Recovering the architecture is the first step towards reengineering a software system. Many reverse engineering tools use top-down exploration as a way of providing a visual and interactive process for architecture recovery. During the exploration process, the user navigates through various views on the system by choosing from several exploration operations. Although some sequences of these operations lead to views which, from the architectural point of view, are mode relevant than others, current tools do not provide a way of predicting which exploration paths are worth taking and which are not. In this article we propose a set of package patterns which are used for augmenting the exploration process with in formation about the worthiness of the various exploration paths. The patterns are defined based on the internal package structure and on the relationships between the package and the other packages in the system. To validate our approach, we verify the relevance of the proposed patterns for real-world systems by analyzing their frequency of occurrence in six open-source software projects.