"Rustic Pueblo on Rio Pasion with Major Mayan Ruins" Sayaxché by atufft
Sayaxché Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 79 photos
Like so many places in the world, this little town sits on a river waiting for a bridge over the La Pasion, a river of considerable size in Guatemala. But, this is a town within the poor Peten region, far away from the politicas of the capital city. Currently, all traffic stops and waits for either the vehicle transport ferry, which is powered by outboard motors, or for the passenger river launches that frequently cross. However, given the traffic, I won't be surprised if a bridge is built sometime in the not so distant future. So, visit while the crossing is still quaint and rustic.
Our hotel (see hotel tip) was right on the waterfront, so we sat on the balcony watching the ferries traffic back and forth all day and night. Sayaxche is also a place where those living up or down river would come to buy supplies, so private boats, mostly open vessels with outboard motors, would come and go. There is no dock, but rather boats came ashore on the river's edge. At the time we visited, the guidebooks said very little about this place, and some travelers recommended against visiting Sayaxche due to malaria and poor transporation. In Flores though, we were able to quickly dismiss these concerns and learned that a new highway from Flores through Sayaxche to Coban was now open. The only thing missing was the bridge at Sayaxche, and this would become a major thoroughfare.
Bargain for a boat and go La Pasion River to the haunting El Ciebal Mayan ruins. This is only one of several archeological sites available from Sayaxche, but perhaps one of the easiest to access by the river.
Update: Although we claim first discovery Sayaxche for the VT system, fellow VT member and excellent writer, calcaf38, has followed our advise when creating his own itinerary for Flores, Sayaxche, and Coban. His work is highly recommended reading. Travelers along this route through the Mayan Highlands are relatively few in number compared to the flatter main highways linking Guatemala City/Antigua and Flores/Tikal. Sayaxche, while still in the swampy flats of Peten, is still the best gateway to great adventure going west.
- Pros:Great edge of the world kind of place
- Cons:Not much to do at night
- In a nutshell:Sayaxche is a good stopping point between Flores and Coban
Most of the buildings in Sayaxche appear pretty deteriorated, so the Guayacan Hotel seemed to be the best of the lot.... more travel advice
Combi Vans, a shared minevan usually packed full of human cargo inside and with baggage on the roof, ply the highways... more travel advice
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