Even after all the years in Tulum and the area we still keep on discovering new places. We are always amazed by the richness of culture and natural beauty the Yucatan peninsula can offer. For those interested in wildlife, jungle adventures and authentic Mayan culture we highly recommend a trip to the area North of Coba. There are several Mayan communities in the area between Coba and Nuevo Xcan that have running projects for the development of Eco touristic activities on their Ejidal lands.
Nuevo Durango is a small Mayan community of nearly 300 people situated some 20 min drive North of Coba. We ended up there by accident but what we experienced made us go back many times over. The Nuevo Durango Eco center has a big jungle preservation project that is supported by guided tours and hikes to some of the dry caves on their land. Whats truly fascinating is the openness of the local people and the willingness to share their extensive knowledge about the jungle and their traditions so readily. Our guide, Enrique, in fully relaxed manner and with great ease, turned what was planned as a regular hike in the jungle, into a full educational experience. We learned so much about the gods, the plants, the ants, the myths and what have you. Each time we go back to Nuevo Durango there is more and more to learn. Each time we find out again and again how for these people, all is integrated and one is not separate from his environment. The inner calmness and deep spirituality of the Authentic Maya are fully visible in their very relaxed and easy-going manner. Something, which for us busy modern people, could be very soothing and healing.
Only 15 min drive South is Punta Laguna, another Mayan community involved in the development of Eco touristic activities. Their land is very different and unique. They have managed to get protected status for their ejido and now Punta Laguna is famous as Spider Monkey Reserve. The lagoon itself creates a very distinct local environment and this could be easily noticed when hiking in the search for the monkeys. Trees are much bigger and higher, abundant with fruits and leaves. It is not difficult to see the reason why the monkeys have chosen this place as their home. Spider Monkey research projects run by international scientist and supported by the local Maya people have been going on for more than 20 years now. Over the years they have provided a huge contribution to the current scientific knowledge about the life and behaviors of the famous Spider Monkeys. Some of the guides at the reserve are quite informed and the visit at Punta Laguna could easily leave you with a whole lot of new information about its amazing inhabitants. Once at Punta Laguna one has to definitely visit the lagoon itself. After the jungle hike and the adrenalin of seeing monkeys in the wild, an hour or two of canoeing in the peaceful lagoon is totally worth it. With some luck, you can be there when the wind is calm and the waters of the lagoon turn into a perfect mirror reflecting the surrounding jungle and the sky. The amazing silence of the lagoon at sunset is only occasionally ripped by the screams of the Howler Monkeys in the trees.
Our visits to the Maya Communities of Nuevo Durango and Punta Laguna always make us more and more enthusiastic and inspired to share these places with other travelers. If you are interested in jungle and cave adventures combined with a deep encounter with authentic Maya culture, we will be happy to organize a personalized full day excursion especially for you. We promise it will be something you will remember:) Just message us and we will send you details and a quote.