Mixco Viejo, San Juan Sacatepequez

#18 of 28 in Outdoors in Sacatepequez Department
Mixco Viejo, occasionally spelt Mixcu Viejo, is an archaeological site in the north east of the Chimaltenango department of Guatemala, some 50km to the north of Guatemala City and 4km from the junction of the rivers Pixcaya and Motagua. It is a moderate sized ruined city of the Postclassic Maya civilization.
The archaeological site and tourist attraction of Mixco Viejo was named after being erroneously associated with the Postclassic Poqomam capital referred to in colonial records by that name. The archaeological site has now been identified as Jilotepeque Viejo, the capital of the Chajoma Kaqchikel kingdom. To distinguish between the two, the ruins of the Chajoma capital are now referred to as Mixco Viejo while the former Poqomam capital is referred to as Mixco Viejo .
This confusion in the identification of the site has hindered study. The Chajoma capital has been investigated archaeologically, under the assumption that it was the Poqomam capital. Although the Chajoma ruins of Jilotepeque Viejo have been well described archaeologically, the archaeological data has been associated with the history of a different site entirely. Doubts about the identification of the archaeological site were first raised by Robert M. Carmack, who realised that the supposed Poqomam capital was not located within the Poqomam linguistic area but rather within the linguistic area of the Kaqchikels. The Poqomam who were settled in the new colonial settlement of Mixco by the Spanish had a long history of fine polychrome ceramic production, but no evidence of such production had been recovered during archaeological investigations, and the ruins were considered too distant from colonial Mixco.
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Mixco Viejo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
28 reviews
  • This Place is fantastic, has great views of the Poqom culture, which is one of the 22 of Guatemala, one of the last bastions that fell in Guatemala by the conquistadors.
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  • Abroad charge Q50, but they give a receipt of Q25 and a stamp back by other Q25 (it does not give impression of legality), the motorcycles stops at the entrance give bad aspect, it is interesting the route and the culture that existed there, the signage is being lost in some points and There is no surveillance inside, visitors enter and damage closed areas. This rebuilt and this looks modern and loses the original site, gives an idea of how they were but not exaggerated new. The site is very dry and lacks maintenance (visitors leave garbage) and make food at any point
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  • Nice scenic area. 4 groups of structures. Well restored. I was only tourist there. Look at model at entrance to orient.
  • Really quiet and serene, worth visiting if you can handle the long journey it takes to get there through the maze of pueblos and mountain roads. I think a very small number of people come every year and even fewer tourists. Magical place to pay your respects to ancestors, meditate or simply take in the views of an ancient civilization.
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