This eco-amusement park and museum lies along a dirt road turn-off from Km. 259.5 along the road from Chisec to Cobán (RD-09). Hun Nal Ye (tel. 7951-5921, www.parquehunnalye.com , Wed.–Sun. 8 a.m.–6 p.m., $10 adults, $4 children) is a private reserve sprawling across 135 hectares of tropical rainforest with an abundance of plant and animal life and bisected by emerald green rivers and lagoons.
Activities include bird-watching (over 200 species of birds have been recorded), fishing, tubing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. There’s a cave, an eight-meter (26-foot) waterfall, a limestone sinkhole (cenote), observation towers, a canopy zipline, and trails for horseback riding, all-terrain vehicles, and mountain bikes. Facilities include a restaurant, archaeology museum, picnic areas, changing rooms, and a swimming pool.
You can stay at the comfortable onsite accommodations consisting of five neocolonial tile-roofed cabins ($25 d) with private bath. A family-size cabana sleeping eight goes for $135 a night. You can camp here for $3.50.
Lest Hun Nal Ye strike you as just another theme park, you should know that it lays claim to the very important discovery of an ancient Mayan box engraved with exquisite hieroglyphs and dating to Early Classic times. It was discovered in 2005 by landowner Leonidas Javier and is thought to have once harbored a Maya codex, or book.
The box made headlines when it was stolen by looters in 2006 and returned anonymously about a month after it was reported missing from the cave. The item had been purchased on the black market by a collector who, in an apparent attack of conscience, shipped the item to the Ministry of Culture in Guatemala City after realizing the priceless value of his purchase from widespread publicity of the heist. A replica of the box is housed in the park’s museum; the original is now in Guatemala City’s Museo Nacional de Arqueología  in Zona 13.
To get to the park, take the dirt road turnoff heading east from RD-09 at Km. 259.5. From there, it’s about six kilometers to the village of Samanzana, where you’ll head south for one kilometer and then continue east another five kilometers to San Vicente Chicatal. From there, follow the signs another 500 meters to the park entrance. If you don’t have a car, there are buses and pick-up trucks heading from the Cobán–Chisec road to San Vicente Chicatal.