Yucatán Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Pink Water and White Salt of Las Coloradas

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The tiny community of Las Coloradas certainly picked an appropriate name for itself. Found at the end of a bumpy road about 30 kilometers east of Río Lagartos, it is a town defined by its colors.

Las Coloradas Salt Flat

Piles of white salt greet visitors on their way into Las Coloradas. They look just like mighty snowbanks, and it takes awhile to remember that you’re in Southern Mexico, and not Iceland. Since the days of the Maya, this area of the Gulf Coast has been known for its salt production, which remains by far the biggest industry in town.

These hills of salt looked so inviting and soft, we were sorely tempted to climb and perhaps lick them a little, but they were fenced off. Instead, we journeyed farther into town, drawn by the strange pinkish glow emanating from it. The estuary that surrounds Las Coloradas is rich in red plankton, and the water has a deep pink tint.

We didn’t stay long in Las Coloradas. This isn’t a touristy type of town, and besides admiring the strange nature from your car window, there isn’t much to do. But if you’ve got some time to kill, it’s worth the short detour from Río Lagartos.

Location on our Map

Download Our Travel Books. Click Here!!!

Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Las Coloradas Salt Flat
Travel Books
, , , , , , ,
February 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm Comments (2)

A Creepy Day in Río Lagartos

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

A small town on the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, Río Lagartos is most well-known for the abundant bird life of its lagoon, a protected natural reserve which is named, somewhat confusingly, Ría Lagartos. But unpleasant weather during our visit spoiled any bird-watching plans we might have had. (Which was fine, since we didn’t really have any).

Rio Logartos

After arriving in the evening, we immediately noticed something strange about Río Lagartos: an almost complete lack of people. This is supposedly a town of 2000 souls, but the streets were empty. The stores and restaurants closed. The boats anchored along the shore untended. Fine, the weather was bad, but the level of abandonment made me suspicious. Apart from the woman who checked us into our hotel, we hadn’t seen a single person. And even she had seemed a little… off. A little too dim-witted, perhaps. Her movements a little too wooden. Her eyes a little too hungry.

The brewing storm didn’t help us feel any safer. We walked up and down the main, ocean-side road, and eventually found the only place in town serving food. Inside, a rowdy group of men were passing around bottles of rum. Sailors by the looks of them, and now I was certain we had landed in a zombie movie. This restaurant would be the place of our first bloody encounter, and we were about to watch a lovable group of drunk oafs have their heads ripped off. Lovable drunk oafs are always the first to die.

We waited, fork and knife clenched in hand, but nothing happened. The sailors said goodbye and stumbled out of the bar. We were served a delicious dinner of fresh fish and shrimp. And we went back to our hotel where our vacant receptionist was watching a telenovela and didn’t even look up to say “good night”.

The next day the weather had not improved and we skipped on a tour of the reserve, which is the only reason to visit Río Lagartos in the first place. Anyway, it’s supposed to be similar to the tour we took of Celestun. We walked around the town long enough to verify that it was still lifeless and then hopped in the car, happy to put creepy Río Lagartos in the rearview.

Location on our Map

Hotels In Rio Logartos

Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
Rio Logartos
, , , , ,
February 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm Comments (4)

Progreso – Mérida’s Beach Town

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Talking to expats and reading online accounts had led us to believe that Progreso was a humdrum place, and when we finally visited, it was more out of a vague sense of duty than any personal desire. But while we had braced ourselves for boredom, what we discovered was a friendly, likable and unpretentious beach town. Chalk it up to the miracle of low expectations, if you wish, but we loved Progreso.

Progreso Yucatan

As we learned while trying to reach Maní, the Yucatán isn’t exactly blessed with speedy and efficient public transportation. But getting to Progreso from Mérida couldn’t have been easier. Direct buses leave frequently from the city center and arrive at the beach in less than an hour. I had become accustomed to painfully slow bus rides, but the trip to Progreso was so brief that I barely had time to dig into my bagful of “Mexican Bus Distractions” (books, music, sudoku, food, comics, needlework). I was almost disappointed when we arrived so quickly.

Besides a pleasant main square, a prominent lighthouse and an entertaining covered market, there isn’t much to the town. We didn’t visit any fascinating museums, upscale art galleries, or beautiful old churches. But that’s not the point of Progreso. The point is “beach”. We spent most of the day strolling along the promenade, sitting under the shade of a coconut tree, lounging at a bar and people-watching.

Part of the reason we so enjoyed Progreso was due to the dumb luck of visiting on a day without cruise ships, which anchor at the end of an insanely long four-kilometer concrete pier. Apparently, the town changes its flavor dramatically when the boats arrive, becoming much more commercial and obnoxious. But we didn’t experience any of that. Our trip to Progreso was perfect. Relaxed, easy and fun… just the kind of atmosphere a beach town should have.

Location of Progreso on our Map

Hotels In Progreso

Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan
Progreso Yucatan

<!– div.centerimg { margin-top:10px; } –>

, , , , , ,
January 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm Comments (3)

Hotel Xixim in Celestún

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The tiny Gulf Coast town of Celestún was about as remote as possible, but to reach our hotel, we had to continue past its final shack and along a ridiculously bumpy dirt road for another half hour before reaching our hotel. Xixim is truly the back of beyond, and when we pulled into the parking lot, we knew the wearying trek was about to pay off.

More than just a simple hotel, Xixim resembles a reconstructed Maya village. Guests gets their own deluxe Maya-style thatch-roofed hut, complete with a hammock on the porch, welcome cocktails in coconut shells, and comfortable beds outfitted with mosquito nets. During our stay, we felt completely disconnected from the outside world. Which was exactly what we wanted.

Jürgen was still recovering from dengue, so our stay in Xixim couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. This is an ideal place for relaxation. We spent our time moving from the beds to the hammocks, over to the pool or the beach. When it was time to eat, we’d wander into the restaurant found in a massive palapa, and then head back to our hut for sleep. All the while, we were kept company by the sounds of the jungle and wetlands surrounding us.

Xixim is totally off the beaten path, which is its main selling point. When you pass flamingos on your way in, you know you’re in the middle of nowhere. With a friendly and helpful staff, an excellent restaurant, speedy wifi, enough on-site activities to occupy even a long stay, and those wonderful huts, Xixim offers a unique place to enjoy an extended, disconnected vacation.

Location on our Map
Hotel Xixim – Website

Best Prices For Car Rentals In The Yucatan

, , , , ,
December 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm Comment (1)

Crocs, Snakes and Flamingos at Celestún

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

In the southeastern corner of the Yucatán is the Celestún Biosphere Reserve, a natural lagoon home to mangrove forests, flamingos, crocodiles and fearsome snakes.

While booking our tour on the Biosphere’s lagoon, we were the only tourists present. Normally, this is something we’d be pleased about, but not today. “If only some other people would show up,” we wailed. We even waited twenty minutes before buying tickets, just in case. Of course, we weren’t concerned about “sharing the glories of nature” with strangers or anything like that. We just wanted to save a buck. To take a tour at Celestún, you have to rent an entire boat, and it’s the same price whether you’re a group of ten or two. About $120 US.

Alas, nobody came. We cursed and paid up, but at least we’d have a private tour. For two hours, we cruised up and down the lagoon, just ourselves and our guide. Celestún is home to a healthy population of flamingos throughout the year, and we saw plenty of them. They were soaring in from the sky for a graceful landing, running atop the water while preparing for take-off, and wading in the shallows, bobbing for food like the keys of a big, pink piano.

Not far from the flamingos, and surely too close for their comfort, we spotted crocodiles. Well, our guide spotted them. Jürgen and I couldn’t see them until we got very close. A big mother and her son, partially covered by the brush and completely immobile. Shortly thereafter, near the edge of a mangrove formation called “Bird Island”, the guide suddenly stopped the boat and pointed into the bush. It was now that I began to suspect him of being half-eagle. Somehow, from fifty feet away, he had spotted a boa constrictor napping in the tree.

A boa constrictor! It had recently eaten, if its distended stomach was any indication. I’ve never seen such a big snake in the wild, and was mesmerized. Our guide tapped my shoulder and pointed to another boa farther up the tree. And then another a few feet away. I have no idea how he kept spotting them. Later on, while coasting along the river, I nudged Jürgen and whispered, “Watch this.” And then without warning I threw a sardine high up into the air, certain that our half-eagle guide would leap off the boat in pursuit. But he didn’t take the bait.

Midway through the tour, as we were cruising along the river at a rapid clip, we suddenly took a sharp left turn. It looked like we were going to crash into the thick brush, but instead we entered a mangrove tunnel. This was the most picturesque moment of the day, a natural passage through the dense growth, with sunlight filtering through the canopy and pelicans taking a break in the shade.

The long tour finished with a visit to the Ojo del Agua, a natural freshwater spring, and a trip down to the Gulf of Mexico, where we stopped briefly at a petrified forest which had died after the encroachment of salt water. This had been an expensive day out, but was ultimately worth the money. If you’re in a larger group and can split the cost, the boat tour is a no-brainer.

Location on our Map

We Rented A Car From Sixt For This Trip (No Hidden Costs!)

, , , , , , , , , ,
December 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm Comments (2)
The Pink Water and White Salt of Las Coloradas The tiny community of Las Coloradas certainly picked an appropriate name for itself. Found at the end of a bumpy road about 30 kilometers east of Río Lagartos, it is a town defined by its colors.
For 91 Days