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El Naranjo is a town in the Petén department of the Northern Lowlands of Guatemala about 20km from the border with Mexico at El Ceibo.


It's a quintessential Latin American border town, with cheap shoes and places to buy roasted chicken. The entire town is basically a single strip running down to the river crossing, with shops and restaurants on both sides.

Get in[edit]

You can get to El Naranjo by taking a bus from El Libertad (3 hours). These buses are usually marked "El Naranjo/La Frontera". As of March 2015, the official price was Q40. The route is quite scenic as you travel through the hills and valleys, it's no highway, but the road is in decent condition.

You can reach most of destinations in Guatemala by continuing on towards Santa Elena/Flores which as road/air connections to the rest of the country.

You do not have to stop in in El Naranjo if you only want to cross the border to Mexico, and instead can get off the bus about 20 minutes before El Naranjo at a large T junction in the road with a very large sign saying "Mexico". From there you can switch to a bus going to El Ceibo, the border crossing.

If you are heading to Coban, you can change in La Libertad and head to Sayaxche, where you probably need to change again before reaching Coban.

Get around[edit]

The entire town is essentially on a single road, about 500m in length, and as such is very walkable. However, there are "Moto's" available if you don't quite feel like walking.





There are a few chain restaurants in town, however there is also a stand selling tacos 2 for Q10. Possibly the most delicious tacos in Guatemala!


There a couple of Cantinas along the strip.


There are about four hotels available in El Naranjo.

  • Hotel Espana. Hard mattress, but reasonably clean rooms with shared bathrooms. At the time this appeared to be the cheapest deal in town. Bear in mind that is far of the "tourist path" so set your expectations accordingly. Twin Single: Q70.
  • Hotel Bahia San Pedro. The hotel is located directly on the river San Pedro. Rooms are spacious and clean and have air conditioning. The nearby restaurant does not have a large selection, but the food is delicious. It is the next hotel after the El Ceibo border crossing, or the last before the border crossing. Room with 2 queen size beds.


There are couple of internet cafe's along the strip.

Go next[edit]

If you are trying to get to the border crossing at El Ceibo, local buses can be found passing in the Main Street marked "ceibo" for Q15. From the Mexican side of the border you can find the following buses:

  • Daily 3pm bus to Villahermosa via Emilio Zapata. A fairly modern AC bus. 200MXN.
  • Hourly Buses to Tenosique. If you are connecting via Tenosique, be aware that the ADO (and other companies) terminal is Mex$25 taxi ride away from where the bus will leave you, it maybe possible to get the driver to drop you a little closer to ther terminal. Mex$40.
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