Located just outside of the city of Las Cruces in the Peten Department of Guatemala, the El Pucte Wildlife Refuge is one of the most interesting natural landscapes in the country. Probably El Pucte’s greatest feature is a series of crystal clear streams, many of which collect in vivid pools of water.Some of the most popular destinations in the refuge include the Blue Creator, Arroyo (a dry riverbed) Pucte, and the Arroyo San Teodoro. Celebrated explorer and nature photographer described the Blue Crater as the source for both Arroyo San Teodoro and Arroyo Pucte, ultimately all of them connecting to feed into the mighty La Pasion River.It is this gorgeous expanse of wilderness that serves as the headwaters of the region that attracts such a wide variety of wildlife. The tiny streams and creeks in the refuge have a natural blue or turquoise hue to them, allowing visitors to spot the location of hidden underwater gardens that spring up wherever there is blue water.The top destination in the refuge is the famous Blue Crater. Not an actual crater, the Blue Crater is named for its shape that looks like a crater, including shallow banks that belie the deep waters in the center. Recent visitors to the region have reported back that the Blue Crater is still ecologically healthy. In order to protect this vital source of water, visitors are not permitted to bring or apply insect repellent, suntan lotion, sunscreen, or bronzer. It is also highly recommended that anyone swimming in the water remove earrings and other jewelry that could become lost in the azure depths of the crater.
El Pucte was declared a protected wildlife area in 1995 by the government of Guatemala. If you would like to visit this amazing wildlife refuge, Chaltunha Hostel in Flores Peten can arrange for a tour.