El Petén is the biggest department of Guatemala. It’s capital is Flores, a small but beautiful island located inside Lake Chichén Itza. The Island has been recently been given an face-lift and look great. It has some Spanish academies, nice hotels and restaurants and it is a nice place to be in and to walk around.
But Petén is most famous for it’s Mayan ruins of Tikal, located 40 miles (65 kms.) from Flores. It is an impressive scenery featured in Star Wars movies as the Massassi Outpost on the fourth moon of Yavin. The picture in the left is an actual photo that you can take when visiting the ruins at Tikal and not part of the film.
You can also visit other great Mayan ruins here, like Yaxhá, featured in Survivor Guatemala, They would look amazing if you have not seen Tikal before. If you visit Yaxhá, you can also visit the ruins of Topoxté, in a small island near Yaxhá. When visitings the ruins you will also see and hear howling monkeys hanging around, toucans in the trees and flying around, some others. If you stay overnight you can even find jaguars. El Mirador ruins are another exceptional visit, but you can only get there by walking a couple of days or by helicopter.
The municipalities in El Petén are:
- Las Cruces (newest municipality of the country, created in 2011)
- La Libertad
- Melchor de Mencos
- San Andrés. Municipio más extenso de la república
- San Benito
- San Francisco
- San José
- San Luis
- Santa Ana