by Lydia Linton Pontius
NOTE: Many of the links below take you to videos.
We woke early and had a nice relaxing morning at Puerta Calakmul. We were not yet ready to leave this amazing resort. The birds were waking and starting their day so we took the opportunity to walk around and take it all in. The sun slowly permeated the thick trees and the coolness of the dew made for a beautiful start to the day. Later we wandered over to the restaurant and sipped our coffee while a squirrel entertained us just on the other side of the screen. This squirrel had found an abandoned bird nest hanging in a tree between the restaurant and the small pond. He first spent quite some time examining it thoroughly. He would stick his head in and take it out, and look from one side to the other. He then decided what fun it would be to use it as a speed bag. Eventually he made a decision that the nest must be taken down, and he struggled until he succeeded in getting it down to the ground, at which point he quickly lost interest in it.
After our morning show we decided to have a hearty breakfast before heading back to the coast. We ate and met some of the other guests who were passing through touring the Yucatán Peninsula for their first time.
Following breakfast we said our sad farewells and got in the car to head back to Quintana Roo, leaving Campeche and its lovely hills, lush jungles, wonderful people and wildlife behind.
We stopped in Bacalar to visit the eco-resort, Villas Ecotucan, we had heard about and to meet the folks who have an eco-kayak tour. You can do several tours such as sailing in a new traditional Outrigger Canoe or kayak trips all around Laguna Bacalar. Tours can last an hour or you can camp out from one to several days with Active Nature. The resort had been almost entirely destroyed during Hurricane Dean in 2007 and it was amazing how quickly the vegetation was growing back. This is a wonderful place to have retreats and there was a large group there when we stopped, so we asked for a recommendation for lunch and headed on north to Laguna Azul.
You have to be watching for the signs to Laguna Azul or you will miss the turn off to this hidden place. If you are looking for a rustic campground or RV park on Laguna Bacalar or a funky, fun place for lunch, this is the place. Head down the dirt road at the north end of the lagoon and on the way you will pass some wonderful little milpas (farm plots). Drive slowly because it is a one-lane road. We had lunch here and, just as we parked our car, the clouds opened up, we made a mad dash to the palapa restaurant, and had a nice lunch and delightful visit with the owners while the small rainstorm passed.
After lunch we were back on the road, heading to Tulúm. Last stop of our trip would be back on the beach at Cabañas Tulum for one night followed by a night at Om and then back to home base, Akumal.
The road from Bacalar to Tulúm is all highway and very easy to navigate. We made great time and saw a gorgeous sunset over the jungle just as we were entering the Tulúm city limits. We stopped for gas and a refreshing drink before turning right, down the Tulúm beach road.