Atop Tikal's Temple IV. Photo © Al Argueta.

Petén and the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Petén is without a doubt the cradle of Mayan civilization, as it lays claim to some of the oldest known Mayan sites along with the earliest evidence of the writing and royal dynastic rule characterizing the civilization that flourished here. The massive Maya Biosphere Reserve, established to protect the forests, ruins, and unexcavated sites, could keep you busy for weeks. However long your have for your visit, our expect author is here to help you effectively plan your time.

Moon Guatemala, 5th ed.

Moon Guatemala

This full-color guide includes vibrant photos and detailed maps to help with trip planning. Part-time Guatemala resident Al Argueta provides travelers with an insider’s view of Guatemala’s best, from idyllic surf spots to popular volcanoes. Argueta offers in-depth coverage of Lake Atitlan and La Antigua, as well as Guatemala City’s diverse selection of museums. With […]

View of colorful houses clustered on a verdant shore across a calmly rippling lake.

Guatemala’s Petén Department: Sights Near Flores and Santa Elena

There are a variety of attractions in and around Flores and Santa Elena that work well if you have a day or half a day while awaiting connecting flights or onward travel. ARCAS, Petencito Zoo, and Tayazal are a five-minute boat ride across the lake from Flores’s north shore, while the Parque Natural Ixpanpajul covers an area of nine square kilometers and is conveniently just off the highway toward Guatemala City.