Adventures, exploits + still points along the way ...


Posts in Central America

Known for its legendary Mayan ruins, the town of Palenque sits in the heart of a very dense, very steamy rainforest in Eastern Chiapas. While being a bit sweaty seems an entirely appropriate side-effect of being in the jungle, it must be noted that Palenque’s particular brand of tropical heat in the warm months (Jun – Sep) gives even Tulum’s humid climate something to aspire to ...

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For the past several weeks we’ve been on the road.  Doing a sweep of some of our favorite spots in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Campeche and Quintana Roo and seeing some wonderful new things along the way.  A recent second visit to Campeche reconfirmed our love for this Spanish-Colonial, seaside town. Here is a recap of a why it continues to rank high on our list of favorites …

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When I try to describe Lago de Atitlán to others, I end up frustratingly tongue-tied, much like I was upon catching my first glimpse of its cerulean waters. Even with the God-given genes of a geological supermodel, the lake is still blessedly rough around the edges, undeveloped and simple.  It resonates with a sort of sublime, natural humility that beckons you to feel at home in its otherwise overwhelming presence.  And very much like the Mona Lisa, Lago de Atitlán is deep, mysterious and ever hinting at the most secret of smiles ...

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“Siete y media por la mañana,” the man at the Tierra Maya counter said, waving a slip of paper at me as I slid 600 pesos across the counter.  The van would come for us at 7:30 AM. I asked how long the trip would be. “Muy rapido! Siete horas, mas o menos,” he replied. Only seven hours? Splendid!  We shook his hand and went to exchange Pesos for Quetzales before heading home to pack ...

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Greetings from San Cristobal de Las Casas!  We are now 650 miles west of the Caribbean’s sun-toasted shores, and 6800 feet higher in elevation and are pleased to report that the fresh mountain air has welcomed us fully into its rarified embrace. We feel it's worth mentioning that getting here was surprisingly uncomplicated.  The Aero México flight from Cancun to Tuxtla Gutierrez (the nearest airport) was so uneventful it was almost disappointing.  Our flights were all on time, the aircrafts were squeaky clean and our seats were comfy ...

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Here's a question: if one lives on a tropical island, where do they go to "get away from it all”? Yes, it seems like an unforgivably rhetorical question. Nonetheless, this past November, we were curious to find out where other islanders like to go for a quick change of scenery, so we asked some friends on Isla Mujeres for their input. At the top of the list? Tulum. Ah, yes. A name we had heard uttered many times before by urban-dwelling and bohemian friends, alike. The beloved mecca of the eco-friendly faithful ...

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If you find yourself in Chiapas on a sunny day with no pressing engagements, we strongly recommend an outing to Misol-Ha and Agua Azul, two breathtaking waterfalls. Be forewarned, however, that in order to get there you might need to find yourself agreeable with tight spaces, serpentine mountain roads, getting cozy with sixteen (or more) strangers and the Mexican equivalent of Mario Andretti behind the wheel …

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Some places in the world offer a little more magic than others.  And while we didn’t machete our way in to the ruins of a mythical lost city, our stay at La Selva Mariposa did leave us feeling as if we were let in on a really great secret. Set in the lush jungle just outside of trendier Tulum, La Selva Mariposa (translated: "The Jungle Butterfly") is a handcrafted, jungle oasis designed built and run by owners, Lou and Moe in Pueblo Macario Gomez. It definitely gives the “cinco estrellas”, or 5-star hotels, a major run for their money ...

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Okay, so it is not an exaggeration: we love San Cristobal de Las Casas.  A lot. Allow me to count (a few of) the ways ... For starters, SCDC is a sunny place. During our visit, we asked around and locals all maintain that one of their favorite things about living there is the climate. The temps are what we consider as near to perfect as you can get – sunny and in the high 70’s during the day with low humidity and a slight mountain breeze. We walked around in T-shirts and cargo pants and never once overheated, even after climbing up and down the ever inclining streets and flights and flights of stairs to reach hillside cathedrals. 

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On Thursday, it became apparent that it was time to do laundry. Our hotel gave us the name of a lavanderia a few blocks over, so we gathered up our dirties and took a stroll down 59, turning south on Calle 12. At the corner, we stopped to gape at the former Templo de San Jose, the former Church of San Jose. It was built in the late 1600’s at the request of a brotherhood of carpenters and shipwrights from San Román in honor of their patron saint, San Jose. It’s known today as one of the most beautiful buildings in Campeche and even centuries later, its weathered glory is breathtaking ...

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We spent a leisurely last morning in Merida down at the Café Club, chatting again with Bob, the Canadian. When we told him we were off to Campeche, he couldn’t say enough good things about the city, which made us all the more intrigued about going there. After checking out of the Hotel Maison Lafitte, we took a cab to the ADO CAME bus station. The tickets from Merida to Campeche were extremely reasonable – 162 pesos each (about $12 US) ...

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