The next adventure is without a doubt always on our minds. Historically when we travel our eyes are drawn to the green shaded areas of a map, signifying what we hope is a piece of mother earth that is full of life. What we had in front of us was an enchanting and less traveled loop around the Lacandona Rainforest via Mex 307.
First stop, the small town of Tzimol offered their specialty of fresh mango and roasted rabbit. We opted for a few fresh mangos and headed to our camp in El Chiflon Park. El Chiflon had 5 cascading falls in all ~ El Suspiro, Ala de Angel, Velo de Novia, Arcoiris and the finale Cascada Quinceanera which also became Josh’s shower for the day.
Day 2 had options of a stop at Tzimol lake or the Montebello lakes ~ as we entered the Montebello area we viewed 10 of the 50 lakes and then went for option #3 and jetted down the road towards Las Nubes hoping to find camp before dark. Just near Jerusalem and the turnoff for Las Nubes Josh spotted a sign offering whitewater rafting, so of course he had to follow it. Bump-a-de-bump, we went down the driveway with eyes wide looking at a farm filled with plantains, mangos and floppy eared cows. As we turned the corner to what would be camp for the next two days our eyes grew wider taking in the backdrop of the Santo Domingo River and the Xbulan-Ja Eco Resort ~ Rainforest lodging at its best! The next day returning from a hike up river a family from Chiapas invited us to join them on a rafting trip down river to Las Nubes. We jumped at the opportunity and grabbed our gear. First on Shannon’s agenda, pack some snacks ~ THEN grab the P.F.D’s! We encountered beautiful jungle scenery mixed with several drops down the cascading river and a nice class 4 to end it off. Our adventure down the river brought us to the clouds, literally “Las Nubes” where we had options on several hikes up to Las Nubes Waterfall, a suspension bridge or lookout points. The Eco Resort had a sister property here that we could also camp at.
The next option on the Lacandona Loop route was to head into the Las Guacamayas area or take the express route and loop up to Yaxchilan Ruins or Bonampak Ruins. We opted for Bonampak and made camp that night at Campamento Lacandones. This camp is Mayan owned and operated much like many of the establishments in the area and located on the Lacanja River. The next day we visited the Bonampak ruins which are included in the Ruins Runner video ~ click to see it here!
Another scenic day of driving through the rainforest was ahead of us as we headed to the well known Palenque Ruins. We both tried to capture the passenger seat as the last few days had been the best scenic driving of Mexico yet. We arrived at our Palanque campsite and were greeted by a family of howler monkeys. Palenque delivered and was one of our favorite ruin sites. Mayan structures tucked into the rainforest, museums (to provide a bit more education for all the wonders before us) and a jungle hike for Kaleb to enjoy made for a great day at Palenque.