We left San Cristobal continuing in an easterly direction to Tonina as we had been told there was an Mayan archeological site which does not receive many visitors but was worth seeing.
We set off from San Cristobal around noon allowing ourselves lots of time the get to Tonina. We were only about one tenth of the way there, just entering a town called San Sebastian when we were flagged to the side of the road to line up behind a row of buses and semi-trucks and trailers as there had been an accident on the town bypass. Some smaller vehicles were being redirected through the town itself. We ended up sitting there for almost three hours. Stewart finally walked to the people directing the traffic through the town and asked if we could pass through also. After showing them a photo of our rig, they said we would be fine to proceed through the town.
Arriving at our destination just as the sun was about to disappear behind the horizon. We settled in for the night and made some dinner. Next morning, we walked to the archeological site, the entrance was free. We first visited the small museum at the entrance to view some of the relics on display.
We then ventured into the site.
From the top we were admiring the view when we noticed that they had decided to mow the grass in the adjacent field of the site.
The good news is, they had two mowers LOL!!!
Tonina (or Toniná in Spanish orthography) is a pre-Columbian archaeological site and ruined city of the Maya civilization located in what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas, some 13 km (8.1 mi) east of the town of Ocosingo.
The site is medium to large, with groups of temple-pyramids set on terraces rising some 71 metres (233 ft) above a plaza, a large court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame, and over 100 carved monuments, most dating from the 6th century through the 9th centuries AD, during the Classic period. Toniná is distinguished by its well preserved stucco sculptures and particularly by its in-the-round carved monuments, produced to an extent not seen in Mesoamerica since the end of the much earlier Olmec civilization. Toniná possesses one of the largest pyramids in Mexico; at 74 metres (243 ft) in height, it is taller than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.
Toniná was an aggressive state in the Late Classic period, using warfare to develop a powerful kingdom. For much of its history, Toniná was engaged in sporadic warfare with Palenque, its greatest rival and one of the most important polities in the west of the Maya region, although Toniná eventually became the dominant city in the west.
The city is notable for having the last known Long Count date on any Maya monument, marking the end of the Classic Maya period in AD 909. (Wikipedia)
The rest of the day we relaxed at our campsite. We also discussed what would be our next destination.
Next morning, we went back into Ocosingo to fill our diesel tank. We left there around 9am and set out for Frontera Corozal, which is located on the Mexican/Guatemala border. We decided to take the shortest route there, this was not necessarily fastest route as it went through the heart of the Zapatista area of the country. Most travellers do not go through this area due to the road blocks, payment demands etc. It also had approximately 50km/30 miles of dirt road climbing up and over the highlands. Parts of this road was down to a single track with overgrown vegetation either side of the road.
We arrived at Frontera Corozal around 3:30pm. We stayed in the grounds of a hotel where they allowed us to camp overnight for free because we had dinner in their restaurant. We had also arranged a boat ride on the river to Yaxchalan for 8am next morning. While there we ran into a couple of German overlanders we had previously met in Calgary in late August prior to us setting off south, they joined us for the boat ride.
Yaxchalan is located approximately 50 minutes away and only accessible by boat.
Once at Yaxchilan they allow you 2 hours to visit the site and explore the ruins.
This is Guatemala, we were in and out of Guatemala several times while on the boat.
Yaxchilan (pronounced [ʝaʃtʃiˈlan]) is an ancient Maya city located on the banks of the Usumacinta River in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. In the Late Classic Period Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Maya states along the course of the Usumacinta River, with Piedras Negras as its major rival. Architectural styles in subordinate sites in the Usumacinta region demonstrate clear differences that mark a clear boundary between the two kingdoms.
Yaxchilan was a large center, important throughout the Classic era, and the dominant power of the Usumacinta River area. It dominated such smaller sites as Bonampak, and had a long rivalry with Piedras Negras and at least for a time with Tikal; it was a rival of Palenque, with which Yaxchilan warred in 654.
The site is particularly known for its well-preserved sculptured stone lintels set above the doorways of the main structures. These lintels, together with the stelae erected before the major buildings, contain hieroglyphic texts describing the dynastic history of the city (Wikipedia)