece is the full-sized replica of the Rosa Lila temple, discovered intact under structure 16 in the acropolis.
Considered the social center of the city, this park is the site where a gladiator-style ball game was played. Unique to it are the markers on the side walls, resembling macaw heads.
Copán Valley Stelaes
Most of the Mayan stelaes are located in the main plaza, but there are a series of stelaes located throughout the valley in strategic locations, some more easily accessible than others.
Plaza of the Stelae
Famous for the stelae and altars that are scattered around the immense plaza, most of which were erected during the years 711 and 736. Many of the altars are zoomorphic (represent gods as animals).
This unique temple holds the longest known Mayan text. The intricate carvings on the 63 steps represent five successors to the dynasty.
More Copan Ruins Archeological Site Pictures