Into the jungle, El Peten, Guatemala

I’ve dreamed for many years about visiting El Mirador deep in the Guatemalan jungle. But dreams without action stay dreams so I decided to act on my BIG DREAM.
I  SET a GOAL, made a plan, and TOOK ACTION.

There are three ways to visit El Mirador:
1. Fly 45 minutes in a helicopter from Flores to El Mirador, departing Flores at 08:30 and departing El Mirador at 15:30, leaving you with scant hours to tour the largest (26 square km) Civic Centre in the Maya World plus climb the two of the tallest pyramids in the Maya world (located at opposite ends of the Civic Centre, about a 45 minute walk); OR

Drive 62 km from Flores to Carmelita, then choose:
2. Five-Day Hike: (a) Walk for two days, camping overnight at Tintal (20 km) then walking another 22 km to El Mirador. Spend one full day in El Mirador then (b) do a 180 and return to Carmelita; or

3. Seven-day Hike: Days 1-3 are identical to 2(a) but I chose to spend an extra day at El Mirador then walk to the “nearby” sites of Nakbe (16 km) and La Florida (34 km) and finally (whew!) home to Carmelita (12 km).

I chose Option 3, the seven-day Hike led by Adrian of Dinastia Kan, and accompanied by Chef Sandra and Muleteer Eladio. Why go all that way and only do half the trip? I figured “GO BIG OR GO HOME.”