Archaeological Site in El Petén

El Mirador

Buried within the furthest reaches of the Petén jungle, just 7km south of the Mexican border, the Late Preclassic metropolis at El Mirador contains one of the largest clusters of buildings of any single Maya...

Wildlife Reserve in Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre

Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas

A scientific research center within the Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre, Scarlet Macaw Biological Station offers wildlife-watching/archaeology tours and the chance to tag along with researchers as they monitor...

Archaeological Site in El Petén

Yaxhá

Yaxhá

The Classic Maya sites of Yaxhá, Nakum and El Naranjo form a triangle that is the basis for a national park covering more than 37,000 hectares and bordering the Parque Nacional Tikal to the west. Yaxhá, the most...

Ruins in Tikal

Templo I

Templo I, the Templo del Gran Jaguar (Temple of the Grand Jaguar), was built to honor – and bury – Ah Cacao. The king may have worked out the plans for the building himself, but it was actually erected above his...

Ruins in Tikal

Templo IV

Templo IV, at 65m, is the highest building at Tikal and the second-highest pre-Columbian building known in the western hemisphere, after La Danta at El Mirador. The view east is almost as good as from a...

Archaeological Site in El Petén

Tikal

The most striking feature of Tikal is its towering, steep-sided temples, rising to heights of more than 44m, but what distinguishes it is its jungle setting. Much of the delight of touring the site comes from...

Spring in Around Sayaxché

Crater Azul

This stunning spring-fed tributary lies just a 90-minute boat ride from Sayaxché, during which you pass birdlife and a mix of farms, fields and forests. The last few hundred meters are too shallow for the engine,...

Archaeological Site in Yaxhá

East Acropolis & Structure 216

Near the site entrance is the high point of Yaxhá (literally): Structure 216 in the East Acropolis. Also called the Temple of the Red Hands, because red hand prints were discovered there, it towers over 30m high,...

Archaeological Site in Around Sayaxché

Ceibal

With its strategic position on the west bank of the Río de la Pasión, the independent kingdom of Ceibal amassed considerable power controlling commerce along this key stretch of the waterway. Though...

Lake in Around Sayaxché

Laguna Petexbatún

Laguna Petexbatún is a 6km-long lake south of Sayaxché, approached by an hour's lancha (small motorboat) ride up the Río Petexbatún, a tributary of the Río de la Pasión. The lake, river and surrounding forests...

Archaeological Site in Around Sayaxché

Aguateca

The ruins of Aguateca stand on a hilltop at the far south end of Laguna Petexbatún. Defended by cliffs and split by a ravine, the city enjoyed military successes (including one over nearby Ceibal) up until about...

Archaeological Site in San Miguel & Tayazal

San Miguel & Tayazal

Covering the western end of the San Miguel peninsula are the remains of Tayazal, among the last of the Maya capitals. The chiefly Classic-era mounds are overgrown by vegetation, and a few pockmarked stelae have...

Ruins in Tikal

El Mundo Perdido

About 400m southwest of the Gran Plaza is El Mundo Perdido (Lost World), a complex of 38 structures with a huge pyramid in its midst, thought to be essentially Preclassic (with some later repairs and...

Ruins in Around Sayaxché

Dos Pilas

If you have the time, it's well worth visiting this ruin. It has fine carvings on display, particularly the hieroglyphic staircase, with five 6m-wide steps, each with two rows of superbly preserved glyphs,...

Ruins in Tikal

Acrópolis del Norte

The Acropolis del Norte predates the nearby temples significantly. Archaeologists have uncovered about 100 different structures, the oldest of which dates from before the time of Christ, with evidence of...

Museum in Tikal

Museo Sylvanus G Morley

This museum exhibits a number of superb ceramic pieces from excavations, including incense burners and vases, with descriptions of their uses and significance (in Spanish). The usual museum building is under...

Ruins in Tikal

Acrópolis Central

South and east of the Gran Plaza, this maze of courtyards, little rooms and small temples is thought by many to have been a palace where Tikal's nobles lived. Others think the tiny rooms may have been used for...

Ruins in Tikal

Templo III

West of the Gran Plaza, across the Calzada Tozzer (Tozzer Causeway) stands Templo III, still undergoing restoration. Only its upper reaches have been cleared. A scene carved into the lintel at its summit, 55m...

Archaeological Site in Uaxactún

Templo E-VII-Sub

The most significant temple in Grupo E, Templo E-VII-Sub is among the earliest intact temples excavated at the site, with foundations going back perhaps to 2000 BC. The pyramid is part of a group with...

Ruins in Tikal

Templo VI

Templo VI is one of the few temples at Tikal to bear written records. On the rear of its 12m-high roofcomb is a long inscription – though it will take some effort to discern it in the bright sunlight – giving us...