Mirador–Río Azul National Park’s vast wilderness area encompasses the ruins of El Mirador , one of the earliest and largest Mayan cities to emerge from Petén’s jungles, as well as several other Preclassic Mayan sites. It abuts Mexico’s Calakmul Archaeological Zone  to the north, which protects another important archaeological site and a large tract of forest in its vicinity. The protected status and the lack of road access have allowed this park to remain a largely untrammeled wilderness. Access is difficult and best attempted during the dry season, as seasonal flooding of swamps known as bajos turns forest paths into knee-deep mud for much of the year.
The other major Mayan site giving its name to this park is Río Azul , which lies deep in the jungle near the western border with Belize.
Archaeologists and environmentalists are lobbying for the creation of the Mirador Basin National Park and the Guatemalan government has shown interest in preserving this wilderness area harboring Mayan ruins of at least equal importance to that of Tikal . There are many stakeholders in the Mirador Basin Project  and negotiations are ongoing.