Departamento del Petén Off The Beaten Path
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La Florida is a minor Maya site that if you do the El Mirador trek, you will probably see. It's located about halfway between Carmelita and Tintal. It's close to the station where you check in and register when you do the El Mirador trek. There really isn't too much to see here, but it's nice to visit some small remote Mayan sites besides the big major ones. Most of the appeal about visiting here is the fact that it is a site in the jungle that you can just walk up to, no real signs, guards, entrance and so on.
Bethel is a rather unremarkable town and the only reason people come here because it is a point of entry into Guatemala from Chiapas. You stamp out on the Mexican side and you board a wooden boat and ride down the Usumacinta River for a little less than 5 miles. You get off on the Guatemalan side and you wait for a bus to eventually come around. It takes you to the port of entry and if you bought your ticket in Palenque, it will take you to Flores from there. I think there is a hotel somewhere here if you get stuck but too much of anything else.
Tintal is a Mayan pyramid that is roughly located almost half way between Carmelita and El Mirador. For the most part it is a rather unremarkable pyramid and at first I didn't even realize it was a pyramid. I thought it was a hill with trees at first. On your hike to El Mirador, chances are this is the place you will spend the night on the way to and on your way back. There is a campsite here where you can cook food and hang some hammocks under a little shelter as well as an outhouse is located here. The pyramid is almost entirely covered in trees except for a partial path and on the top. Oh, and lots of ticks make their home on Tintal. There is no reason to make a trip here on it's own but it's a decent stop on your way to El Mirador.
For the majority of travellers to Peten, there is no need to come to this little village about 2 hours north of Flores by car. Although, if you decide to do the El Mirador trek, it is almost guaranteed that you will start your walk from here. Here you can grab a meal as I had a breakfast and a lunch and there is place you can grab a cold beer after your trek. This is were the horses are packed up for the trip before you walk into the jungle only to emerge 5 days later after the hike. Once the trek is done, there is no need to linger in this village after everything is put away.
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