A visit to El Pilar will provide a fresh view into the world of the ancient Maya. The trails wander beneath the jungle cover past towering remains of temples, across open expanses of once public plazas, and around vestiges of ancient houses. El Pilar is divided into three primary sectors: Xaman (North) Pilar, Nohol (South) Pilar and Pilar Poniente (West).
On the three primary archaeological trails at El Pilar (Lakin, Nohol, and Xaman), we have made an effort to feature the exemplary flora of the area. Included among our trails are two rugged nature walks: one short trip up the El Pilar Creek Trail, and another longer one down to Chorro. An additional trail extends from the Xaman trail to loop with a tantalizing view of Pilar Poniente connected by the last evidence of the Maya causeway. Several other undeveloped nature trails are known to the caretakers and include the wonderful Känan K’aax loop of the north, an animal watering hole in the south, and the howler monkey habitat in the upper reaches.
On your walks along these trails, you will undoubtedly encounter wildlife, as water is a vital animal attraction. Animals and birds are becoming more familiar with visitors inside the Reserve and less apt to flee from guests. Notable special reports from our crew, as well as from visitors, include sightings of Scarlet Macaws, Brocket deer, agouti, peccary, ocelot and jaguar, not to mention the orioles, toucans, toucanets, parrots, woodpeckers and other “regulars” who inhabit the Reserve. Birds abound and are one of El Pilar’s most spectacular features. The alert visitor will have a chance to experience a great deal of what the Maya forest has to offer at El Pilar.