Lagunas de Montebello National Park
Bordering and shared with Guatemala is Lagunas de Montebello National Park. Consisting of 50 lakes, but only a few number are accessible by road. The lakes surrounded by the backdrop of dense mountains of alpine forests, making it an ideal place to spend a day exploring. Depending on the weather and the sky, the water in certain areas is seen to be blue blending into green.
I must say, without speaking any Spanish and if it wasn’t for the lovely Mexican girl Denis who was on her Christmas holidays with her mum from Mexico City, my friend and I would have peed our pants! We had asked the driver and tour guide repeatedly where we can use a toilet as we stopped off at Montebello viewing point. He couldn't understand what we were saying, neither did we understand him. With the lack of internet service in the area our translation app was also down. Denis came to the rescue and pointed us in the right direction.
It was a rainy foggy morning, and we had been in the van crammed up for an hour travelling from San Cristobel De La Casas. We kept hoping the weather would clear up, but we weren’t lucky enough to be able to see the view of Montebello clearly.
We drove further down the valley and burst into laughter soon as we came out of the van to the sound of the shop vendors that were on both sides of the road. They literally made the same noise as flamingos (if you have ever heard them). They each called out so loud, at the top of their lungs what they sold at their stall. The minute everyone was out of sight they stopped, and when we came back they started again. ( I guess you had to be there)
We stepped down the steep hill of the beautifully scenic lake, only to see the fog had not cleared up, and it was still drizzling with rain. We put on plastic coats given by the raft vendor and we all hopped on the raft to see a bit of the lake. It was fun, yet irritating to not be able to do this with better weather. Of course, we were drenched by the end of it.
At one of the stalls, a little hole in the wall with everything cooked on an old fashioned stove, lunch was being served. It was very much street food. Denis barely ate her food, but I wasn’t sure whether that was because I asked her a million questions about herself and Mexico in general, or whether the food was just terrible.
The hospitality of the Mexican tourists on the same trip as us, was incredible. They were so friendly, and so happy to keep us company. We do recommend this trip as part of a half day to explore the waters on the wooden raft. However, checking to make sure the sky is clear and no rain will help in seeing the beautiful scenery to a whole different level.
We do advise not to eat at the stalls as it had automatically started a bad tummy that lead to diarrhea for weeks after that. Make sure to stay clear of the food whether cooked or uncooked.
For more places to visit around Lagunas de Montebello National Park, why not check out our other blogs:
The Village of Zincantan- a great place to learn about local textile produce
San Juan Chemula Church- one of the most unique experiences in the Chiapas State
San Cristobel De La Casas- Mexico's most cultural city and where you should stay to experience it.