Tikal Guatemala - The Mayan Empire

Tikal, Yaxha and Topoxte, Flores and Lake Peten Itza: 3 Days/2 Nights Tour


Tikal GuatemalaHidden by the dense jungle until the 19th century, Tikal remains one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites of the Maya World.  Once one of the most powerful and grandest cities in the Maya World during the Classic Period, the city was abruptly abandoned over 1000 years ago and became hidden and overgrown by the jungle over time.  Climbing up Temple IV, the largest structure in Tikal at 72 meters, visitors can look out over National Park that surrounds the site, see other temples protruding through the tress and even curious mounds that look like temples yet to be uncovered in the distance.  On top of Temple IV or the Lost World you will also have a chance to view or listen to the many other inhabitants of the area- howler and spider monkeys swinging through the air – the songs of the toucans and the other 410 species of birds that bring music to the jungle canopy.  Over 3000 structures have been discovered in on the site so far – archaeologists have unearthed temples, palaces, living quarters, ball courts, a sauna – not to mention the reliefs and stellae that recorded the history of the city- it’s kings, wealth and wars with neighbouring cities.  Most visors leave Tikal wishing they had more time to explore the massive 16 square kilometers of what is just a small portion of the actual city of Tikal, and vowing to return!  There is also a small museum on site with a collection of ceramics, jade, shell and bone jewelry and sculptures.

Then discover the lesser-known archaeological sites of Yaxha and Topoxte, and Lake Yaxha, located in the heart of a national park and nature reserve.  An hour from Flores, this area is Guatemala’s rare and hidden gem for both nature and archaeology.  Explore the site of Yaxha, once a bustling city of 40,000 people site surrounded by natural beauty.  Rediscovered in 1904, the ruins are still being excavated by on-site archaeologists.  Thought to be one of the largest of the ancient Maya cities, wander through the more than 500 structures, including palaces, temples and ball courts.  Four of the temples have been partially restored, including Temple 216, which you can scale to look out over Lake Yaxha and the expansive nature reserve surrounding it.

At the foot of the ruins lies the breathtaking Lake Yaxha, engulfed by tropical forest teeming with wildlife, including turtles, crocodiles, monkeys, puma, tapirs, deer and jaguars!  Take a peaceful boat tour around the lake and to its main islands while taking in the sights and sounds of this bird-watchers’ paradise, catching glimpses of king fisher, herons, egrets, hawks, curassows, jabiru storks, parrots and roseate spoonbills.  Or enjoy the range of exotic flora in the region, including a reported 25 species of orchid.   

Explore the unusual archaeological ruins of Topoxte, located on one of the islands in the lake.  This important ceremonial site in the Maya Classic period was converted into a centre in the Post-Classic period until its final abandonment in 1450.  The site features archeological elements similar to the sites found in the Yucatan, such as columns.

Then wander through the cobblestone streets of the island-town Flores, situated the middle of Lake Peten-Itza.  Stay in the village and shop at the many arts and crafts stores that sell a range of wooden objects and textiles from the region.  Then travel to its sister-city Santa Elena to visit the wildlife rescue centre, which houses animals that have been rescued from smugglers and the illegal exotic pet trade, such as macaws, green and yellow parrots, jaguars, howler and spider monkeys, kinkajous and coatimundis.  Then explore the Actun cave or take a tour in a small wooden boat and discover the areas around the lake Peten-Itza.  Tour sunken communities in the lake or visit the eco-project and zoo at Petencito island.  On Petencito, walk the trails and view the wildlife roaming freely throughout the island.  Or take your boat to San Miguel and hike up to the mirador to get fantastic panoramic views of the countryside.

Day 1:

Early in the morning you will fly from La Aurora International Airport to Santa Elena Airport in the Peten.  The plane ride will take around 45 minutes.  Our guide/specialist will meet you at the airport and take you directly to Tikal, the “City of Voices” – someone will check you in at the Hotel Jungle Lodge, located inside the park, while you start your walking tour!  Your guide will teach you about Maya civilization and history, the rulers of Tikal and the construction of the city, the mysterious downfall of the city, and information on the flora and fauna of the region.  You will visit the Temple of the Jaguar, Great Plaza, Lost World and then scale Temple IV to look out over the jungle and the rest of the site.  The tour will take most of the day and will include a break for lunch in the park at around 1:00.

Day 2:

After an early breakfast, at 8:00am you be on your way to Lake Yaxha with our specialized guide, located just off the road leading to Belize.  In a boat tour you will visit the island of Topoxte, Paxte and Cante where crocodiles, jaribu storks and the pink roseate spoonbills are frequently seen.  You will wander through the archeological sites of Topoxte and Yaxha, both important post-Classic sites.  You will scale Temple 216 to take in the panoramic views of the surrounding country- side and lake.  This tour will include a lunch in the national park around 1:00. 

In the afternoon you will go to Flores Island, located in the middle of Lake Peten-Itza, check into your hotel and have free time in the evening to wander through the town or eat dinner. 

Day 3:

After breakfast, you take a relaxing tour of the lake Peten-Itza in a small wooden boat.  The boat will take you to different parts of the lake – to Petencito Island to see the roaming animals in the eco-project and zoo indigenous to the island – then to the Actun Can Caves, a large cave with interesting rock formations, most notably one that resembles the national instrument of Guatemala, the marimba.

In the afternoon we will take you to Santa Elena Airport to take your flight back to Guatemala City.  Upon arrival we will transfer you to your hotel in Guatemala City or Antigua.

Price per person: Please contact us for the price!

The price for this tour includes round trip airfare from Guatemala to Flores, on-the ground transportation costs, a guided tour in Tikal National Park, 1 night in Tikal National Park (double room), a guided tour in Yahxa and Topoxte, boat ride on Lake Yaxha, 1 night in Flores (double room), a guided tour by boat on Lake Peten-Itza, one picnic lunch in the parks per person each day, all breakfasts, all entrance fees and taxes.

Special rates for groups of more than four people

** If you need transportation from Antigua to Guatemala please add $15 per person one way**

** There is an additional cost for guided tours in French and Italian **

This tour is available seven days a week, excluding some holidays.

Reservation Request

To allow us to reserve your place on this trip, please fill out the form below. Our Adventure Experts will verify that space is available and contact you as soon as possible.

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