Why visit Yaxha if you already have plans to visit Tikal? I’ll let these pictures do the talking:
Set between two lakes, Yaxha is actually a part of Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park in Peten, Guatemala. If you build in enough time, you could dedicate a day to all three; we chose to only visit Yaxha.
Yaxha is a hot spot for birding. Even if birdwatching isn’t your thing, it’s hard not to be awestruck by the gorgeous birds you’ll see. Plus, trees are brimming with howler and spider monkeys — more so than Tikal. We loved hearing the howlers’ roar.
Be warned: getting into Yaxha is a challenge. The 11 kilometers leading to the park entrance is rough, narrow and take a good 45 minutes. I recommend hiring a driver with a 4WD vehicle*. If you get motion sickness, you may struggle for a bit.
Once on-site, it’s smooth sailing. No need to purchase advance tickets, you can buy them there. There are plenty of things to see and learn about before climbing to the top of the North Acropolis temple for sunset.
Get there early, as seating is not as plentiful as it is at Tikal. There also aren’t rails, so exercise caution for yourself and others as you walk around and take in the 360 views.
I recommend you find a spot, have a snack and wait for the sun show to begin. It’s breathtaking.
*We loved our Tikal guide and driver so much that we hired them to show us Yaxha! Click here to see the travel agency we worked with (Note: I do not receive kickbacks for my recommendation.)