Rio Lagartos, Yucatan – Visit Sendero Peten Tucha at the Reserva de La Biosfera Ria Lagartos

November 10, 2012


On the seldom traveled road from Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, to Las Coloradas between kilometer 8 and 9 there is a culvert and nearby a small sign denoting 50 meters to the entrance of the hiking path Sendero Peten Tucha (A peten is a low area of land known as a hammock that emerges from the wetland marsh)

If you are looking for the perfect unspoiled wetlands getaway with no tour buses or trinket shops, this is for you. In the photo Jane stands before a palapa located at the entrance to the trail, where you may relax and refresh in the welcome tranquil shade.

This is a wetlands walking tour. We did however take our bicycles although wehad to walk in several places. Along the trail you will find numerous well shaded benches where the tropical forest ambiance can be appreciated to the fullest. The footpath, sender, divides around a huge open fresh water spring. One side of the foot path is on an elevated boardwalk through the wetlands of a mangrove hammock. The other side is a smooth well shaded pathway and both converge at a tall observation tower that commands a magnificent view.

The above sign warns: No nadir – cuidado – cocodrilos  (Do not swim – caution – crocodiles).

At the end of the trail is a pond that is actually a flowing fresh water spring.  It is home to crocodiles that only make their presence known when you tempt them by swimming in their private pond.

Climb the viewing tower situated at one side of the pond, and you may spot a crocodile, some turtles, or tropical birds, or hear the call of a tucha (Mayan word for monkey).

This is a small slice of the unspoiled Yucatan that tourists miss most…we love it.

For more information, read Jim Conrad’s naturalist’s newsletter:

Where to Stay:

Villa de Pescadores

Malecón and Calle 14

Rio Lagartos, Yucatan

Related link: Tizimín: A Hub For Exploring Eastern Yucatan

Yucatán’s Magic-Mérida Side Trips: Treasures of Mayab

October 2, 2011

Finally the book for traveling adventurers who want to see more than just trinket shops and crowded tourist traps has arrived.

Just launched — our new book, Yucatán’s Magic – Mérida Side Trips: Treasures of Mayab

–Built one stone at a time like the Mayan pyramids–

Over a quarter of a century of inspired exploration and recording of our travels in captioned photo stories has led my wife and me to compile an impressive collection of outings that are the foundation for this book, built one story at a time.

We present the best of the best after over twenty-five years; places, excursions, and outings. Each place we have visited we liked for different reasons; tranquility, history, view of village life, and connect with the Maya past and present, change of scenery and a look at a uniquely distinctive region.

Available at for Kindle and in paperback.

To download  e-book EPUB edition, click here.

2011 Mérida, Yucatán – Faces of Carnival

March 8, 2011

To view more of John’s photos of Faces of Carnival, click here.


January 6, 2011

80 kilometers south of Mérida with great bus links, Santa Elena is the perfect place  for bike excursions. Unique room rentals plus good eats are all here.
Piping hot tortillas fresh from local corn are produced across from the church.
This noisy contraption efficiently removes corn from the cob in seconds.
This unique little out of the tourist loop frontier town abounds in photo opts. Many interesting and unusual sights besides the many Mayan ruins untouched by the conquistadors are here plus it is a bird watchers paradise.
The town is small, very rural and just far enough away from Mérida to not have any chain stores. The above palapa home is also a convenience store
This is a look inside the palapa convenience store where the staples of life are found.  Something to eat, something to drink and even smokes are available here where there is a conspicuous lack of motor noises.
The kids ride their little bicycle triple loaded on the quiet streets of Santa Elena where time seems to have passed the place by and much of the housing is still as it was several thousands of years ago.
Hustle and bustle have not arrived here in Santa Elena where nature and human habitat commingle. Other than electric service, these traditional Mayan homes are totally constructed from local materials available in the surrounding jungle.
The Maya held many secrets of survival here in this semi arid nearly soil-less rocky terrain where they managed to flourish.
In the 1860’s Germans established a colony here, Villa Carlota. They were merely cannon fodder in the protracted Caste War and a buffer against the Maya.  Even with their strong work ethic and savvy European agricultural knowledge they failed.
Amazingly the Mayan temples south and east of here plus Uxmal all escaped the plunder of the Spanish conquistadors.
Little Santa Elena has a couple of cantinas where the Yucatecan tradition of beer and botanas is a favorite.  Note; none of the clients arrived by automobile…only bicycles.
Perched upon the most prominent point in town, the substantial church was constructed from a Mayan temple with construction starting in the 16th century with the Indian chapel and the completion of the church in 1779…recycling dates back centuries here.
Peering down from the church steps also built from the Mayan temple materials you can see the Mérida-Campeche bus in the city center loading passengers.
Viewed from the choir loft, the magnitude of this structure becomes apparent.
(View our other Santa Elena stories for more information on the interesting history this area abounds in.)  Also recommended reading is; Mayan Missions by Richard and Rosalind Perry.
Two kilometers from the city center, the Santa Elena church presents a stunning vista. Note the conspicuous lack of traffic as Jane stands on the Uxmal road.
This is the heart of town, note the cleanliness. Bus patrons wait in the shade.
South of town the Sacbe Bungalows commingles with nature and is our destination.
Annette and Edgar are the owners, operators and managers of the most ecologically friendly accommodations to be found in Yucatán,  Sacbe Bungalows. With over twenty years of dedicated involvement in keeping a balance of nature alive and well,, they have established a harmony with nature.
From their solar heated water system to the extensive collection of well marked and labeled trees, shrubs and a cactus garden the serenity is so complete it makes you want to whisper.
This place is not only bicycle friendly, it happens to be the perfect jumping off place for bike tours to Uxmal, Ticul, the Mayan ruins of Labáh, Sayil, Labná, Loltún and on to the Ruta Puuc hills with more Mayan ruins than you could visit in a season. The roads of the Puuc region are mostly quiet and well paved.
The place is meticulously clean and perfectly maintained. It has a peaceful natural ambiance where bird watching is tops.
When you feel the need to find a quiet place to escape to, this is your place.
As this planet becomes further overrun with the push and shove of hurried humanity places like Bungalows Sacbe become even more of a rare treasure.
French, English and Spanish are spoken here.
A December day finds Jane out examining one of the cactus gardens adjacent to the pool. This is the dry season and there is little or no rain for six months.
Viewed from our patio porch at our bungalow the view is of nothing but nature. Each of the bungalows is situated so that they are hidden from the others giving the grounds a special atmosphere rarely found elsewhere.
Our bikes roll up to the patio where we spend many pleasant hours with nature.
Annette, the owner has made the Sacbe Bungalow experience positively wonderful by labeling the trees, shrubs and cactus with signs like the one you see above.
Strolling through the extensive dry jungle grounds at Sacbe is a fun adventure and educational.
Also on the south side of Santa Elena is the recently opened restaurant and hotel named the Pickled Onion owned and operated by Valerie Pickles. (At present the hotel is a series of Mayan style palapa cabins.)
Jane Grimsrud of Bicycle Yucatan with Valerie Pickels owner, developer and manager of the Pickled Onion Restaurant and Hotel at Santa Elena, Yucatán.
Nestled in a tropical setting this is one of several Mayan style palapa cabins that make up the Pickled Onion Hotel.
Chicken fajitas are served up in portions ample enough to feed two.
Clean, quiet and friendly, the Pickled Onion Restaurant a place you will want to frequent. They are bicycle friendly and speak English and Spanish.
Other eating options in Santa Elena include the Chac Mool restaurant featuring Yucatecan specialties and the small open air restaurant in the city center across from the municipal building…they open early and speak Spanish and Maya. More information can be found on the website of the Pickled Onion.
While biking the secondary side-roads of Santa Elena area photo ops abound like this ancient chapel in the process of being reclaimed by the jungle vegetation.
This gem of a quiet jungle road was pointed out to us by the owner of Bungalows Sacbe, Annette.  It turned out to be just a few meters from their entrance and was their favorite.
Fresh air, no traffic and picturesque Mayan milpa farms made this route enchanting.
This area of the Puuc Hills is very thinly populated due to the fact that water is scarce in the extreme.  At the Bungalows Sacbe their water well went down nearly four hundred feet. When they put it in twenty years ago it cost them almost as much as their house and land.
A huff and a puff got us up the hill heading for Ticul. If you look closely far off in the distance you will be able to discern the Puuc Hills and our starting point at Santa Elena. The lack of traffic makes these roads excellent for biking.
This is Ticul as viewed from the loading dock of the bus terminal. This church dates from 1625 and is actively maintained.
Visit our other Ticul stories for more informative information and photos.
From Ticul, an hour and a half bus ride takes Jane and I back to the streets of Mérida.
Thirty five minutes from the city center bus terminal in Mérida and we are home in our jungle sanctuary garden swinging in our hammocks and reminiscing about our lovely Yucatecan sojourn.

Bus information


October 18, 2010

With our folding bicycles loaded for an unlimited get-away sojourn, we pedaled to the TAME bus terminal in downtown Mérida. Jane and I weren’t coming home until we felt like it.
At 9:30 AM on a blue skied Monday morning we boarded our Mayab bus and rolled across Yucatán’s seasonally green out-back. This was good!
One hundred kilometers later we disembarked at Ticul. We love the place. This is the season of fresh corn and all of the delightfully delicious local foods made from it are only available in these places when the milpa farmers bring their just harvested maiz [corn] to market.
We headed directly to the main market for panuchos.  This alone makes the trip worthwhile. Everything is garden fresh.
Still in the market. we devour freshly made pool kan-es, known in Spanish as tortitas de masa con ibes. These elegant little deep fried cakes of masa [corn dough] are filled with ibes, a white bean also known as frijol blanco. Topped with tangy sauce and diced sweet onion, they are scrumptious. Meat toppings are available.
Ticul is known for its pottery and this ornate water urn, a relic of the past is still in daily use.
Ticul’s plaza is popular especially under the shade of this almond tree. The economical covered tricycle taxis quietly glide around town making for a peaceful easy going atmosphere.
Afternoons when the shadows grow long the plaza fills with venders selling home made eats and drinks. This little business is packed onto a tricycle and features snow-cones. An ice block in the box below is shaved to make the snow to absorb the sweet flavorings that are concocted from local fruits. No artificial colors or flavors are used. Eager customers joyfully wait in anticipation of the exotic tropical delights.
The snow-cones make for happy faces and big satisfied smiles.
Fresh from the milpa, sweet hot corn on the cob is served with chili, salt and lime juice. Jane and I cannot resist. This lady’s business is portable and fits in the pail she carries to the plaza.  Her wonderful product is in big demand and was sold out in just a few minutes. There is not enough room here to tell of all the delicious seasonal fresh corn delights available in these outlying towns.

More eats arrive; this lady has bags of peeled sweet oranges, mandarins and fried corn snacks that the customers love to sprinkle with hot sauce.
Evenings in the plaza are tranquil and pleasant for families and lovers where numerous venders convey home produced treats.
The streets of Ticul are adorned with statuary depicting Mayan ritual ceremonies and these two were just delivered to the plaza and await their placement.
Ticul is an artsy-craftsy rarity with its artistic pottery and statuary reflecting Mayan culture. A concert dome and open air theatre are also prominent features of the city center plaza.
Footwear is produced in countless mom and pop shops throughout the city. This is Ticul’s main export industry.
This home business takes to the road on a tricycle, setting up shop in the little park selling something to eat, then will roll home at night.
Magnolia Palma is the lady director of the Ticul district for CFE, La Comisión Federal de Electricidad, a friend and extremely knowledgeable in area happenings. Jane and I were on somewhat of a fact finding trip and this is the person that could answer all of our questions.
On the way from Ticul between Dzan and Mani we stopped at the Ecological school.
At Mani, rural housing abounds, like this unconventional Mayan palapa featuring a carved in stone jungle tiger adornment and a Tio Sam house next door.  These newly constructed cement block houses are jokingly referred to as “Tio Sam” or Uncle Sam houses because the money to build them came from Mexicans who went to the US as workers.
Across the street from the palapa house in the above photo we spotted this electrical service with a painted likeness of Che Guevara. This is a strongly socialist country where universal health care is provided. One of the major reasons the Mexicans find fault with the US is because in the US thousands die each year of curable diseases because they can’t afford health care.
Under the shade of a kind old almond tree in the city plaza of Mani Jane and I pause for our morning coffee and a special treat of hot freshly made tortillas. The new corn is seasonal and this is the season.
A Mayan beauty of Mani ironically poses in front of the church where her ancestors were brutally tortured and their sacred books burned.
Little Mani is very rural and surrounded by traditional Mayan milpa farms that produce the corn and other produce to feed these communities.  Notice the conspicuous lack of motor vehicles.
The molino or tortilla shop where we always buy tortillas now had maiz de elote or fresh corn from the cob, which our tasty tortillas came from. Those tortillas are so good they are worth the trip to Mani.
The secret of making corn nutritious was discovered in Mexico over three thousand years ago and is called nixtamalization. The corn is boiled with powdered lime stone the night before it is to be ground and that process unlocks the protein making it a valuable food source.
Happy smiling children tell a lot about the nature of the inhabitants.
Conveniently located on the Oxkutzcab plaza the Hotel Trujeque  is basic but clean, and very reasonable. They are bicycle friendly. Note the new addition to town; the little motorized tricycle taxis are taking over from the quiet little people powered taxis.
Street pageants seem to be spontaneous here filling the air with excited enthusiasm.
Yucatán is fun, friendly and fascinating.

Additional resources and blogs about Ticul, Dzan, Mani and Oxkutzcab:
Feb. 10, 2010

Nov. 2008

Feb. 2008 Mani

March 2008 Mani

August 2007

Feb. 2007

Dec. 2007


Pedro Ínfante

May 31, 2010

Pedro Ínfante
Lived hard
Died young
And left a beautiful memory

José Pedro Infante Cruz, born November 18, 1917 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, is the most loved and famous Mexican actor, movie star and singer of all time.

He began his film career at age 22 in 1939, appearing in more than 60 films, and starting in 1943, he recorded nearly 350 songs. His performance in the movie Tizoc won him the best actor award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Pedro was in love with Mérida and Mérida was in love with him.

He met the exotic dancer Lupita Torrentera and had three children with her in Mérida.   Pedro was a ladies man.  He had a wife, but he often had love affairs with other women.  Many women found his celebrity and charm  irresistible.

The morning of April 15, 1957 at 8:15 a.m., aviator enthusiast Pedro Infante, while piloting his own converted B-24 Liberator bomber, crashed and was killed while leaving the airport at Mérida, Yucatán, on his way to Mexico City.

The world mourned.

A national outpouring of grief spurred the creation of three majestic bronze statues in his memory; in Mexico City, Mazatlán and Mérida.

Cast in bronze from thousands of keys donated, by his adoring fans, this art in action figure is located near downtown Mérida at the intersection of 62 and 93 in Colonia Delio Moreno Canton.

A fitting image of Pedro silhouetted against the sky he loved so much and dressed in his famous movie set attire atop a bucking horse.

Pedro Ínfante sang and recorded, Kiss Me a Lot, his one and only song in English. In Spanish, the song is Bésame Mucho and was composed by Consuelo Velázqiez, Mexico’s greatest female composer.*  That legendary song was featured in the 1951 movie A Toda Máquina in which Pedro was the star.

Pedro Infante’s reputation has enlarged greatly since his death.
He was everybody’s hero; the partying cowboy charro, people of the working class and  lovers of Mexican movies and music  around the world.

To this day, musical tributes of homage are paid to this one-of-a-kind charismatic personality by singers of traditional ranchera and mariachi music.
As Pedro rides off, his timeless songs, which resonate through the ages, are kept alive.

*For the interesting story of Mexico’s most famous female composer, Consuelo Velázqiez, click the following link:

©2010John M. Grimsrud


February 27, 2010

(In Yucatán, Mexico, a mestizo is a person of mixed Spanish and Mayan parentage.)

Monument in Chetumal, Quintana Roo dedicated to Gonzalo Guerrero, his wife Zazil Ha and their children, the first mestizos.

This fascinating story actually begins with the birth of Gonzalo Guerrero back in the early 1470’s at Palos, Andalusia, Spain.
Trained as a military combatant he fought to drive the last of the Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula by 1492 ending eight centuries of Islamic occupation. Then he took up his next position of soldier/sailor on Columbus’s first ocean crossing expedition aboard the small open carvel vessel, Niña.
This soldier of fortune’s story did not reappear in the annals of history again until 1511. Gonzalo set sail in good weather from the Gulf of Darien on the Colombian coast of South America north bound with looted treasure and slaves.
What happened next is one of the worst nightmare stories that could happen to anyone.
Forty year old Gonzalo was plummeted into the sea aboard a makeshift raft with no food or water, one of eighteen men and two women to survive the wrath of a hurricane that dismasted his ship and sunk it.
Only eight lived to make landfall, having to resort to cannibalism in order to survive.
Salvation did not happen. The group of eight survivors were apprehended and enslaved by their Mayan Cocom captors on the Yucatán coast.
Four of these survivors were sacrificed and eaten immediately. The others were caged and fattened for a future festival of flesh feasting. The fattening gave the remaining four the strength to escape to the Tutul Xiues tribe of Mayas who were enemies of the Cocom’s.

(An interesting fact of logistic history; in the recorded accounts of the first encounters of these Europeans arrival in Yucatán it was noted that hammocks were in use by the natives.)

Tutul Xiues made slaves of these surviving Spaniards. Due to extreme hard work and exhaustion only Gonzalo Guerrero and Geronimo de Aguilar survived.
Geronimo de Aguilar kept his religion and cultural ways but Gonzalo Guerrero took up the Mayan ways and became a military advisor and trainer teaching the Maya the combat tactics of the Spanish.  It has been speculated that this Spanish combat training gave the Mayan people of the eastern jungle part of the Yucatán peninsula the ability to drive out the conquistadors. The Mayan of the Quintana Roo region, (eastern jungle) have never been completely subdued and it wasn’t until Méxican federal forces put down the protracted Caste War in the early 1900’s that this area became a territorial part of México.
Gonzalo Guerrero left a lasting legacy with his newly adopted countrymen.
Next Gonzalo kills an alligator attacking his master and gains his freedom from slavery. He then engaged in ritual mutilation and tattooing that included piercing his ears and cheeks. These acts assimilated him into the Mayan way of life.
Gonzalo next took a Mayan princess named Zazil Ha as his wife and was given the temples of Ichpaatún north of Chetumal, presently designated on maps as Oxtankah.
Chetumal Bay has been a major route of commerce since the days of the ancient Maya because it linked sea-going trade routes to rivers incorporating man-made canals. Lamanai is one of the three most prominent Mayan settlements that remained continuously active through the post-classic period and even after European arrival that is linked by river/canal to Chetumal Bay.
In 1519 Hernán Cortez arrived at the island of Cozumel and attempted to rescue the two Spanish survivors, Geronimo de Aquilar and Gonzalo Guerrero from the Maya.
Gonzalo Guerrero replies; “I married a Mayan woman, have three children, am chief and captain, taken their ways with tattoos, pierced ears and scared face…this is my place.”
Gonzalo’s daughter was rumored to have been sacrificed in the cenote at Chichén Itza to end a locust plague.
He eventually met his fate in battle against the Spanish invaders.
Geronimo de Aguilar went with Cortez and took a job as translator.
For centuries Gonzalo Guerrero was despised by the Spanish for being a traitor, defector, and renegade. He was a man, who had fought against his countrymen, turned his back on his land of birth, society, renounced his faith and denied Christ.
After the independence of Mexico a change took place; strangely some Mexicans descended from the conquerors now began to feel a real passion for the Mayan culture. From the Maya one name that symbolizes the struggle in opposition to colonial imperialist power and a struggle for freedom was Gonzalo Guerrero.
Ultimately Guerrero would go from villain to hero and from traitor to a champion of freedom.
The Mayan ruins and Church at Oxtankah in the jungle north of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico have been restored and memorialize this extraordinary man and his wife, Zazil Ha, the parents of the first mestizo. An adjacent lagoon in the area of the Oxtankah ruins near Bacalar bears his name.
On the prestigious Paseo de Montejo in Mérida a monument now commemorates his memory. Donated to the city of Mérida by the founder of Akumal, Pablo Bush Romero who was also the president of the Explorers Club of México this bronze monument sculpted by Raul Ayala is perched atop a stone pedestal at the north end of Paseo de Montejo.

Remarkably this monument to one of the most noteworthy Spaniards to ever venture to the New World, Gonzalo Guerrero, his wife, Zazil Ha and their three children sits between eight lanes of bustling traffic.
There is no sign of recognition or plaque of explanation and few people if any that pass here are ever aware of the incredibly fascinating story behind this first Spaniard to integrate into Yucatán.

There is no sign of recognition or plaque of explanation and few people if any that pass here are ever aware of the incredibly fascinating story behind this first Spaniard to integrate into Yucatán.

The symbolic sculpture of Gonzalo Guerrero attired in his Mayan clothing with his wife Zazil Ha behind cradling one of his infant children while another of his three mestizo children plays with a Spanish conquistador war helmet tells much of this epic story.

This sculpture of Gonzalo Guerrero is a part of the monument in Chetumal dedicated to the Cradle of the Mestizo.


December 1, 2009

Much of the memorable events of travel are found in good food. On our fact finding journeys we prize above almost everything else splendid local foods. Here in Valladolid nearly everything edible is worth the trip. This lovely and scrumptious chicken dinner in savory sauce garnished with beans, chilies, olives and sautéed onion is served with yellow rice and fresh corn tortillas.
Would you believe finding this in a cocina económica?
Huevos a la Mexicana or Mexican style eggs when done right make for a sustaining breakfast that will keep your bicycle in motion until noon. Fried eggs over toasted tortillas and smothered in a savory sauce laced with garden fresh green peas sliced avocado, thick bean soup, and a stack of hot tortillas made from real corn not maseca. (We maintain that the maseca tortillas are de cartón or cardboard tortillas.)
This lovely traditional breakfast comes with several types of chili sauces and ripened bananas.
Would you believe that this and several other local specialties can be had at the municipal food court across from the main plaza where lunch and dinners are available all day at very affordable prices?
Also from the municipal food court you might want to try Motuleños, fried Motul style eggs made famous by Siqueff Restaurant that now has a Mérida location on calle 60.  They are bicycle friendly. This is an ample meal smothered in ham and cheese or the huevos a la Mexican, scrambled eggs mixed with a variety of diced chilies and whatever the cook has on hand.
At night on the streets of Yucatán you are sure to catch the aroma wafting up from street carts where a scorching grill sizzles with hot dogs, sautéed onions and toasted buns that are than covered with as much jalapeños chili peppers as you can tolerate. Hot dog in Spanish is known as perro caliente, and in the Mayan language; Choco pec.

For a traditional taste of Yucatecan food prepared in the authentic Mayan style head to the open air municipal market three blocks east of the municipal plaza or zocolo.
These young fellows are enjoying tamales baked in a banana leaf and filled with corn masa and chicken. The large bucket on the table contains the spiced tomato sauce that is the preferred topping. The small tamales are known as vaporcitos and it is customary to order several at a time. These tasty treats are steam cooked at home and then brought to the market in the large aluminum kettles you see in the background.

This is a typical array of home made items sold on the street by independent Mayan women who daily set up these provisional shops on fruit boxes. From their home gardens fruits and vegetables of the season, ground chili pepper, and achiote, a deep red coloring with a mild flavor extensively used in traditional Yucatecan dishes, some baked goods and hand crafts are sure to be found.
In the above photo the round white items, crackers that are three to a bag, are unique to the Americas and made from yucca root, also known as cassava root that tapioca is made from. They are very labor intensive to make and these lightly sugared delicate treats must be sampled. Another unique item to these street venders is the elegantly scented fresh corn cakes about six inches in diameter and half an inch thick roasted to a deep golden brown on a comal that will sustain you for hours.
Jane makes a purchase from the Mayan street vender lady who keeps her marketing overhead to a minimum and personally brought her handy work and produce to put on the market.

New to Valladolid, guided bike tours and bike rentals.

On a recent bike trip around the Valladolid area, we were happy to discover Mexigotours. Plan an extra day in Valladolid and take the tour. It is well worth the time and the price is economical.

Vivyana Hernández Molina and Toon Vande Vyvere, owners and operators of MexiGO tours and bike rentals.
Tours in English, Spanish, French, Dutch with a guide who speaks Maya.
They take you to the out of the tourist trap places for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

The tour takes you to two beautiful cenotes plus a visit to a Mayan home and a couple of villages.Take a guided bicycle day tour in the heart of Yucatán that is not only ecologically friendly but healthful. Photo opportunities in bird watching country plus sampling authentic exquisite Mayan foods 100% natural are just part of what you will enjoy.
Phones; +52 (985) 8560777 cel: 521 (985) 1082018
Above is one of the two beautiful cenotes that you will visit on the tour.

The ecologically friendly bicycle tours are at an easy pace, divided into pleasant segments in the tranquil back country guided by informative guides that open a seldom seen side of Yucatán to you.

Jane in front of the MexiGO tour and bike rental office in Valladolid. MexiGO is located behind the cathedral and 1 block from the central park at Calle 43 No. 204B between Calles 40 and 42. For a map, click here.

We have biked to the places on this tour. Check out our website * for stories of some of the places we visited on our trips to Valladolid from Tulum and along the Caste War Route.
This is part of the very noisy Revolution Day parade making its way around the municipal plaza with the arches of the local government building in the background. The celebration is supposed to be a one day event but the clever Mexicans have managed to stretch it out to four days.
To make the congestion even more intense Revolution Day happens to coincide with the American Thanksgiving so the airlines and rent-a-car agencies were booked full with returning Mexicans.
A visit to Valladolid must include a trip to the open air municipal market where local items ranging from hand crafts to all the locally produced fruits and vegetables are on sale.
At the municipal market you will do business with the people that actually brought their own home produced products. Typically Mayan women, in their elegantly adorned dresses like the one above will transact the business.
If you choose to take the MexiGo one day guided bicycle tour of the Valladolid area this is just one of the many sights you will get to visit.

The variety of natural foods mixed with local color makes for photo opportunities and lasting memories at the municipal market.
Fresh pork meat in Yucatán is high quality and the tasty but greasy deep fried pork known as chicharrón are both staples of the Yucatecan diet found in the municipal market.

The twenty-first century is here but in Yucatán, blacksmith made hand-hammered iron is forged in the same old way as before the industrial revolution. The beautiful relics of the past are not produced for the tourist trade but for everyday use.

These are some of the tools of craftsmen here; hammers, chisels and punches plus essential hammock hanging paraphernalia like the wall inserts and “S’s” to connect them. Besides the machete, the caó, the question mark shaped sheet metal implement above on the upper right is an essential garden tool here.
When garden production is down it is desperate times for some.

Tom Jones of North Carolina purchased an old colonial home here nine years ago and restored it. Six months a year he and his wife take up residence in Valladolid to enjoy a slower pace of life in the land of take it easy while waiting for northern winter to pass.
Jane and I met Tom in the local tourist information office across the street and he invited us to join him for coffee and conversation.

We visited the villages of Chichimila and Tixhualactún.  Visit our web page on Valladolid for those stories: plus stories of many other places of interest in the Valladolid area such as Uayma and the beautiful Mayan ruins of Ek Balam.


December 14, 2008


The Yucatecan hammock is the most versatile, most easily stowed and comfortably sensible furniture item that is
perfectly suited to tropical living and you can easily take them anywhere.
Yucatecan hammocks lend themselves well to an easy going laidback atmosphere that goes hand in glove with the
natural ambiance of ecologically friendly tall shade trees or cool high ceiling open-air tropical dwellings. For all the information about hammocks that we think you need to know, check out our website: www.bicycleyucatan.comcaribbeanhamaca


July 3, 2008

Here is another out of the travelers loop road trip to the places that tourists miss most.
Twenty five years ago when Jane and I first ate in this Tizimin restaurant called Tres Reyes, we arrived by train from Mérida. Well that train has been out of service for over twenty years now but this fixture of downtown Tizimin still hasn’t changed. Over those years the town went from third largest in Yucatan to second largest and it is a mystery to me because the place has no alluring magnetic cultural attractions. To the north of town is Yucatan’s only real cowboy country complete with huge ranchos and lots of beef cattle.

Our travels continue to Buctzotz, Dzilam González and Dzidzantún. Read more: