The following recommended outfitters can hook you up with one day or multiday adventures to Petén’s increasingly popular parks and archaeological sites.
Highly recommended, The Mayan Adventure (www.the-mayan-adventure.com/go/index.html) is run by the owners of Café Yaxhá, who are very knowledgeable about the region. Trip options include the usual sites such as Tikal and Yaxhá, but also some lesser-known communities they work with. They can also organize trips to El Mirador, which is no easy task
Tikal Connection (Calle 15 de Septiembre, tel. 7924-8664, www.tikalcnx.com) works with local communities to involve them in the business of sustainable tourism in and around several of Petén’s protected areas. Tikal Connection offers multiday treks from the site of El Zotz to Tikal, rigorous journeys to El Mirador, and the “Scarlet Macaw Trail,” in Laguna del Tigre National Park near the Mayan site of Waka’-Perú.
Martsam Tours and Travel (Calle 30 de Junio in the lobby of Capitán Tortuga restaurant, tel. 7926-0346, www.martsam.com) has an excellent reputation and offers a variety of trips throughout Petén. In addition to El Zotz–Tikal, Waka’-Perú, and El Mirador, it offers day trips to Tikal and multiday adventures involving hikes from Tikal to Yaxhá, stopping in Nakum along the way. There are also daily departures from Flores to Yaxhá for $20 per person (minimum of two).
Conservation Tours Tikal (Calle 15 de Septiembre, inside Hotel Mirador del Lago, tel. 7926-0670 or 5592-9509, www.cct [at] intelnett [dot] com) is run by locals Nery Medrano and Héctor Aldana. A spinoff of the environmental group Rare (www.rareconservation.org), the company offers some unique options, including a jungle survival course, kayaking on Lake Petén Itzá, and mountain biking from Tikal to Uaxactún. Five percent of proceeds go directly toward the protection of the parks they work in.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com