Sierra del Lacandón National Park
Natural and cultural treasure of the Mayan jungle
At the heart of the Mayan Biosphere in Petén, northern Guatemala, Sierra Lacandón National Park harbors immense biodiversity and invaluable ecosystems, such as pristine rainforests and the Usumacinta river basin. Established in 1990, it’s the second-largest national park in Guatemala, covering 202,865 hectares. Since half of the park’s boundaries make up the border between Mexico and Guatemala, Sierra del Lacandón serves as a biological corridor between the protected areas in both countries.
Thanks to seven types of ecosystems, the park boasts the most biodiversity in the entire Peten department .
A unique feature in the park is the “cenotes,” a type of karstic sinkholes, often filled with turquoise water that reflects the canopy above. Many endangered animals, such as jaguars, pumas, and scarlet macaws, seek refuge in Sierra del Lacandón. Biological diversity isn’t the only feature of the park; archeologists have found more than 30 archeological sites in the area. The most famous reminiscence of the past is Piedras Negras, the moss-covered ruins of a Mayan city dating back to the 7th century BC.
Nearby, the well-excavated ruins of Yaxchilán (Piedras Negras’ arch-enemy of antiquity) tower over the river on the Mexican side. At least 20,000 people live in the communities inside the park. Nowadays, we work closely with the locals to protect the natural resources and create opportunities.