I took a soft adventure trip to Chiapas, Mexico in the Lacandona area. In this area we visited two Mayan archaeological sites – Bonampak and Yaxchilan. We visited Bonampak with a Path Finder, Elas, whose grandfather actually found the ruins. Elas explained the site to us including the paintings that were discovered inside one of the buildings which are still very visible. This site is only about 20 percent uncovered at this time, so it is a small area. At Yaxchilan, it is a much larger area that we reached by boat from Frontera Corozal. It is very fascinating to hear about the history of the area.
In the town of Guacamaya, the whole community decided to embrace tourism. There is a very nice property to stay at, Las Guacamayas Lodge. They are very friendly, offer good service, food and tours. The community is trying to help the Red Guacamaya population (parrots) by breeding the Guacamayas and releasing them into the wild, as well as building nesting houses for them. The number of trees for the birds to nest in is diminishing, so they build and install the houses. This is also a project that tourists can give money to and/or assist in the building and installation of. We took a boat ride on the river to see the wildlife of crocodiles, howler monkeys and birds. The lodge also offers a walking tour to see the Guacamayas and through the forest that they are rebuilding for all wildlife.
At the Ecolodge Lacandones, a mayan-lacandon community of Lacanja, they offer river rafting and waterfall jumping, as well as a spiritual blessing of the earth by a Director (spiritual leader) of the community. From here we went to Sibal to go out on a native canoe called a Kayuco which held nine of us. We went out to the 7 Colors’ Lagoon which was beautiful.
People in the area raise chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle and horses. Their corn stood about 8-10 feet high. Chicapas stands for the Chia Tree which provides shade to the river. Thw word gringo came from American soldiers who wore green and the Mexicans said “green, go”.
There are many different areas throughout the state of Chiapas that offer adventure trips, from soft up to extreme. The experiences are many and varied. Be sure to ask.