Yaxhá is one of the major Mayan archeological sites in northern Petén. Rediscovered in 1904, the ruins continue to be excavated and have been found to be part of one of the largest ancient Mayan cities. In recent years several pyramids have been restored. The site is part of the National Park Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo, which protects lowland rainforest. At the foot of the ruins there is a lagoon carved in limestone and framed by forest. The birding experience in Yaxhá is as astonishing as in Tikal. From the remarkable solstice observatory pyramid you can observe Red-lored, White-fronted, Mealy, and White-crowned Parrot flying over the canopy of the Yaxhá rainforest on their way to the nocturnal roost site.

View over Laguna Yaxhá from the top of a pyramid.

Scrub and savannah vegetation adjoining the lake is home to Yellow-tailed Oriole, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Northern Cardinal. At the lagoon you may observe during migration season various species of Nearctic shorebirds. Also the rare Jabiru has been recorded. A swim in the Yaxhá lake, which appears very inviting from far, is not recommendable, because crocodiles (Crocodylus moreleti) are abundant.

Accommodation: El Sombrero Eco-lodge at Laguna Yaxhá has double and triple country style rooms with solar and candle light, and private bathrooms. In the restaurant original recipes are used for delighting you with tasty meals, served in a nice environment facing the Yaxhá lake.

When is the best time for a visit to Yaxhá? Any time of the year.

How do you support conservation and development in Yaxhá? El Sombrero ecolodge applies ecotourism principles in close involvement of local communities. Your visit is important because your tourism dollars provide jobs for local guides with few other job opportunities available to them and they, in turn, work extensively to preserve the rainforest in the area, one of the largest protected areas in Guatemala. Yaxhá is part of the Maya-Lacandon Important Bird Area (IBA GT001).

Birding day tours in Yaxhá and surroundings

Red-lored Parrot
Red-lored Parrot.
Grupo Maler Yaxha
Restoration work on a pyramid in the Maler Group of Yaxhá, 2003.
Adult and immature Jabiru at Laguna Yaxhá.

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