What to do and see in Peten, Guatemala: The Best Places and Tips

August 29, 2017 Florencio Paulino

Discover the best top things to do in Peten, Guatemala including Yaxha, Maya Biosphere Reserve, U-Go Tikal Tours, Topoxte Archaeological Site, Green Global Tour Operator, Piedras Negras, Dos Pilas, Mirador del Rey Canek, Peten Birders Club.
Restaurants in Peten

1. Yaxha

National Park, Peten, Guatemala +502 5755 4380
Excellent
83%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 321 reviews

Yaxha

Reviewed By r0landbrunner - Zurich, Switzerland

it takes some 90 minutes from Flores / Santa Helena to reach this former Maya city, the last 11 km on a quite bumpy dirt road. in dry times, an ordinary car may make it... the admission fee is 80 Q, but that covers the whole national park. so if you have a 4x4 and are willing to suffer some more and worse dirt roads, you can make it to the Maya sites of Naranjo or Nakum. When coming on an organised excursion, the entrance fee and lunch are included for foreign tourists. the excursion then costs some 85 US$.
The Yaxha site is very bg, but only to a small part excarvated. so what you will see is some restaured temples and buildings - the highest one with a wonderful view around, but mostly vegetation growing on hills that hide still most of this city. It is a lovely 2-3 hours stroll through the site, and there is a little museum linked to it. all together a great day out from Flores.

2. Maya Biosphere Reserve

Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
94%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 31 reviews

Maya Biosphere Reserve

Reviewed By DeanMurphy2020 - Orlando, Florida

Tikal National Park encompasses thousands of ruins and about 225 square miles of jungle. (Compared to Miami’s 55 square miles!) The central part of the ancient city that is the site of those 3,000 buildings covers about ten square miles. For those who prefer the metric system, compare the Biosphere Reserve’s 21,602 square kilometers to Yellowstone National Park’s 9,000 square kilometers. The park is also part of the 2.5-million-acre Maya Biosphere Reserve created in 1990 to protect the dense Forests of the Petén, which started to disappear at an alarming rate due to population pressures, slash-and-burn agricultural practices, and illegal logging. This review concerns only Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala’s largest rainforest, and not the Tikal ruins.
Unlike the world’s largest rainforest mostly accessible by the Amazon River, a highway runs through it, Maya Biosphere Reserve, which is home to a large concentration of ancient Maya cities. Many of those are under excavation. Tikal is the most famous, attracting almost a quarter million visitors per year. Many other sites exist in varying states of excavation. The Reserve’s forested area has shrunk by 13% over the past 21 years according to Rainforest Alliance. This worthy non-profit organization has several community development projects in the area. The most extreme deforestation has occurred in the Laguna del Tigre and Sierra del Lancandon National Parks. Financial resources are scarce for protecting the Reserve by park rangers, and the area is often considered a lawless Wilderness, so take heed when planning remote hikes and camping trips.

3. U-Go Tikal Tours

Peten 17011, Guatemala
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 21 reviews

U-Go Tikal Tours

U-Go Tikal Tours is a local family own tour company. We have been on the industry over 20 years ago. We do our tours with passion because we love our country history and culture. our main goal is that our travellers return home with the best experience ever.

Reviewed By Bill1047 - Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hugo is among the most professional and engaging guides we have hired in our many visits to Maya sites throughout Guatemala and Mexico. His knowledge, insights, and collegial persona were all invaluable as we visited a number of remote Mayan sites. Perks on his trip included cold towels after our treks and always a cooler filled with water, soft drinks and great Guatemalan beer. We highly recommend Hugo and look forward to another trip with him. Don't hesitate hiring this extraordinary individual and his team.

4. Topoxte Archaeological Site

Laguna Yaxha, Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
54%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Topoxte Archaeological Site

Reviewed By DeanMurphy2020 - Orlando, Florida

Located at the edge of Laguna Yaxhá near the Yaxhá Maya ruins site, this island archaeological site is accessible by a brief boat ride into a desolate jungle setting. Few visitors invade the domain of howler monkeys and spirited spider monkeys. Few resources have been devoted to restoration of the temples/pyramids, perhaps because of the inaccessibility to tourists. Too, the Yaxhá ruins are in a remote location, the site of the 2005 “Survivor” series. Was this the island from which participants voted off?

5. Green Global Tour Operator

4ta. Avenida 7-36, Peten 17029, Guatemala
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 9 reviews

Green Global Tour Operator

Green Global is a local tour operator who offer high quality services like... ECONOMY CLASS -Sunrise Tour to Tikal (Shuttle Bus & Guide) -One Day Tour to Tikal (Shuttle Bus & Guide) -PM Tour to Tikal (Shuttle Bus & Guide) EXECUTIVE CLASS -One Day Tour to Yaxha (Colective Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) -One Day Tour to Tikal (Colective Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) VIP CLASS -Sunrise Tour to Tikal (Private Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) -One Day Tour to Tikal (Private Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) -Sunset Tour to Yaxha (Private Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) -One Day Tour to Yaxha (Private Bus, Guide, Lunch, Admissions fees) SHUTTLE TO: -Belice (Borders & Cayes) -Mexico (Bethel Border, El Ceibo Border & Naranjo Border) -Lanquin -Rio Dulce -Guatemala City TOURS TO: -Tikal National Park -Yaxha Archaeological Site -Nakum Site (Only in dry season) -Naranjo Site (Only in dry season) -Aguateca Archaeological Site -Ceibal Archaeological Site -Uaxactun Archaeological Site -Peten Itza Lake Tour -Hanging Bridges Tour -Maya Trek (3 days/2 nights camping into the jungle) -El Mirador, La Dantas Trek (5 days/4 nights camping into the jungle) -Las Guacamayas Biological Station Tour (3/2 or 2/1 nights in a Logde into the jungle) -Canopy Tour -Kayak Day in Peten Itza Lake -HalfDay Bike in Flores Island -Ak´Tun-Kan Caves (where the imagination comes to life) -Legends of Peten Night Boat-Tour -Horseback Tour (Inside of Ixpanpajul Natural Park)

Reviewed By Nestor24 - San Fernando, California

We had a great time at Tikal Guatemala, My wife and I visited the wonderful Mayan pyramids in Tikal Guatemala. Victoria Godoy the general Manager and Selvin our tour guide were very nice and gave us so much information about Tikal and the Mayan history,...MoreIt was a pleasure to serve you , thank you for trusting our services, come back soon you´re always welcome!

6. Piedras Negras

Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
67%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Piedras Negras

Reviewed By Phil1ip - Minnesota

We accessed this site from Frontera Corozal, Mexico - by taking a 4 hour boat ride down the Usumacinta River (which is the border between Mexico & Guatemala). It should be noted that it's closer to a six hour ride back (against the current). This includes two stretches of rapids (where we had to stop and bail the water out the boats). The majority of the ride is through high-canopy jungle, with exotic birds, howler monkeys and crocodiles along the banks. Happily, as it had rained the night before, we were able to seen fresh jaguar tracks along the banks.
The site is on a bend in the river, on a bluff far above it. There is no dock or landing, you beach the boat, and climb a high sand dune to the site.
The site is not 'improved', there are no facilities - so you are in the jungle for the walk through the site.
This site had it's height in the late classic period, and is historically very significant. The site is known for it's sweat-bath and great sculptures.
It should also be noted that we also saw a boat reliably identified as human traffickers taking young women and children down river at dusk (while we were on our way back).
I feel that it's important to note that we took this trip only with the assistance and guidance of two local Archaeologists, who had not only been there previously, but who also have strong and ongoing connections with the local peoples (note that I did not say local "authorities" or "governments").
Although this was a great experience, it is probably not a trip that you want to attempt on your own!

7. Dos Pilas

Rio de la Pasion, Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Dos Pilas

Reviewed By mayaruinsonly - Alabama

This site is located in the Petexbatun Region of Guatemala and requires a 14 1/2 mile round trip hike or horse ride to visit. A person must first go down the Rio Pasion by boat and be let off at a ranch. When you arrive at the ranch, you can hire a young man to take you to not only visit the Maya ruins of Dos Pilas, but you'll also go right by another site; Arroyo de Piedras, along the way. The hike is very nice and peaceful, yet demanding as well. You can easily do it as a day-trip if you stay at one of the lodges nearby.

8. Mirador del Rey Canek

San Miguel, Lago Peten, Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Mirador del Rey Canek

Reviewed By Nekane B

Situado en San Miguel, a donde puede llegarse comodamente en barca por 5Q por persona. Para llegar al mirador hay que andar un rato por un camino pedregoso, recomendable ir en zapatillas o botas de monte. Vale la pena, unas vistas impresionantes de Flores y del lago Peten Itzá

9. Peten Birders Club

Peten, Guatemala
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Peten Birders Club

Reviewed By Ivania-GUATE4YOU

If you are interested in doing birding in Guatemala, we recommend to hire a birder guide from Petén Birders Club. Guides are professional and will take you to the hotspots in the areas visited. Tikal, Yaxhá, Uaxactún, El Mirador are some of the places we recommend to visit in Petén.

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