Southwest of Flores on a lazy bend in the Río de la Pasión, SAYAXCHÉ is a fairly rough-and-ready frontier town that’s a convenient base for exploring the forests of southern Petén and its huge collection of archeological remains. The complex network of rivers and swamps that cuts through the jungle here has been an important trade route since Maya times. Nearby ruins include Ceibal, a compact but beautiful site, while to the south is Lago de Petexbatún, a stunning lakeside setting for the Maya sites of Aguateca and Punta de Chimino, and the trailhead for the substantial ruins of Dos Pilas. A visit to this region offers great opportunities to explore the Petén forest and watch the wildlife, including howler and spider monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas and superb birdlife.
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