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Pasión River (Rio La Pasión)
Pasión River (Rio La Pasión)

Pasión River (Rio La Pasión)

Guatemala

The Basics

The Pasión River arises in the Sierra de Santa Cruz and flows through the western part of Guatemala’s Petén region. Its dense swamp and jungle habitats are home to crocodiles, iguana, howler monkeys, and several hundred endemic species of birds and fish.

Most visitors explore the area as part of a guided tour from Flores. Tours typically include a scenic cruise up the river and a hike through the rain forest to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Ceibal Maya Ruins.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • A Pasión River cruise and visit to the nearby Maya ruins is a must-do for nature and wildlife lovers, and first-time visitors to the region.

  • For maximum convenience, book a tour that includes round-trip transportation.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and bring mosquito repellent and a light rain jacket.

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How to Get There

Most visitors arrive with a group tour from Flores. If traveling independently, you can access the river via the town of Sayaxché; frequent bus routes that run between Flores and Cobán stop at Sayaxché.

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When to Get There

You can visit Guatemala’s Pasión River year-round, though heavy rains may restrict access. The best time to go is during the dry season (November to April). This area receives fewer tourists than Antigua or Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlán) and is rarely crowded.

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Maya Ruins in Petén

The ancient Maya city of Ceibal was built on several terraces overlooking the Pasión River in Guatemala. It’s one of the best preserved Maya archaeological sites in the region of Petén, and is easily visited on a day trip from Flores. Other nearby Maya archaeological sites include Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Tamarindito, Altar de Sacrificios, and Machaquila.

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