The Rio La Pasión and its tributaries cover nearly 2,000 square miles in Guatemala, forming a diverse ecological zone and a main transportation source. Many visitors to Guatemala use the river to access the many Mayan archeological sites alongside it.
Arising in the Sierra de Santa Cruz, the river flows through the western part of the region of Petén. The waters, along with heavy rainfall, created several dense swamp and jungle habitats home to animals such as crocodiles, iguana, howler monkeys, and several hundred endemic species of birds and fish. There are also many indigenous medicinal plants. Dozens of small villages are built alongside the riverbanks, where many local farmers and fisherman live.
The river traces the ancient trading route used by the Mayans. Maya ceremonial and urban centers located within the region include Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal, Tamarindito, Altar de Sacrificios, and Machaquila.
Several ferries offer transportation across the Passion River. Most visitors access the river via the town of Sayaxché, which is located between Flores and Cobán. There are frequent bus routes between the two that stop at Sayaxché.