El Mirador Jungle Trek
Price: $1420.00 USD p/person
This exotic adventure will send you through the jungle in search of the oldest lost cities of the ancient Mayan world. It is a seven day tour that will bring you from the cobblestone streets of colonial Antigua to a trek through the breathtaking jungle of Petén. Adventure lovers will enjoy all of the natural wonders of the jungle; fantastic sunrises with the sound of chirping birds, breathtaking sunsets from ancient Mayan temples, healthy meals, and quality, professional guide services that will ensure a wonderful excursion. Archaeological sites on the tour include: El Mirador, Nakbé, Wakná, Florida, El Tintal and La Muerta. You will also enjoy the added comfort and safety of quality Guinness Travel transportation and a 24/7 Guinness Tour Leader to ensure the experience of a lifetime.
Description of sites visited on this tour
El Mirador Archaeological Site: The archaeological site of El Mirador (or the viewpoint) is located in northern Petén within a green jungle basin surrounded by mountains. The sites located within the Mirador Basin are among the largest and earliest in the Mayan world, however its remote location has protected this area from the overwhelming tourism that other Mayan archaeological sites, like Tikal, have received.
El Mirador is comprised of over 35 triadic structures, the most notable being the three complexes of El Tigre, La Danta and Los Monos. The tour begins with a visit to Los Monos (The Monkeys), located 10 minutes from camp and will give you an exceptional panoramic view of the jungle. From there we will head to the Garra de Jaguar (The Jaguar Claw), located 10 minutes from Los Monos. Here you will find painted masks exceeding three meters in length and two meters in width. Next is a visit to El Tigre (The Tiger) where you can see magnificent sunsets and sunrises. We will continue to the grand Acrópolis Central where you will see the Mayan canals that distributed water in ancient times. We will stop for lunch before visiting the Complejo Pavo (Turkey Complex) which contains altars used during sacred Mayan ceremonies. Our last stop in this area will be to the enormous pyramid of La Danta (The Moose). This is the largest pyramid of the ancient Mayan world, exceeding 70 meters high with a base more than five times the size of a soccer stadium. It’s a fairly easy climb to the top where we will enjoy the views of the impressive jungle, howls of monkeys, whistles of eagles, and roars of jaguars.
Nakbé Archaeological Site: Nakbé, meaning "about the road or on the road" in Mayan language, is a Mayan city dating back more than 3,000 years and is connected with El Mirador by a fifteen mile-long causeway. The largest of the Nakbé temples is Structure 1, boasting two large ancient masks and roofed structures typical of the triadic construction. Here we will climb Structure 1 and view La Danta from a distance, across a green ocean formed by the jungle below. Camping in the site is only possible with the use of tents and there is no water to shower with except during times of heavy rain.
Wakná Archaeological Site: Wakná is an important ancient Mayan site dating back to the year 800. Though it is as large as Tikal, it has not been well studied. The first excavation in 2002 discovered a looted tomb with Mayan inscriptions hidden in the tomb walls. At Wakna we will explore areas where ancient Mayan ball games were played and painted murals that date back to the year 300. Wakná is situated south of the El Mirador Basin and northeast of the archaeological sites of Tintal and Xunal.
Florida Archaeological Site: Florida is distinctly different from the majority of the other sites in El Mirador Basin because it does not contain pyramidal structures. Instead, it has palatial structures boasting masonry-style architecture with vaulted ceilings. Excavations have determined that a small community was present here from 180 BCE to 250 CE, but the area reached its peak population in the years from 250 to 900. Here we will see an "aguada," the area that was used by the Mayans to collect water during times of rain to be used for agriculture, bathing and cooking.
El Tintal Archaelogical Site: The site of El Tintal (The Logwood) extends nine meters and encompasses over 850 structures. The monumental highlights of El Tintal are Eneken and Complejo Isla (Island Complex). From Eneken, you are able to see La Danta pyramid in El Mirador as well as Structure 1 of Nakbé. This observation point is 60 meters high and located 300 meters from El Tintal, with a 40-meter high sea of jungle. A causeway connects El Tintal to the pyramids of La Danta and to Structure 1 of Nakbé. El Tintal and La Muerta Archaeological Sites: We will walk along a 28km Mayan causeway that connects El Tintal to El Mirador. On this route you will visit the archaeological site of La Meurta (The Dead). It is made up of two important petroglyph structures and decorated with the glyph of El Mirador and a single lithic in the direction of the path that takes you to La Danta. This path also provides the opportunity to view many of the animals native to the jungle of Petén.
Tour specifics and requirements:
- High intensity
- Mixed route
- Average temperature is 36°C (97°F)
- Average humidity is 85%
- Condition of land is soft and muddy in the rainy season
- Vehicle transportation is used from the island of Flores to Petén and to Carmelita
- Horseback and/or foot transportation is used from Carmelita to El Mirador
- Average distance traveled per day is 20 to 25 km (5 to 6 hours)
- Travelers must be in excellent physical condition, and have the ability to ride a horse and/or to hike long distances (horse transportation can be arranged at an additional rental fee. Horseback riders must be comfortable riding for a minimum of 5 hours per day and beginner level riders are not recommended to go by horseback)
- Travelers must take Malaria prevention medication as there is Malaria in this area
- Travelers will also need to be equipped with 100% Deet spray for clothing
- Food and water will be carried by mules
Day 1: Antigua to Flores
4:00am - Private shuttle transportation from Antigua to Guatemala City Airport
6:30am - Domestic flight from Guatemala City Airport to Flores Airport
7:30am - Arrive in Flores Airport and transfer to your hotel for the night
8:00am - Depart from Flores
1:00pm - Stop at El Guacute for lunch
2:00pm - Leave for El Tintal Archaeological Site
4:00pm - Arrive at El Tintal and visit the site
6:00pm to 7:00pm - Dinner, then an overnight stay
6:00am - Breakfast
7:00am - Depart from El Tintal
10:00am - Arrive at "El Zompopera" rest area for refreshments
1:30pm - Lunch and explore La Muerta
3:00pm - Arrive at El Mirador and set-up camp
5:00pm to 6:00pm - Watch the sunset
6:00pm to 7:00pm - Dinner and relax for an overnight stay
5:00am to 6:00am - Watch the sunrise at El Mirador
7:00am - Breakfast
8:00am - Tour the archaeological site of El Mirador (includes refreshments)
12:00pm - Stop for lunch
1:00pm - Continue the tour of El Mirador
5:00pm to 6:00pm - Watch the sunset
7:00pm - Dinner
8:00pm - Get-together with site visitors, prepare for overnight stay
7:00am - Breakfast
8:00am - Begin the return to Carmelita
11:00am - Rest and eat a box lunch in "El Zompopero"
3:00pm - Arrive at El Tintal, explore and relax
6:00pm - Dinner and overnight stay
6:00am - Breakfast in El Tintal
7:00am - Depart for Flores
12:30pm - Arrive in Carmelita. Overnight stay in Flores
3:00pm - Transfer to Flores Airport
5:00pm - Return flight to Guatemala City
6:00pm - Private Guinness Travel shuttle transportation from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua
- All ground transportation (tour leaves from Antigua, Guatemala)
- Airfare from Guatemala City to Flores
- 2 nights of accommodation in Flores
- 4 nights camping (tents, hammocks, mosquito nets and blankets)
- All meals during camping tour (4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, purified water)
- El Mirador archaeological community guide in Spanish/English (authorized by national tourism board, INGUAT)
- Group mules to carry food and supplies for trip
- Trained cooks experienced in travel conditions
- Carriers responsible for the mules
- Group First-Aid Kit, including anti-venom medication
What is not included?
- Meals outside of the 5 days and 4 nights of camping
- Alcoholic beverages
- Saddle mules per person
- Travel Insurance
What do I need to bring for my trip?
- Personal backpack (with a 70 liter capacity)
- Breathable pants (no jeans. Teflon and quick-dry clothing is recommended)
- Long-sleeved shirts and/or blouses in light colors
- Waterproof jacket during rainy months
- Lightweight hiking boots (should be broken-in for at least 2 weeks prior)
- 8 pairs of socks
- Bug repellant (100% Deet)
- Safari-style hat for sun protection
- Personal medication (including cream to prevent chafing)
- Flashlight/headlamp (with battery capacity of 4 nights/extra batteries)
- Canteen to carry water
- Camera and/or video recorder
- Swiss army knife
- Machete (can be purchased in-country)
- Sleeping bag (optional depending on terrain, it’s possible we will sleep on hammocks which would be provided)
- First-Aid Kit including: anti-diarrheal medication, antibacterial cream for cuts, bandages, and medical/sports wrap for twisted ankles, etc.
- Provided meals will be basic. If you have a special diet or require more protein please bring a personal supply of vacuum-sealed food