Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo Natural Monument
The Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo Natural Monument encompasses the Mayan sites of Yaxhá, Topoxté, Nakum, and El Naranjo. Most prominent of these is Yaxhá, which gained international fame in 2005 with the filming of Survivor Guatemala. The park was closed for two months, during which time contestants lived among the ruins eating corn, plotting ways not to get voted off, and fighting off mosquitoes.
Only El Mirador and Tikal are bigger than Yaxhá (8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $10 admission includes entrance to Nakum), and its isolated setting on a limestone ridge overlooking the lagoons of Yaxhá and Sacnab is simply splendid. Despite its TV fame, you can still wander the site with nary another visitor in sight. Don’t even think of swimming in the lakes here, as they have a healthy population of rather large crocodiles.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com