El Ceibal is located 12 kilometers to the east of Sayaxche, on La Pasion River, at 220 meters above sea level. It was the largest Maya settlement during the Late Classic period, having great power over the western bank of La Pasion river, since it enjoyed a favorable geographic location as a control and interaction point for both transport and commercial activities, as well as political and military influence.
Aguateca lies high ground atop a limestone outcrop, 100 meters above sea level. The site is conformed by a ceremonial center covering an area of approximately one square kilometer, spread among three high hills, each one separated from the other by deep ravines, which drain into the river. A high concentration of buildings is found on each of its avenues, which have been designated as groups A, B, C, and D.