El Mirador Trek – 5 days
Explore the inside of one of Central America’s most amazing regions, Mirador Basin at Petén, Guatemala. The archaeological site El Mirador is considered the most important prehistoric settlement with evidence of the origin of the Maya Culture in this area.
The biggest pyramid yet discovered in the world (according to National Geographic). “La Danta” It was discovered in 1930 by an expedition airway of the Carnegie Institution of Washington while flying over the region. La Danta has maximum dimensions of 314 m. in front of (first platform), 600 m deep and from the first platform leveling until the top has approximately 72 m. high.
The site was known as the Kingdom Kan – today as El Mirador - It covers nearly 3,000 square kilometers of territory and possession of at least 200 Preclassic Maya sites.
Have you seen the movie Apocalypto? The big city that is depicted at the end of the movie is based on The Mirador.
- Following the footsteps of a forgotten city into the jungle.
- It is the largest archaeological site yet discovered and the cradle of Maya civilization.
- El Mirador’s dominating feature is the presence of two large pyramid complexes, El Tigre and La Danta, running east to west and facing each other.
- 1000 years older than Tikal, (The Preclassic)
Starting at Flores
We will meet you at the airport Mundo Maya or any hotel at Flores, El Remate or Tikal.
Private transfer to Carmelita village 2.5hrs dirt road.
Time to departure: 7:00am (If you are already at Flores).
Upgrade your trekking to El MiradorEl Mirador 6 days: add 1 more day in your trekking to visit Nakbe, a city built over 3000 years ago and before that of El Mirador. “Our recommendation”.
El Mirador 7 days: add 2 more days in your trekking to visit Nakbe, Los Guiros, Wakna and La Florida.
English guide in the trek US$450 extra charge for 5 days.
Horse only you during all trek U$55.00 extra charge.
Flight from Guate City: We are wholesalers of the flights to Tikal, you can book with us, the best price guaranteed.
Hotel reservations: Please check our accommodations section and you can choose the hotel that you like
Itinerary day by day
Day 1 – Flores – Carmelita – El Tintal
Pick up: At your hotel or airport.
Departure at 7:00 am from Flores by 4WD pick-up trucks or mini-bus for larger groups to the Community of Carmelita 2.5hrs.
Welcome meeting upon arrival to Carmelita (village) to meet your local guide; all gear will be packed on mules for the trip and off we go! to Tintal 25km.
09:30 am – Trek departure.
01:00 pm – Box-Lunch on the way.
02:00 pm – Continue to El Tintal.
04:00 pm – Arrival El Tintal Camp.
06:00 pm – Optional sunset view from a top the temple return for dinner.
Overnight – Camping at El Tintal.
Day 2 – Tintal – El Mirador
El Tintal archeological site is known for its Causeway that runs for over 13 miles or 22 kms. Besides archeologists have found the 3rd largest ball-court yet discovered.
Hike or horseback ride all day to El Mirador 30km (approx. 7 hours). Wildlife watching in late afternoon.
06:30 am – Leave el Tintal camp. (Lunch on the way)
04:30 pm - Approx. Arrival time.
06:00 pm - Optional sunset climb at pyramid El Tigre.
Overnight – Camping at El Mirador Camp site.
Day 3 – El Mirador
Optional activities at no cost (just ask for them):
One of the world´s largest ancient cities ever. It covers over 12.5 square miles with more than six thousand buildings including palaces and temples and markets and roads. It is over 3,000 years old…
Sunrise hike to the top of the pyramid “El Tigre”; from where we’ll listen to the roars of howler monkeys and nature waking up while the sun rises on the horizon. La Danta as a pyramid is considered one of the largest. From its top…the world below your feet!
Overnight – Camping at El Mirador Camp site.
Day 4 – El Mirador - Tintal
Early morning (7:00 am) leave El Mirador; on the way to El Tintal you will visit “La Muerta” a Maya archaeological site, located on a promontory 3.5 km (2.2 mi) south of the El Tigre complex of El Mirador, and it is considered a satellite of that city. Continue and camp near the archeological ruins of El Tintal (approx. 8 hrs.). Explore the nearby ruins and camp in El Tintal.
Overnight – Camping at Campamenton Perez “El Tintal”.
Day 5 – Tintal – Carmelita - Flores
Breakfast (7:00am) and continue to Carmelita, your 4WD vehicle waits to transfer you to Flores to your hotel or airport if flying.
End of expedition!
What’s included?Private transfer to 82 km –Carmelita village (trek starting point) and return to Flores.
10 Full meals for the entire trek (3 Breakfast, 4 Lunch 3 Dinner) + snacks (we will deliver first day)
Mules to carry (camping equipment: client tents, backpack, stove, cutlery, plates, food and fresh vegetables, etc.).
1 Community guide (Spanish speak)
1 Jungle cook,
Muleteers for every 6 mules.
Happy hour with tea or coffee every afternoon on camp.
Refill of purified water each day.
2 person per tent clean, or single.
Thick, comfortable sleeping mattress, (Pillows by request)
Water for washing every day.
Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel.
Emergency First-aid kit. (guide)
Local Lunch in Carmelita after El Mirador and El Tintal.
What’s not included?Tips for guide, cook, muleteers and driver.
Flight Ticket to Flores. Accommodation in Flores.
Travel Insurance. (Check that your insurance covers you for trekking and consider joining a local emergency.)
El Mirador FAQs
Many travelers interested on trekking to El Mirador have questions about the experience and what to need bring. We’ve answered a few of the more common ones here.
Is this trek for me?Physical Rating: Demanding Prepared to cope with long trails and rugged terrain, but accessible to most healthy travellers.
Service Level: BasicThere is no electricity or water or convenient toilet infrastructure along the trail and/or in the campsites. There is no cellular network neither.
Trip Type: Small GroupSmall group experience; Max 16, avg 10.
Age requirement: 12+All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Who operated the trekking to El Mirador?The expedition is operated by Turismo Aventura (transportation and meals) and the people Carmelita (community guides, mules, cooks, muleteers, equipment of camp) founded 60 years ago as an important base for extract the resin of the Chico-zapote tree, "el chicle" (chewing gum).
What are the challenge of this trekking and camping?It is a Sub-tropical humid forest, where the whole activity take place. It is 660 feet (200 mts) above sea level on average. Since this is a marine origin land we have no mountains to climb (sorry). But is recommended to hikers a good physical condition, prepared to cope with long trails and rugged terrain. The Mirador basin is a protected area located in the middle of the Maya Biosphere and it is not accessible by car or any means of transportation (road-less). There is no electricity or water or convenient toilet infrastructure along the trail and/or in the campsites. There is no cellular network neither. Toilet facilities on campsites are basic, some trekkers just prefer nature. Unfortunately, it is completely out of our hands.
El Tintal camp has better facilities now and in the camp of El Mirador you can buy a shower at the park guards.
Daily walking between 5-6 hrs. Is a challenging five-day from the Carmelita village through maya jungle that tests the limits of mind, body, and spirit. While it is physically demanding, approx. 55km (35 mi) total distance. Hike remains within the reach of most reasonably fit travellers.
Why makes this trekking to El Mirador so unique?Reason No. 1
There is no other place on earth where you can get to a pyramid top while you are still surrounded by a green sea of vegetation made of millions of ancient trees.
It is the largest archaeological site yet discovered and the cradle of Maya civilization.
Reason No. 3
Because you have never been here…
What is the best time of the year to make the Trek?Petén is quite hot most of the year, we can consider that the best season is from December to May. The hottest season is from March to May and June to Nov. is the rainy season.
We recommend doing it from Nov. to May. The trail to El Mirador is open all days in the year but in rainy season the routes can get muddy and swampy.
What to do with my luggage during the Trek?You can ask your hotel to guard luggage for free during the Trek. But we can also gladly do it; just bring your luggage to our Agency the same day you start your Trek.
What to Pack on the trek to El Mirador?All you will be required to carry is a daypack containing items you will need during the trek (camera, sunscreen, t-shirt, bugs-spray, personal hygienic items, personal first-AID kit etc.).
1 Backpack of 45 liters (water-proof), where you can carry all your personal items.
1 Daypack (water-proof) that you can carry yourself. Footwear July, August, September, October, November: Rainy season. The foot-wear for this season is got to be water-proof, rubber-boots are recommended to bring along.
December, January, February (best time): This time of the year is fairly easy so hiking shoes are good enough.
March, April, May and June: This is the dry season so take in consideration that you will put with temperatures between: 90-109 Fahrenheit / 30-38 Celsius.
-Feel free to bring your sandals as well to be used at the camp-sites, although it is important to use the ones with toe-protection.
What to wear:
June, July, August, September, and October: It is our rainy season therefore all your clothes may get soaked. We recommend you to put two or three sets of clothes in water-proof-bags so you can have dried ones at any time. Rain gear and towels.
November, December, January, and February: This are transitional months, we get affected by cool fronts, and therefore we recommend to bring sweaters and warm-clothes. We recommend you to put two or three sets of clothes in water-proof-bags so you can have dried ones at any time. Rain gear and towels.
March, April, and May: This is the hottest and most humid time of the year, and therefore light-clothes. As we tend to have occasional showers it is recommended to bring rain-gear.
Important:All the above information needs to be taken as guide-line, but since weather is nearly impossible to predict take all the advice possible. Check weather fore-cast.
And don’t forget to bring:
Water container always with you, flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries.
You also have to bring a copy of your passport with you on the trek, is preferable to leave the original I a safe deposit box or luggage (at the hotel).
How much should I tip to cooks, muleteers and guides?A recommendation for tipping:
From $3USD to $5USD per day per person.
All tips should be delivered individually.
Is purified water available on the trek?Yes, we will deliver purified water to the trek. We recommend that travelers bring their own refillable bottles to limit plastic waste.
Along the way we will come across small reservoirs (bodies of water). Where we wash our equipment. Also good for showers.
What type of food will we get on El Mirador?Our cooks prepare excellent high-energy meals appropriate for a trek of this nature. The menu usually includes pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods. Vegetarian alternatives are available upon request at the time of booking.
Please let us know if you want vegetarian meals when you book your trek or if you have a special restriction.
No red meat (chicken & fish ok)
No fish (red meat and chicken ok)
Lactose-free (mild reactions only)
Gluten free (mild reactions only)
We deliver a detailed menu and the list of products that you wear for the trip. (Vegetables, eggs, fruit, milk, coffee, tea, sports drinks, etc.) This is very important to ensure that the quality and quantity of food during the trip. The cook or the guide cannot say no food or water, etc. because you know exactly what we deliver in their hands.
What are the requirements to trek El Mirador?There is no government restriction on the age limit for El Mirador.
However, as a responsible trekking company Turismo Aventura does not accept reservations for children under the age of 9 years old and adults over 67 years old.
All children under 18 years old must also be accompanied by an adult. We require that all of our trekkers over 60 years old hire the service of an extra muleteer with horse and bring a letter from your doctor confirming that you are fit to participate in the trek.
Bookings must be made as far in advance as possible. To be able to ensure a spot on the trek to El Mirador we recommend that you purchase your trip at least 3 or 2 months in advance in low season (between May – June and September - October) and at least 4 or 3 months in advance in high season (Nov. to April).
The time with less rain and suggested best times to visit is from November to April. The rainy season is from June to October, rainfall is sporadic a couple of hours a day, and our trips are operated normally, keeping in mind occasional showers. In the Petén region the climate is generally hot throughout the year. December and January are the coolest months, ideal for travel time with blue skies and sunny days.
SafetyFirst of all, we are located in Guatemala as country, most of the negative issues occur in Guatemala City. We are situated in the Northern most part of the country, El Petén. El Petén as region is the largest territory but the least populated one. The area where El Mirador Trek takes place is in two areas: Carmelita Village and Uaxactún forest management (they are in charge of it in all aspects) and El Mirador National park (guarded by the government).
Why Turismo Aventura – Jungle TreksThe trek to El Mirador is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travellers, and we deliver each one of our departures with that perspective in mind.
Over 10 Years' ExperienceOur proven track record allows travellers to book with confidence, safe in the knowledge they are travelling with an experienced tour operator. Recommended in Lonely Planet
We are a serious and honest company that will not lie to sell a service.
Local ExpertsEvery trek and tours are managed by our local office base, located in Flores, Petén. We are partners with the tourism committee of Carmelita and Reino Kan brand.
Our local expertise makes us one of you best choices in the region. Our knowledge makes us find the right services for your safety and comfort, such as the right transportation, accommodation and flights or even a nice restaurant that will suit your preference and budget.
Our local commitment to our local staff consists in making sure that everyone gets paid accordingly to their role in the expedition as well as they get their assistance and training. All support staff and cooks work under the region’s best employment conditions and are fairly compensated for their efforts.
Exclusive departuresOffer two options to make the trek.
1. Private expedition from 2 people (you put the date)
2. Scheduled Departures
The best for everything
On-trip meals are prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and we suggest the menu. High-quality tents and camping gear are set up and maintained by our support staff, freeing you up to get the most out of your experience. We add cushions in the tents for better comfort. Slipping bag are not necessary but feel free to bring your own.