Guatemala is divided into several regions or “departments.” The Rio Chiquibul flows through the lowlands of the El Peten department, which is the largest and northernmost region in Guatemala and home to the famous Tik’al ruins. Many visitors travel to see this fantastic monument to the ancient Mayan civilization; the Rio Chiquibul is another worthwhile destination in this rich and fascinating region. The river also flows near two other ruin complexes—Yaxha and Nakum. Yaxha is famous for acting as the site of the 2005 Survivor Reality TV show. Nakum, discovered in 1905, stands out for its walls of distinctive Mayan script graffiti!
The rapids on the Chiquibul are rated an accessible but fun class II-III, making one to two day trips a good choice for families and beginning rafters or anyone interested in exploring the Chiquibul’s beautiful canyon.
Scenery and Wildlife: Jungle Canyon
The Chiquibul river flows through a canyon lined with steep limestone walls and lush jungle foliage sparked with flitting butterflies and brilliant orchids. Birdwatchers might catch glimpses of the elusive and rare White Eagle. Rio Chiquibul’s water is known for being a cool and translucent green.
Season: June – February
River rafting trips are available on the Rio Chiquibul from June to February each year.