Lake Petén Itza Tours

Lake Petén Itza
Guatemala’s second largest lake, a sparkling expanse at the heart of the hot, humid Petén Basin, was one of the earliest cradles of Mesoamerican civilization. The lush rainforests at its fringe are home to at least 27 archaeological sites, in addition to Flores, capital of Petén Department. Once known as Nojpetén (City Island) by the Itza Mayans, Flores was also their regional capital, and was the last Mayan city to fall to the Spanish, in 1697.

You’re probably staying on the island, a great base for enjoying the lake. Head to the north shore for a walk on the malecón, or jump in for a swim with the locals. The west side boasts lakefront restaurants and bars where you can watch the sunset. Hire a cayuco (small, motorized boats) to other attractions overlooking the water, including ruins, Petencito Zoo, Cerro Cahuí Nature Reserve, “El Museo,” a small archaeological museum, and other towns along the lakeshore.

Practical Info

While the vast majority of visitors to Lake Petén Itza stay in Flores, with its wide range of hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, there are other options. The small towns of El Remate, San José, and San Miguel all have basic lodging, more authentic ambiance, and access to their own small ruins, hiking trails, caves, Spanish schools, and other diversions.

Note that inexpensive public boats that once plied the lake have been gradually phased out as roads and bus service improve. Instead, operators offer group boat tours, or you can hire a pricey private cayuco. Budget travelers may want to stick to chicken buses from the Santa Elena market to destinations around the lake.
Address: Lago Peten Itza, Peten, Guatemala
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8-Day Best of Guatemala Tour: Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Lake Atitlan and Tikal Ruins

Experience Guatemala’s top attractions, marveling at its stunning natural beauty and exploring its fascinating ancient history, on this 8-day tour. Discover the colonial architecture of charming Antigua before chilling out along the stunning shores of Lake Atitlán and its idyllic villages. Then dive into ancient Mayan history at the ruins of Tikal and Yaxha before capping the trip off with a hike to the summit of the country’s Pacaya Volcano. This all-inclusive tour also includes 7 nights of accommodation, transport between all sites by private vehicle, entrance fees and meals as per the itinerary.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Duration: 8 days
From  
US$1,362.23
From  
US$1,362.23
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Day Tour to Petén Itzá Lake and Petencito Zoo

Experience a close encounter with Guatemala’s wildlife on this 4-hour back-to-nature tour from Flores. Spend time exploring the lush surrounds of the Petén Itza lake, one of the largest in Guatemala, then take in the views from the Mirador Canek lookout. After a stop in San Miguel village, take a closer peek at the country’s wildlife at the Petencito Zoo, where the many animal residents include jaguars, crocodiles, spider monkeys and ocelots.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$120.00
From  
US$120.00
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2-Day Mayan Ruins Tour of Tikal and Yaxha from Flores

Unravel the mysteries of the ancient Mayas on a 2-day journey from Flores, including 5-star overnight accommodation and some meals. Venture into the UNESCO-listed Tikal National Park for a half-day guided tour of the park’s Mayan ruins, including the fascinating Central Acropolis, the Temple of the Grand Jaguar and the memorable Temple of the Masks. Then, explore the pre-Columbian ruins of Yaxha, where the ballcourts, temples and plazas boast a dramatic location, hidden in the jungle above the Yaxha Lake.
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Duration: 2 days
From  
US$268.73
From  
US$268.73
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