The Lacandon Rainforest

If you have 4- 5 days, the largest and best preserved area of tropical rainforest in North America is well worth exploring. Here you will encounter ancient Maya cities, small Lacandon Indian villages, beautiful lakes and rivers, and pristine rainforest that is home for many species of animal. The forest is sufficiently large to support a population of the endangered jaguar and is also home to ocelots, tapirs, peccaries, scarlet macaws, monkeys and  otters to name but a few. The Lacandon is one of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world with 1,500 tree species, 33% of all Mexican bird species, 25% of all Mexican animal species, 44% of all Mexican diurnal butterflies and 10% of all Mexico's fish species. Its size and biodiversity has led to its designation as a “biodiversity hotspot” by the Washington DC based environmental group Conservation International.

The best 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 walks in the jungle or trips along the rivers. Laguna Miramar (Miramar Lake) is a very large lake surrounded by relatively untouched rainforest. This destination is for the more adventurous as the trip to the lake is not a quick or easy journey and requires several days to allow for transport and visiting the sites. Also, the road to get there can become dangerous during torrential downpours in the rainy season (June to October). Nevertheless, Laguna Miramar has to be one of the most beautiful natural places in the whole of Mexico. Camping in the rainforest by the lake is a once in a lifetime experience.  All the above are community-based ecotourism initiatives, run by the local inhabitants; therefore, you will be supporting household economies in a marginalized region while contributing to the conservation of the local ecosystems.

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