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Parque Nacional Lagos de Montebello - Other Activity Comitan De Dominguez - Mexico

The lakes of Montebello make up one of Mexico’s most scenic national parks, with more than 50 lakes scattered like jewels along its southern border. There are miles of hiking tracks through the thickly forested land that surrounds the lakes, making this a great option for nature lovers with an energetic bent. Don’t worry if you find it difficult to switch “holiday mode” off though, the lakes are still visible from viewpoints along the roads in the park and there are tons of little restaurants and BBQ spaces where you can enjoy the spectacular views for the whole afternoon from the comfort of your deckchair. Try El Restaurante Bosque Azul (963 496 14) by the Laguna of the same name, or Restaurant Tziscao (963 633 5244) which has great views over Laguna Tziscao. The latter also rent lakeside cabañas for around $15 if you fancy staying out in all that nature. If you’re not up for hiking up and down hills, you can hire horses for around $5. Look out for the underage tots in the main parking lot.


The park’s most striking characteristic is the dazzling colors of the lake waters, which on a good day, glint like witches’ potions under the sky. Bright aquamarine, indigo and emerald hues are caused by mineral deposits on the lakes’ bottoms and the angle of the sun. The lakes themselves are actually cenotes (sinkholes) and were formed over millions of years as their limestone foundations eroded. For a fee of $5/$6, you can get a closer look in a rowboat.


The park is small enough to see in a single (exhausting) day, and indeed many visitors are day trippers, on package tours from nearby Comitán or San Cristobal de las Casas. If you do have the time though, it’s well worth staying in one of the hotels near the park. For a treat, consider splashing out on the Museo Parador y Hotel Santa Maria, a beautiful converted hacienda. (Tel: 967 678 0988, Url: Rooms start at $150). If your wallet won’t stretch to the Santa Maria, there are several cheaper options on the Carretera Fronteriza (the Frontier Highway/Hwy 307), an offshoot of the main Interamericana highway which passes right through the park. Look out for the signpost saying KM 32 and you should see several hospedajes on the left hand side of the road. Try El Pino Feliz (Tel: 963 102 1089, Rooms $10-15).


Frequent army checkpoints means the area is much safer from bandits than in previous years, although isolated incidents have been known to occur. Keep your passport (and tourist card) with you as the soldiers demand it as I.D.

Comitan De Dominguez, Mexico

Other Activity Types:
Natural park

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Here are other activities in and around Comitan De Dominguez that may be of interest: El ChiflĂłn,

23 Jun 2009

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