The forests of Mexico are home to an extraordinary diversity of species and ecosystems. (Photo via Eric Lindberg).
In the south of Mexico are vast jungle regions that harbor rich biodiversity and different ecosystems that travelers can visit through various routes and paths full of many species of flora and fauna, many of them endemic, in addition to important archeological sites.
Here are some of the main jungle routes travelers in southern Mexico should not miss.
The jungle of Los Tuxtlas, located in the state of Veracruz, is the northernmost rainforest of the American Continent. This extraordinary place is trendy for its incredible natural beauty, such as the Catemaco Lagoon, located in the heart of an amazing rainforest and from where various boat tours travel along natural paradises such as Agaltepec Island, inhabited by Thai monkeys. Another tour takes visitors to Nanciyaga Lagoon, an ecological reserve that protects a large colony of crocodiles and many endemic species.
In addition, for wellness lovers, this magical place offers a relaxing alternative with a temazcal bath (pre-Columbian steam bath), massage with aromatic oils, and traditional body cleansing sessions with natural herbs, as well as the application of mud on the face for skin renewal. Some of the most unique and beautiful spots in the area are Salto de Eyipantla, a majestic waterfall more than 60 yards high, and Laguna Encantada, where travelers find cabins to stay in and enjoy the splendid nature.
This Mayan community is located in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, a reserve that houses more plant species than all the states of northern Mexico combined. In this region, travelers can take tours around the community and enjoy the hospitality of its people as well as a unique natural environment with a diversity of impressive flora and fauna, among which stands out a great variety of tree species such as rosewood and cedar, as well as giant ferns and orchids among many more. This forest also is home to many endemic and endangered species, such as jaguar (Panthera oncal), harpy eagle (hastía harpyja), and red macaw (Ara macao), as well as hundreds of other species.
The Jaguar is one of the protected species in the jungles of Mexico. (Photo Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret).
Visitors can stay in cabins located near the Lacanjá River, where they can enjoy the delicious local cuisine prepared by the members of this community, as well as touring to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, which is the only natural site inhabited by Mayan descendants who preserve their cultural traditions and care for the archeological site of Bonampak.
The incredible nature of this place, located in the state of Quintana Roo, has made it a favorite of ecotourism lovers. This spot has many jungle tours that include visits to archeological sites, swimming in cenotes (sacred Mayan ponds) and underground rivers, snorkeling, and abseiling, as well as enjoying the delicious Mayan cuisine offered in the different communities of the area.
The archeological site of Tulum is located in a lush and beautiful rainforest. (Photo via Noreen Kompanik).
Those looking for wellness experiences can enjoy a relaxing swim in the unique underground river of Nohoch Nah Chiich and be part of a Mayan ceremony led by a shaman to enjoy typical dishes of the region later. Several tours include visits to the archeological area of Tulum and the Native Park Tulum, where the Sac-Actun system locates, the longest underground river in the world. The most recommended activities are snorkeling by stalactites and stalagmites, rappelling, zip-lining, and swimming in the stunning sacred cenote of Yaaxmul.
In the Mayan jungle visitors enjoy the beauty of the cenotes (sacred ponds). (Photo via Noreen Kompanik).
This ecological reserve in the state of Tabasco has countless trails to explore. The jungle is considered one of the most beautiful in Mexico and is located in the community of Malpasito. It is a private land that houses a series of waterfalls that fall into freshwater pools where visitors spend an enjoyable family day. The most critical waterfalls in the area are La Pava, Velo de Novia, Las Golondrinas, and Las Flores, which can be reached by foot or bicycle. Other activities that visitors enjoy are bird watching, camping, and abseiling, among others.
Mexican jungles are ideal for those looking for wellness and relaxation. (Photo courtesy of La Casa De La Playa).
Agua Selva has evergreen vegetation and a large number of surface and underground rivers, as well as caves and more than 100 waterfalls of crystal-clear water. In addition, visitors can tour the archeological area of Malpasito to appreciate traces of the Mayan and Zoque cultures. Finally, it should be noted that this place has spots to dine in the middle of nature and lodging accommodations where families can stay at very accessible rates and with all the services available.