There are very few experiences in life that are truly and completely unique, something you could never describe fully in photos or words, something only a few people in this entire world have done, something you could never really imagine without experiencing it….El Mirador is one of those experiences.
El Mirador was one of the most important ancient Mayan cities and is home to La Danta, the largest pyramid in the world. Exploration of the site is ongoing and therefore it is constantly evolving, but much is still left to be discovered. With the El Mirador jungle trek, you will embark on a 5 to 6 day adventure into the Guatemalan wilderness to visit this ancient civilization, surrounded by animals, nature, and thousands of years of Mayan history.
You can read descriptions, but once you’ve hiked two days into the jungle with only your guide and the wild monkeys to forge a path, summited La Danta, and are watching a breathtaking sunset from the top of the world, nothing but trees in all four directions for as far as the eye can see—then you will feel what is so special about this once in a lifetime experience.
What you need to know about the hike:
- Around 70% of the path is flat and mostly in the shade as well, so the difficult part is the distance and not the path itself—you will need to walk between 17 – 36 km a day.
- You will camp at established campsites every evening, which are shared with the archeologists who work in the area. There are covered areas for eating and sleeping and an outdoor toilet, but it is rustic.
- We work with a group of local guides who are committed to reinvesting in their community and sharing profits from tourism fairly.
Your trip package includes:
- transportation to the hike site
- all accommodation & camping necessities (including tents, camping mattress, blankets, etc.)
- 3 delicious meals a day prepared for the group during the hike (if you have any dietary restriction, please advise us in advance and it can be accommodated)
- plenty of drinking water
- knowledgeable, Inguat certified local guide to provide information on the jungle, animals, and history of the area (in Spanish) and depending on group size, local chef and mule caretaker (additional assistants are added for large groups)
- mules for carrying group supplies
- return transportation from the hike site
What you need to bring:
- small backpack
- a couple changes of clothes (recommended 2 for daytime, 1 for sleeping)
- comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes that you can wear all day
- a large refillable bottle for water (1 – 2 liters)
- flip flops or sandals for the evening
- mosquito spray with DEET
Each guest can place a bag of up to 10kg on the mule and needs to carry only a small pack with their day’s supplies. Any other belongings you are traveling with can be stored securely with us during the hike.
Cost: Q 1895 (US$253 / EUR€220) for 5 days / Q 2195 (US$293 / EUR€258) for 6 days
There are 2 main options for the trip to El Mirador, a 5 day hike or a 6 day one (with a possibility of a 4 day as well). On the 6 day you get to see 2 extra sites, but the 5 day trip is the most common. They both start on the same path and split on the 4th day to return different ways.
You can visit us in Flores for an in person cash discount.
Basic 5 day itinerary:
Day 1: travel from Flores to Carmelita, group breakfast, then begin on foot to Tintal (18 km)
Day 2: hike Tintal to El Mirador (23 km)
Day 3: tour of El Mirador
Day 4: return to Tintal (23 km)
Day 5: return to Carmelita (8 km), last meal, and travel back to Flores
Basic 6 day El Mirador hike itinerary:
Day 1: travel from Flores to Carmelita, group breakfast, then begin on foot to Tintal (18km)
Day 2: hike Tintal to El Mirador (23km)
Day 3: tour of El Mirador
Day 4: hike El Mirador to Nabke (14km)
Day 5: Nabke to La Florida (33km)
Day 6: return to Carmelita (8km), last meal, and travel back to Flores
Its best to arrive in Flores 2 nights before the hike begins so you have one day to ensure you are prepared and well rested. You will most likely also need to spend at least 1 night in Flores after the hike as you will return late in the afternoon. Please talk to us about your specific travel plans and we will help you customize a schedule that works best for you.
If you want to use electronics, like a camera, we recommend bringing a portable power bank. Charging stations from a generator are available at some campsites for a small fee.
Bucket showers are available at some campsites for Q10. Other than that, be prepared to be dirty for a few days!
Contact us for any questions, further details, and reservations! Minimum 3 guests needed to confirm tour. Solo travelers or couples should send a request and we will look for other travelers to group you with.
Tourism with respect for the local community:
All of our guides are locals from the small community at the entrance to the El Mirador site, Carmelitas. As tourism for the site suddenly hit their tiny village, they have experienced the effects, both positive and negative. While our guides love the opportunity to share such a special piece of heritage with tourists from all over the world, they have also experienced exploitation at the hands of a new and unfamiliar industry. With growing concern for the welfare of all members of their community, this group of locals came together to form their own company, put the power in their own hands, ensure everyone was being treated with dignity, and form a proactive plan for the long term protection of their families and neighbors.
Our tours are priced with two priorities: a fair and competitive cost for travelers, and a fair and respectful wage being paid to the guides. Please consider the service you are receiving with your tour package:
- A local guide who has spent years learning how to safely traverse the jungle as well as the history of the site.
- Along with the guide, a chef and mule caretaker, who all work 24 hours a day for 5 days straight to provide you with an amazing experience. They have no contact with their children, spouses, or families during the trips and they often get only 1-2 days rest between trips.
- The mules are borrowed from local families to do the hikes, but these are also work animals, which means a local family is sacrificing a week of work on their farm. The mules are rotated to share the responsibility and allow proper rest.
- All food, water, camping, and other supplies are provided. The price you pay also contributes to preservation and conservation of the El Mirador site and surrounding nature.
- Round trip transportation to Carmelitas, which is 7-8 hours total car trip in an area where gas is very expensive. Plus the car needs to be cleaned each time after 5 days of jungle dirt and sweat is brought inside!
If you are happy with the service you receive on the trip, please consider tipping your guides! A small amount for you makes a big difference to the people living in a rural Guatemalan community and is very much appreciated :)
Amazing El Mirador hike with an amazing hostel!
David, USA, Booking.com ( 10/10 )
They were able to answer all my questions about El Mirador hike and it was a great surprise to see that they offered the tour at a way lower price than I had seen advertised online with other companies. I took the trip with them and had an awesome experience with a fun group and a guide and cook that were amazing!! I really liked my time in the hostel as well, with the garden, tasty homemade ice cream after the 6 day hike, and the nice vibe around the place.
Reviewed: November 17, 2018