Sayaxché is a small frontier town southwest of Flores on the Río de la Pasión that acts as a central hub for the many Mayan ruins of the area—the most notable of which are Ceibal and Aguateca. Though for most a visit to this river town is a means of getting to the archeological sites, Sayaxché holds its own as a riverfront community full of motorboats and barges transporting people and vehicles over the water.
From here the La Pasión and Petexbatún rivers lead to the El Petén forests, which are full of sites at different stages of excavation. Venturing south from the town leads to Lago de Petexbatún, with lakeside Mayan ruins for exploring. It is also the starting point for trekking to the massive ruins of Dos Pilas.
The swamps and forests of this area have been important trade routes since Mayan times. Monkeys, birds, crocodiles, turtles and iguanas can be seen and heard throughout the jungles and shores.