Home to only 3% of Guatemala’s population, it has become an adventurous ecotourism destination. The reserve comprises Tikal National Park, El Zotz and Naachtún-Dos Lagunas Biotopes (Uaxatún), Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo National Park, and Mirador Basin National Monument, along with at least 200 other Mayan ruins, mountains, rivers, cenotes, hiking trails, and 14 lakes, including Lake Petén Itza, gateway to the reserve.
The reserve is part of a protected area stretching from central Mexico, through northern Guatemala and Belize. The Mayan city-studded forests are home to thousands of rare and beautiful species, including jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay, spider monkeys, tapirs, deer, scarlet macaws, and much more. There are dozen of ways to explore the wilderness, most of which are easily arranged from Flores.
Remember that while the reserve is protected on paper, the Guatemalan government has other pressing problems (poverty, narcotrafficking, corruption, etc). They can’t stop all the squatters who hunt, log, and mine the wilderness, or raid unprotected ruins for Mayan artifacts. Use your best judgment as you travel responsibly through the region.