After a week in and out of the XP sick bay, I was getting totally stir crazy and wanted desperately to move on even though I was not fully recovered. I am a really stubborn person, and I convinced Sam (who did not get as sick as I did and was mostly recovered) that I was ready for more adventures. He was pretty skeptical about my current state of health, but after eight years together, he knows it is easier to just let me suffer then to try to change my mind. That is how I ended up hiking through the steamy jungle with a fever popping anti vomminting pills like candy. I knew I could not complain because I had asked for this, so I stoically hiked liked the walking dead.
Even though I felt like death, I was happy to be on the road again, and if there is any place in the world that can lift your spirits, it is the stunning landscape of waterfalls and tropical jungles in southern Chiapas. This area is referred to as the Ruta Lacandona, and it hugs the border of Guatemala with rivers and lakes forming a natural border between the two countries. This area is probably the most beautiful area we have seen in Mexico (it actually looks a lot like parts of the state San Luis Potosi that we loved) and all the travelers we had met that visited here were just blown away by it.
We started the Ruta Lacandona at the impressive waterfalls of El Chiflon. These are a series of waterfalls that you hike to that just get more and more impressive as you gain altitude. We camped here for 50 pesos ($4 dollars) and even during the day, there were not many people here, at night it was yours alone. I have seen a lot of waterfalls in my life, this one was really impressive.
Lagos de Montebello
From El Chiflon we drove to the Lagunas Montebello on a recommendation from our overlander friends Toby and Chloe who had just stayed here. Out of all the people we have met on the road, their traveling style is probably the most similar to ours, so when they recommend something we listen because we know we will love it. And we did. WOW. We camped at Laguna Tziscao right on the lake (thanks Toby!) and spent days exploring the over 50 lakes in this area, swimming in the crystal clear water, boating on a bolsa raft to Guatemala and back again and getting lost along dirt roads in rural Chiapas. It was so beautiful and at a high enough altitude that the weather was cooler than other parts of the Lacandona circuit. We were so glad we saw this, the combinations of pine forest, colorful lakes and tropical jungle was just breathtaking.