“If you have 4 to 5 days to spare, it’s worth exploring the largest and best-preserved area of tropical rainforest in North America. Here, you’ll encounter ancient Maya cities, small Lacandon Indian villages, beautiful lakes and rivers, and a pristine rainforest that provides a home for a myriad of animal species. The forest is vast enough to support a population of the endangered jaguar and also houses ocelots, tapirs, peccaries, scarlet macaws, monkeys, and otters, to name just a few. The Lacandon is one of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests, with 1,500 tree species, constituting 33% of all Mexican bird species, 25% of all Mexican animal species, 44% of all Mexican diurnal butterflies, and 10% of all Mexican fish species. Its immense size and biodiversity have earned it the designation of a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ by the Washington DC-based environmental group, Conservation International.

The optimal places to experience this rainforest are at the ecotourism centres of Naha, Metzabok, Las Guacamayas, Chajul, Las Nubes, and Laguna Miramar (Emiliano Zapata), where comfortable cabins are available, as well as local guides for jungle walks or river trips. Laguna Miramar is a vast lake surrounded by relatively untouched rainforest. This destination is for the more adventurous as the trip to the lake is neither quick nor easy and requires several days to account for transport and site-seeing. Also, the road to get there can become hazardous during the torrential downpours in the rainy season (June to October). Nonetheless, Laguna Miramar has to be one of Mexico’s most beautiful natural places. Camping in the rainforest by the lake is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All the above-mentioned are community-based ecotourism initiatives, run by the local inhabitants; therefore, by visiting, you will be supporting household economies in a marginalized region while contributing to the conservation of the local ecosystems.”