Parque Natural Ixpanpajul
Covering an area of nine square kilometers and conveniently just off the highway toward Guatemala City, the main attraction at Parque Natural Ixpanpajul (tel. 7863-1317, www.ixpanpajul.com, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. daily) is a series of six suspension bridges built over the forest canopy, giving you a toucan’s-eye view of the forest. The trip along the forest trail takes a little more than an hour and includes a stop at a lookout point to take in the astounding view from the top of the mountain.
Other activities include a Tarzan Canopy Tour (zip line), Spot Lighting (nighttime wildlife-viewing), horseback riding, mountain biking, tractor rides, and ATV rentals. You can tour the hanging bridges (Skyway) for $30 per adult or $22 per child. You also have a choice of mountain biking, tractor rides, or horseback riding, ranging from $5 to $25. Packages allow you to combine the Skyway with the Tarzan Canopy Tour and/or the Spot Lighting tour for a full day of adventure. You can combine two activities for $55 or all three for $75.
There is a campsite on the premises ($5) and you can rent tents ($10) and other equipment, but you have to book at least one of the main activities at a cost of $30.
The park can provide transportation from Flores or Tikal if you call in advance. A taxi from Flores should cost about $5.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com