Mexico is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world for many reasons, among which is its biodiversity. You can find deserts in Sonora, coffee plantations in Veracruz, the windy region of Pachuca, and tropical weather in Acapulco. The people of this country add to this beauty, for their warmth and hospitality. Within this vast and majestic territory, there are also many kinds of ecosystems that exist all over the world.
One of the most representative regions of the aforementioned ecosystems is, without a doubt, the Lacandon Jungle, located in the state of Chiapas. It is inhabited by the Maya - Lacandon people, where it gets its name. Flora and the fauna of the region is constituted by a great variety of species, as well as a great number of lakes, lagoons and waterfalls, which provide an impressive and beautiful landscape, where you can enjoy the peace that Mother Nature gives us.
The gateway to this astonishing place is located near the archaeological zone of Palenque, in the spectacular ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak, which are worthy representatives of the unsurpassable Mayan culture. This area also has wonderful tourist spots such as Las Nubes, Las Guacamayas and the Blue Mountains Biosphere Reserve, just to mention some of the incredible places that you can find in this vast territory.
The archaeological zone of Yaxchilan is known for being located in the middle of the exuberant vegetation that characterizes this area. It was a very important city during the Mayan Classical period, located just on the bank of Usumacinta River and known for the incredible sculptures that it has. The city is very big but due to the density of the vegetation, only some of its buildings can be visited. Among the most impressive buildings, there is the Grand Plaza, the Grand Acropolis (which features Building 33), the Small Acropolis, the Labyrinth, Buildings 12 and 22. At this site, visitors can satiate their need for history and archaeology, while at the same time take part in ecotourism or photography.
Bonampak is located 18.64 miles away from Yaxchilan and, at one point, the former depended on the latter. The site is in excellent conditions and is well known for the murals that were painted in one of its buildings by the Mayan people. This building is called the Mural Temple, which has 3 rooms and the paintings, which can be considered the best preserved of the Mayan culture, most of them were painted in December of 790 A.C. The only part that is opened to the public, at the moment, is the Main Plaza. The city remained lost in the jungle for centuries till it was discovered by the photographer Giles Healy in 1946, who was taking pictures of the indigenous people of the area. It is still being excavated to this day.
Las Nubes is located 80.78 miles away from Comitan, Chiapas and is an ideal site for eco-touristic activities, such as rappel, cave exploring, hiking, rafting, among other activities. It is located on the border of the Lacandon Jungle, a paradise on earth, where its inhabitants have worked together for more than 5 years in productive processes, focused on ecotourism, and based on principles of communal organization, as well as the preservation of natural and cultural resources, which include prohibition of picking plants, raising endangered species, establishing visitor rules such as lights out at a certain hour and throwing away garbage in specific bins. It is located along the Santo Domingo River, known for its turquoise water. Along the river's course, a great number of amazing waterfalls of unparalleled beauty can be seen. It is a place where the river thins out to give rise to these waterfalls that will astonish any visitor.
Las Guacamayas is located 149.13 miles away from Palenque. It is a vacation center that features 2,965.26 acres of the Lacandon Jungle, located on the bank of the Lacantun River. It was built in complete harmony with the natural surroundings, and its name comes from the project created by the Cooperative Ara Macao, in order to help preserve the species of the red macaw, which is in danger of extinction.
This ecotourism center offers accommodation in cozy and rustic cabins. Observe animals such as the Saraguato Monkey, toucans or white tailed deer in their natural habitat. In this wonderful place, see how two rivers meet without mixing their currents, so each one preserves its original color, one is intense blue and the other one is green emerald. This place is ideal for nature enthusiasts, where you can bird watch, go trekking through the jungle, discovering unique flora and fauna. Ride a motor boat on the Lacantun and Tzeldales Rivers or enjoy camping.
The Blue Mountain Biosphere Reserve is the biggest area of jungle in all of the country, and it has the richest landscapes when referring to biodiversity of flora and fauna, it is also part of the hydrologic region called Grijalva - Usumacinta, which is the most extensive in Mexico. It belongs to the eastern spring of this system and it is divided into four basins: Usumacinta, Salinas, Chixoy and Lacantun. This wonderful site has a large number of tourists who crave this contact with nature in order to enjoy a revitalizing and unprecedented vacation.
On your next trip to the state of Chiapas, do not miss the opportunity to go into the magnificent Lacandon Jungle, either to practice ecotourism, enjoy the exuberant vegetation, observe several species of animals in their habitat, or only to be in total communion with Mother Nature and in that way, live unique moments of peace and tranquility.
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The Lacandon Jungle: An Invaluable Gift of Nature in Mexico
- Rocío Rodríguez