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Tikal National Park

Tikal

Tikal National Park is one of the most visited places in Guatemala, and absolutely must-see! Tikal is one of the largest archeological sites of the Mayan civilization, located in the northern department Petén. Tikal was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Tikal was the capital of a Maya kingdom, and its most important period was from 200 to 900 AD, but traces can tell that the park might date from 1000 BC.
The park has numerous temples, pyramids and altars, and it is impressive to learn about the history of this place and the life the people lead here. The guides have an unbelievable amount of information about the history, flora, fauna, Mayan cosmovision and mathematics, which they love to share with the visitors.
Itinerary
There are different options. You can do the sunrise tour, the day tour or the sunset tour, although the day tour is the most common tour. You can choose for a collective tour or a private tour.
Day tour:
It is a 45-minute drive from Flores to Tikal, and in Tikal you receive a guided tour through this immense park of Mayan ruins. The bilingual guide will walk you along the many ruins, temples and complexes from the ancient Mayan culture, and tell you everything about the impressive history.

Where & when: Flores, at 7:30am
Includes: transportation, entrance fee, bilingual guide and lunch.
Extra options: make a day trip from Antigua or Guatemala City including domestic flights.

Yaxha National Park

Yaxha

You will be transferred with the driver and guide to Yaxha National Park where you can enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited, atmospheric site. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this area which is rich with wildlife. Lunch is provided at El Sombrero Lodge on the shores of Lake Yaxha or for an extra supplement we can arrange a luxury picnic lunch.

Where & when: Flores, at 7:30am
Includes: transportation, entrance fee, bilingual guide and lunch.

El Mirador Expedition

El Mirador

The archeological site of El Mirador is an impressive site, located close to the Mexican border in the north of Peten. This site is so isolated, that it takes a 5-day jungle expedition to get there. El Mirador is about 4 times as big as Tikal, and most of the ruins are still unexcavated. To get there, you will walk through the jungle. Often it is dense, and the guide will have to make his way with machetes. On the way, you will learn everything about the tropical flora and fauna such as many birds, different species of monkeys and other mammals.
For this expedition, you need to be in a good physical condition. The landscape is one of up-and-down, and walking 8 hours a day is not uncommon. The circumstances are tough because of the high humidity and high temperatures, the many insects and animals. During the whole trip there won´t be electricity and phone signal. Using the bathroom is very primitive, and you can only take an improvised shower at El Mirador sight.
Itinerary
The standard expedition of 5 days starts from Flores, from where you leave in a vehicle to the village of Carmelita. You will spend part of the day in this community, which always has survived from the forest. From there, the trek will start, with guides, packing mules and supplies. The first night is spent at the site of El Tintal, and in the afternoon of the second day, you will arrive at El Mirador. There you spend the night in the camp of the chiclero workers, the famous tree of the area. The third day is dedicated to the exploration of El Mirador, and day 4 and 5 for the return trip.

Where & when: from Flores, at 5:00am (day 1). Return on day 5.
Difficulty: difficult
Includes: ground transportation, entrance fees, local guide, cook, mules for luggage, accommodation in campsides on the way (includes tent, mat and sleeping bag), all meals (3 meals a day), purified water.
What to bring: light and thing clothes with long legs and sleeves, good walking boots, bug spray with DEET, hat/cap, mosquito net, personal hygiene items, headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries, water bottle, camera, small backpack, pocket knife, towel and/or wet wipes.
Extras: trip can be extended with visits to additional ruins in the area, to make a 6/7 day expedition

Copan Ruins - Honduras

Copan

The archeological site of Copán ruins is located in Honduras, just across the border with Guatemala, and it is easy accessible from Antigua, Guatemala City or Rio Dulce. Copán might not be as famous as Tikal, but definitely worth a visit if you are interested in the Mayan archeology. While Tikal is known for the size of its temples, Copán has always been the most artistically advanced place, with very well elaborated and conserved stelae and monuments. Most of these stelae are carved very detailed, which makes you see a totally different side of the Mayan cities. Copán was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Itinerary
The Copán ruins can be visited during a complete day, this is enough to discover all the areas of the park with its secrets. A guided tour is recommended, but it is also quite easy to visit this park by yourself, where a local guide will provide you with interesting facts and stories.
The ruins are located about 1km from the village Copán, where you can find a variety in nice hotels or hostels and restaurants. It is a very nice small town, with also many activities to offer in its direct surroundings. Other tours we could arrange for you in Copán include horseback riding, a coffee tour, hot springs, and much more!
Transportation can be arranged in direct shuttle service from Antigua (6 hrs) or Guatemala City.

Takalik Abaj

Takalik Abaj

When you are in Quetzaltenango, you have the opportunity to visit Takalik Abaj. This is an archeological site where you can find ruins from the Olmec/Mayan culture, dating from the Pre-classis period. The ancient city was populated and active from 800 BC until 900 AD. This site is not as well-known as the ruins of Tikal for example, but this is definitely a hidden gem among the ruins. The site is located in a sub-tropical area which makes the visit very pleasant.
Itinerary
Leaving Quetzaltenango, you will drive for about 1,5 hour to the ruins of Abaj Takalik. With the guide, you take a walking tour of approximately 2 hours, and hear all the interesting aspects of this site, which is divided in different terraces.

Where & when: from Quetzaltenango, at 7:00am
Includes: transportation, guide, entrance fee

Quirigua

Quirigua

Quiriguá is another Mayan site, but located in the department of Izabal. This site dates from the Mayan classes period, and used to be located on an important travel route. The most important time of Quiriga was from 200-900 AD. The site actually has the biggest Great Plaza of all Mayan sites in the region. What characterizes Quirigua are the carved stelae. The glyphs are very detailed and some of them are original for Quirigua. There can be seen Mayan scripts, and figures of several animals. Quirigua actually contains the largest stela ever found in the Mayan world.
Itinerary
Quirigua is located just off the highway between Guatemala City and Rio Dulce, on the banks of the Motagua river, and therefore the site is unbelievably lush and green.

Where & when: from Guatemala City, Antigua, Copan or Rio Dulce
Includes: transportation, guide, entrance fee