Take an unforgettable 5-day hike through remote areas of northern Guatemala, far from any modern-day disturbances. Sleep under the stars, see Mayan archaeological sites, walk with guides from the Carmelita community, and much more.
What to Expect
Hike to a forgotten Mayan city in the jungles of Petén on this remote 5-day hike in northern Guatemala. The trip into the wilderness takes you to the large pre-Columbian settlement of El Mirador. A highlight of the tour will be La Danta, the highest pyramid in the Mayan world.
The community tourism project is organized by the Tourism Commission of the Carmelita Community, made up of community guides that are accredited by INGUAT (Guatemalan Tourism Institute).
As well as possessing an abundance of first-hand experience and knowledge about the jungle and its animals, the guides have been trained by archaeologists of the Project El Mirador to provide up-to-date information about the archaeological sites you will visit. Most of the income goes to the local Carmelita community.
Start your tour at 07:30 from Flores, traveling to Carmelita, the last community settled for more than a century northwest of the Maya Biosphere. Enter a majestic virgin forest in the heart of the Mayan jungle. Stop at the El Guacate camp for lunch, before departing for the archaeological site of El Tintal. See monumental architecture that dates to the Middle Preclassic of the Mesoamerican calendar.
Dinner and lunch are included on today’s hike, but you should bring snacks, such as chocolates, fruit, and energy bars for the middle of the day, as there is no inclusive breakfast.
Overnight in tents or hammocks, sleeping under the jungle canopy.
Rise early for breakfast, then depart for El Zompopero, where you will break for mid-morning refreshments. Walk on to the archaeological site of La Muerta for lunch. With the help of your guide, you will follow tracks that are sometimes visited by reptiles and mammals, such as the pecarí (wild boar), tapir, and various big cats, including the majestic jaguar.
La Muerta was inhabited during the Early to Late Classic Period, and features several monuments and structures, most notably Structure 2, one of the most unusual Maya buildings in northern Petén, with a 2-level subterranean labyrinth.
Continue to El Mirador to see the Temple of El Tigre. One of the largest and most significant pre-Columbian sites in the region, El Mirador was first discovered by modern-day explorers in the 1920s, but wasn’t fully investigated until the late 1970s.
Watch the sunset (weather permitting) from the high El Tigre complex. After dinner, head to La Danta for your overnight stay in tents.
Watch the sunrise from camp, or head off to tour the archaeological site of La Danta for the full day.
You will discover a series of platforms in the tropical jungle, the lowest measuring 1,017 by 1,936 feet (310 by 590 meters) and 23 feet (7 meters) high. The platforms are topped by 3 pyramids, standing up to 68 feet (21 meters) tall, making it the highest Mayan pyramid in the world.
Watch the sunset over the jungle in the evening, before retiring for another night under the stars. This is a quiet day, where you can relax and interact with the other tour participants in a very different environment.
Days 4 and 5:
Start your return to Carmelita, following the same paths as your outward journey. Mules are provided throughout the tour to help carry the cooking equipment. The adventure offers the opportunity of interacting with the people of Carmelita, a community established more than 100 years ago in Petén, and with a long forest history that has allowed them to accumulate a wide understanding of the forest vegetation, such as the chicle tree, xate plant, and other medicinal plants.
Arrive in Carmelita at approximately 13:00 on day 5, and enjoy lunch before your transfer to Flores, for an estimated arrival of about 16:00.
- 4 nights camping accommodation (including tents, hammocks, mosquito nets, and blankets)
- All food during the hike: 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, and pure water
- Travel under the program with a community guide from Carmelita, in Spanish, and authorized by INGUAT
- Mules to carry food, luggage, water, and other tools for the trip (no mules for participants)
- Trained cooks with assistants, porters responsible for the mules, and first aid kit
- Transportation from Flores to Carmelita and back
- Local taxes and fees associated with inclusions
What's Not Included
- Food not on the hike
- Alcoholic drinks
- Mules for participants
- Guide in a language other than Spanish
Know Before You Go
• Community Tourism in Guatemala: fair trade and decent pay!
• Recommendations: please bring cool pants (no jeans), long-sleeved shirts or blouses in light colors, raincoat, lightweight but strong boots, repellent for ticks, hat, binoculars, flashlight and extra batteries, water bottle, small backpack for the walk, soft socks (at least 1 pair per day), camera, knife, plastic bags for dry clothes in your backpack (in case of rain), personal medications
• The company SERVICIOS TURISTICOS CENTRO AMERICA S.A. is not responsible for situations that result in personal injury due to the extreme activity
• Please notify family and leave emergency no. (00502 5308-1489)
• Please note that THERE are NO FORMS OF COMMUNICATION for 4 DAYS (Day 2 at 10:00 to Day 5 at 15:00). There are no telephone, internet, or radio signals
• Due to the unique features of this tour, it is necessary that participants are in good physical condition and are able to walk between 5 and 6 hours a day