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  • Writer's pictureUrsula

Oaxaca to Yucatán 25.11.-23.12.22

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

A long winding drive to San Miguel del Puerto is ahead of us. The last kilometers to the lodge 'Reserva Ecologica Copalitilla' are quite adventurous and lead through a creek bed and washed out natural roads, where we have to switch on the four-wheel drive for the first time. From the lodge we can start walking and visit two beautiful waterfalls where we can also take a bath in the cool water.

We spend the night on the way a little outside the city of Salina Cruz and leave very early to have enough time for the boat tour in Sumidero Canyon. Impressive, up to 1000 meters high walls rise, crocodiles frolic in the water and we admire a rock structure overgrown with moss, which is called Christmas tree.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, one of our favorite places, is a quaint town in a mountainous landscape with single-story houses where the women are often in traditional dress. We purchase some new clothes in the many beautiful boutique-like stores and dine on Spanish-Mexican fusion cuisine at the excellent 'Mesa Madre'.

Another long day's hike awaits us, the first of which is the El Chifflon Falls. We hike up various falls to the highlight, the 'Bridal Veil' with a drop height of 70 meters.

The next stop is at some idyllic lakes of the National Park 'Lagunas de Montebello' which includes 52 lakes.

We reach the day's destination at Centro Ecoturistico las Nubes where we have booked the "Suite" - a single standing wooden house with 1 room and veranda - with a magnificent view of the wide Nubes Fall. The next morning, in partly pouring rain, we go with a guide through the jungle high up to the viewpoint of more impressive falls.

In the Centro Ecotouristico Las Guacamayas we enjoy the tranquility of our cottage which is located directly on the river. The silence is only disturbed by the screaming of the howler monkeys and the squawking of the parrots.

For the next day we book a three-hour river safari. First we sail a bit on the main river, then we go on a tributary into the national park. There we overcome again and again rapids in rapid travel which makes correctly fun. Otherwise the trip is comfortable and we have a lot of time to observe the many animals and to enjoy the wild nature. A very recommendable experience.

In the meantime we are so far away from civilization that there are no more gas stations. But in every village the gasoline is offered in canisters, which we of course use relieved for a refill.

Our next stop is at the border river to Guatemala, the small town of Frontera Corozal. Here we book a boat for the next morning, which takes us to the Yaxkin Lacandona Mayan ruins, an hour away. There we scramble, thanks to early hour, alone through the jungle over slippery stones and roots to explore the extensive ruined city.

In Palenque we move into the Mayan style boutique hotel Quinta Chananal, which is located in the middle of the jungle. We enjoy the luxury including massages and very good food. Near the hotel we visit the impressive Mayan ruins ...

... make a trip to the impressive waterfalls 'Agua Azul' where the laundry is still washed in the river and 'Misol-Ha' ...

... and visit the wildlife rehabilitation center Aluxes which is very generously laid out in the jungle. Until now we have not seen a jaguar or a tapir, although they are advertised in every nature park. Now we can finally admire the beautiful jaguar and the somewhat tired-looking tapir.

We also do not miss to feed a red macaw

and take pictures of an ocelot and other animals, some of which we have never seen before.

Before we leave, the receptionist brings us some bananas, which we feed to the howler monkeys, which seem much smaller on the ground. As a thank you, they poop the whole car.

We continue to Xpujil and from there about 2 hours away from the main road on potholes riddled road deep into the jungle to visit the great Mayan ruined city of Calakmul. On the way we meet again and again peacock turkeys with their iridescent colored plumage.

On all roads, incl. "highways", especially on weekends, there are often runners, bicyclists, motorcycles and cars in groups, which lead images of the Virgin Mary and torches through the area. We assume that this is a pre-Christmas tradition in Mexico.

In Campeche we enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations and lighting throughout the old town.

On the stopover towards Merida we visit the well restored and impressive Mayan site of Uxmal.

By now we are a bit tired of traveling and enjoy the sweet idleness at a beautiful hacienda just outside of Merida. On the way to Valladolid ...

we visit the most famous and from our point of view also the most beautiful ruin Chichen Itzá which is also visited by many groups in tour cars.

Shortly after Valladolid we refresh ourselves in the cave-like Cenote Suytun, have our picture taken with the Mayan warriors for a tip and take pictures of the somewhat more open and therefore greener Káapeh Cenote.

After a week of rest in the tourist resort of Playa del Carmen we continue to Bacalar where we go on a comfortable boat tour on the lagoon. Here we can once again legally take some drone pictures and Thomas is allowed to steer the boat for a few nautical miles.

Now it's time to say goodbye to guacamole and margaritas.

We wish you a Happy New Year and we will be back from Panama in February.

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