Peten | COINED Spanish Experiences

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Peten

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Petén

The department of Petén is the biggest one in Guatemala. It's located north of the country and is one of the greenest areas of the country. It's very visited due to its beuty and unexploited natural wealth. It is also known for its rich archaeological history. Many Mayan sites have been discovered and it said that only 20% of it has been uncovered. 

 

The Mayan Biosphere Reserve is located in the northern Petén region of Guatemala and together with the Calakmul reserve in Mexico comprises the largest tropical forest area in the Americas (3.9 million acres) after the Amazon. In addition to an abundance of biological diversity, the reserve also contains a wealth of discovered and undiscovered Mayan archaeological sites, the best known being the stunning temple complexes of Tikal. However, both these natural and archaeological resources are under threat by a variety of factors including human immigration from other parts of Guatemala, illegal logging, oil exploration and the spread of the agricultural frontier.

 

One of the natural resources under the greatest threat in Petén is its wildlife, a victim of habitat loss, unsustainable hunting and capture for the illegal pet trade. The decline in local populations of wild animals is obvious and dramatic. The large noisy flocks of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) reported by early explorers have been reduced to just 300 birds in the Laguna del Tigre Park. While fairly plentiful even 15 years ago, Baird’s tapirs and jaguars are becoming more and more difficult to see. The giant anteater and the Harpy eagle have not been sighted in recent years and are presumed extinct in the region.

 

Highlights 
The Rescue Center is near Flores, Peten, a 45 minutes flight or 7 hour bus ride from Guatemala City. This Mayan center features five skyscraper-like temples poking above the forest canopy. An amazing tourist destination for everyone visiting Guatemala.
It's located on a 45 hectare tract of land on Lake Petén Itza next to the Peténcito Zoo, just a 10 minute boat ride from the tourist center of Flores.
The main economic activity in the area is ecotourism.
The best of the city 

Ciudad Flores: It is the capital city of the Petén Department. The old part of the city is located on an island on Lake Peten Itza, connected to the mainland by a short causeway.

San José: It's located near Flores and it has many attractions like  Motul Ruins, Cuenca del Mirador, Malecón de San José, a nature reserve and even a Water park.

Dolores: It's one of the oldest towns in Petén. It's rich in history and culture. Its original inhabitants were Mayans and that is reflected in their customs to the day. 

San Benito: A city filled with archaeological history. Some of the main attractions are the Nooch Naj Cultunich caves, the Sonohuits and Colonia Itzá archeological sites, among others. The Balneario El pedregal is visited for lots of people during holy week that look to enjoy the beach.  

Explore the Temples of Tikal: The largest excavated site in all of the American continent

Kayak lake Itza: This activity will allow you to explore some of the lakeside communities and the rivers that run into the lake getting a close up view of the local wildlife.

 

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Climate

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Climate 
Guatemala has been referred to as the land of eternal spring. However, Petén can often be quite hot and humid, though the jungle surrounding the Rescue Center tends to keep things tolerable. The rainiest months are July to December and from December to February the coldest months of the year. Pack light clothing if you're planning to go between April and June because those are the hottest months.
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