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Archeological sites

In this section you can find a selection of the most recommended tours and activities in Guatemala, some real must-sees! The page is divided in 5 sections: Adventure/Active Travel, Nature Lovers, Archeological Sites, Cultural Tours and Relax Trips. You can choose any combination of tours you like, and we will turn it into a personalized itinerary. This is only a selection, so if you have other suggestions or questions about available tours, please contact us, we will organize it for you.

Tikal National Park – TSF1

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 Tikal
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
The ideal visit to Tikal would take one complete day, or if you can, two days would be even better. The first day you can do a guided tour through the park, with all its temples (some of them can even be climbed) and plazas with their constructions. After lunch, you are free to discover the 
park by yourself, as the entire complex covers 16 km2, and has about 3000 structures. So there is more than enough to explore! 

On the second day, a real recommendation is the sunrise tour. You will be picked up at your hotel at 3 or 4 AM, leaving for Tikal National Park. There, a guide will take you to Temple 4, the highest structure in the park with 62 meters, where you can see a magical sunrise and hear the sounds of the jungle, like the howler monkeys waking up.

Accommodation can be booked in one of the hotels of Tikal. If you want to have access to more facilities, Flores would be a good choice. Flores is a village on a small peninsula in the Petén Itza lake, located on 1 hour from Tikal. There are several good hotel options in all classes, and nice little bars and restaurants. 

Example 1: Tikal in 1 day
Leaving from: Flores 
Full Day Tour, no minimum
Leaving at 8:00AM
Price: $65 per person
Includes: Transportation, entrance fees, bilingual guide, lunch.

Also:  Tikal 1 day from Antigua. $375 per person including domestic flight


El Mirador – TSF2

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 4 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.

Itinerary
The expedition starts from 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.

Leaving from: Antigua / Guatemala City / Flores / Carmelita
Leaving at: 5:00AM (day 1)
Includes: transportation to starting point, experienced guides, professional cooks, pack mules, equipment (hammock with mosquito nets and/or tents with sleeping bags), all food, purified water.
What to bring: good walking shoes, flash lights, insect repellent, personal hygiene products, medicines (if you have prescriptions), rain coat, hat or cap.
Extras: trip can be extended with visits to additional ruins in the area, to make a 6/7 day expedition
Price: On request


In addition to these two top archeological sites, we can operate tours to the other archeological sites in Petén too. Tours of 1 day or several days are possible to Yaxhá, Ceibal, Nakum, El Zotz and Aguateca. We can also organize tours to the Biological Station Las Guacamayas, for some great birdwatching and observation of wildlife.

Contact us for prices and itineraries!


Takalik Abaj – TSQ1

If 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, we 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.

Leaving from: Quetzaltenango
Leaving at: 7:00AM (half day)
Includes: transportation, local guide, entrance fee
Minimum pax: 2 
Price: $60 per person

From Antigua, Guatemala City or Rio Dulce

 

Copán Ruins (Honduras) – TSA1

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. 

The park exists of several parts, such as a ball court, the grand plaza, and several temples, acropolis and stelae. There is also a visitors centre with a model of the park and good information about the park and the history of this Mayan city. 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, although it is quite easy to visit this park by yourself, although a guide can always 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. 

From Rio Dulce or Copan

Quirigua – TSR1

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 is very interesting to see in 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. In the 10th century, the site was abandoned for unknown reasons.

Itinerary
We leave with ground transportation from Copan, the last part the road leads through tropical areas with banana plantations. Quirigua is located on the banks of the Motagua river, and therefore the site is unbelievably lush and green. 

We will take enough time to discover the complete site, and in the afternoon we leave to Copan again.

Leaving from: Copan Honduras(or other destination on request)
Leaving at: 8:00AM 
Includes: transportation, guide, entrance fee, lunch box
Minimum: 2
Price: On request