Orchid lovers and even the orchid-curious should not miss the wonderfully informative guided tour of this orchid sanctuary just off the highway to Cobán. The 90-minute to two-hour tour takes you through the history of orchid collecting, starting with the Maya, as you wend your way along a path in the forest. There are sweet little cabins on the grounds where you can stay for Q550 to Q750 per night, as well as campsites (Q40). The last entry is at 4pm, as people must be out by 5pm.

To get here, catch any bus (Q2) from Cobán headed for Tontem and get off when you see the sign, about 200m up the dirt road off Hwy 14.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cobán attractions

1. Parque Nacional Las Victorias

3.25 MILES

This forested 82-hectare national park, right in town, has ponds, BBQ and picnic areas, children's play areas, a lookout point and kilometers of trails…

2. Ermita de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

3.28 MILES

The Ermita de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a chapel dedicated to Cobán's patron saint, is 150m west of the bottom of the stairs leading to the Templo El…

3. Templo El Calvario

3.39 MILES

You can get a fine view over the town from this church atop a long flight of stairs at the north end of 7a Av. Indigenous people leave offerings at…

5. Mercado Terminal

3.51 MILES

The local market is always good for a wander, even if you're not looking to buy.

6. Museo Katinamit


Recreating a Poqomchi' house, this well-ordered museum features household items and everyday products, as well as art, textiles and tools that are still…

7. Grutas Rey Marcos

9.21 MILES

These caves go for more than 1km into the earth, although chances are you won't get taken that far. A river runs through the cave (you have to wade…

8. Biotopo del Quetzal

20.2 MILES

In the lush cloud forests south of Cobán is the Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera nature reserve, commonly called Biotopo del Quetzal.