El Petén Sights

El Zotz

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Updated 09/03/2013

Fodor's Review

El Zotz is where you'll find the remnants of a Mayan city, guarded by bats and monkeys and a few park guards. On a clear day you can see the tallest of the ruins at Tikal from the top of El Diablo Temple or other mostly unexcavated mounds. The name, which means "the bat" in Ket'chi Maya, refers to a cave from which thousands of bats make a nightly exodus. Troops of hyperactive spider monkeys seem to have claimed this place for themselves, swinging through the treetops and scrambling after each other like children playing a game of tag. Unlike those in Tikal, however, these long-limbed creatures are not used to people and will shake branches and throw twigs and fruit to try to scare you away. During the rainy season the mosquitoes can be fierce, so bring your strongest repellent. A few tour operators in Flores arrange two-night treks to El Zotz for around US$200 per person. Some visitors have been robbed on guided treks from Tikal to El Zotz.

Sight Information


15 mi (24 km) west of Tikal, Guatemala

Sight Details:

  • Free

Updated 09/03/2013


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