Posts Tagged ‘Yucatan’

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



January 4, 2008

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NEW YEARS EVE AND NEW YEARS DAY 2008 by John M. Grimsrud
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This traditional Mayan festival still takes place annually in Colonial Emiliano Zapata Norte six kilometers north of Merida’s central zocolo on the east side of the Prolongation de Montejo which is a popular neighborhood that still clings to it’s traditional ancestral customs.
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Our neighbors Don Jorge and his daughter Lupita display the manikin they will burn in effigy of the old year on New Years Eve. Stuffed with pyrotechnics the effigy will be ignited by a long string of firecrackers blasting the New Year in and the old one out. They kick off the Mayan “Pol kek’en” festival or “Danza de la Cabaza de Cochino”, (Dance of the pig’s head) that is of pre-Hispanic origins.
New Year’s Eve dinner consists of roast turkey salbutes and caldo authentic Mayan specialties handed down over the centuries.
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New Years day a pre-parade eating extravaganza rallies the neighborhood for food and drinks while the marching band sits down to stuff themselves and “wet their whistles” with a few beers while tuning up for the parade. Above turkey tacos get served up as fast as the eager participants can put them away.
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The jubilant participants eating and drinking will soon parade the streets dancing.
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Pork and beer and lovely native customers set the stage for a harmonious tradition.
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Mucho-macho these guys have been partying non-stop since last night with no end in sight. The traditional Mayan drink for this festival is called balché, (Latin: lonchocarpus longistylus Pittier) and is make by fermenting the bark and roots of a tropical tree of 18 meters of that same name combined with anise and cinnamon. Tradition has yielded to expedience and beer is now easier.
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Topping off for the parade and dance that follows with youthful exuberance coupled with old time tradition, the neighborhood unites.
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Getting in step for the dance with a preview performance bedecked in Mayan tradition.
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These lovely girls are our good neighbors.
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Under way in a cloud of pyrotechnic explosions that shatters the tranquility of Emiliano Zapata Norte the New Years Day parade gets under way.
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“Pol kek’en” festival or “Danza de la Cabaza de Cochino”, (Dance of the pig’s head). Each participating household features a roasted pig’s head on a platter dancing in the parade.

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Catholic Saints have no trouble intermixing with traditional Mayan pageantry.
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The musical tune of the New Years Day Parade is traditional and played note for note the same throughout all the Mayan communities
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As the parade meanders through Emiliano Zapata Norte past participating households they in turn join in the ever growing parade only stopping now and then for a blast of pyrotechnics and more dancing.
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Our lovely good neighbors of seventeen years make the neighborhood a good place to be.
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Catholic Saints are honored along with the Mayan ceremony that has maintained a flexibility to facilitate it to survive in some type of harmony for nearly five centuries.
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We live in one of the few holdouts to traditional Mayan community activities.
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Even the children are brought up to partake in their ancestral pageantry and almost all still speak their native tongue of Maya though less and less daily dress in their traditional costume.
You don’t have to go far from the big city of Mérida to find villages where one in all speak Maya and dress in traditional attire.
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Don Juan our good neighbor is one of the active participants who keeps this family heritage alive and makes our neighborhood a close community.
The festival season in Yucatan begins on December 12th, Lupita Day and continues on until the 6th of January, Three Kings Day.
It seems like the party season only builds to a crescendo without a slack or letup…this is Yucatán, Mexico!

Xcanchakan and Mahzucil: A bicycle and bus day trip out of the tourist loop

January 3, 2008

Xcanchakan panaram

For the story, click here to link to Xcanchakan and Mahzucil page.

map Xcanchakan

For the story, click here to link to Xcanchakan and Mahzucil page.