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   Afternoon Activities / National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

The capital of Guatemala City sits on a major Maya archaeological site: the pre Classic city-state and trading center of Kaminal Juyú. As the modern city grew thousands of artifacts were uncovered, many preserved at the National Museum.

The museum is famous for its collection of large stelae saved from looters in the jungles of the Petén. Beautiful polychrome pottery reveals the artistry and intricacy of Maya painting. We will be allowed into the “jade room,” where treasures unearthed from the burials of Maya kings are conserved. Guatemala’s mountains continue to produce green, blue, lilac black and white jade, prized by the ancient Maya as if it were gold.