The unknown Las Lagarteras Natural Park treasures dozens of Mayan settlements among its thick and tall vegetation that hides them from human curiosity. Here a corner awaits you with several surprises.

I met this beautiful corner of Quintana Roo thanks to being housed in the cabins of Kíichpam K'áax, Selva Bonita. He Las Lagarteras Natural Park It is one of the places you can visit with Damián, owner of this lodging where you can live authentically the Mayan culture of the countryside, combining the stay with interesting surroundings such as Cenote Hamtun, the archaeological zone of Chacchoben and the same Lagarteras.

Las Lagarteras Natural Park

A few years ago we tried to give a boost to Las Lagarteras Natural Park enabling the area so that the visitor could enjoy the destination. There are interpretive trails, a bench where you can rest in the shade and posters that the jungle has devoured. The Dean, the last hurricane that crossed this area, took more than one tree from the Park, and since then it fell back into the oblivion of the authorities, with hardly any promotion. The road that crosses the Park has several access entrances to the place, they are not clearly indicated, but if you want, you arrive perfectly. You will see some wooden sign that indicates accesses.

Some interpretive trails of the Park have been devoured by the jungle

Archaeological site Lagartera

The most interesting of the place are the dozens of mounds of ancient Mayan cities that are found, have been counted 50. The first evidences of the Mayan settlement Lagartera They date from 600 to 300 BC Ceramics found in the area have facilitated the chronology of the place, with the peak in the years 250 to 550 dC and its decline between 550 and 800 dC It is a large city with several ceremonial structures, patios and walls. Its location near the lagoon facilitated the agriculture and water collection of the ancient Maya.

Climbing one of the pyramids
Walking among vestiges

At present it is not allowed to go up to the structures of Lagartera, are not conditioned for the visitor. A pity because there are several tall buildings from which to contemplate the beautiful views of the jungle with the nearby lagoon. The highest is 38 meters, the so-called 90 structure. There are two other structures of 20 meters and one more of 18 that confirm the importance of the place, with the human being planning to extend their buildings to the heights as a sign of power, as we continue doing today.


Lagartera occupies much of the Las Lagarteras Natural Park, which due to the reforestation has recovered as indicated by the animals that have returned to the area, such as a family of spider monkeys that have localized, three jaguars, white-tailed deer, tepezcuintles, wild boars and lizards (Crocodiles) that inhabit La Lagartera lagoon. The state of semi-abandonment of the park does not favor visits, I hope the situation changes and the local economy can grow because it is a beautiful place to meet. There is a guard in the area, although we did not cross it, and luckily I read late the rules posters, as the norm of not scaling the mounds of stones.


In case you do not know there are hundreds of ancient Mayan cities that are lost in the immensities of the jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula. The beautiful location of Lagartera makes it an even more attractive destination for the traveler willing to get out of the most common paths. Going through the jungle between Mayan walls gives me a magnificent feeling, Las Lagarteras Natural Park It is an excellent hidden corner.

Las Lagarteras, natural area

LOCATION: Las Lagarteras Natural Park is located in the Ejido Nueva Loría, on the stretch known as the Vía Corta between Chetumal and Mérida, about 40 kilometers from Chunhuhub and 90 from Chetumal. When you see the Nueva Loria bus stop, you must take the road you see on the road.

SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: There is a guard who walks and watches the Park in sunny hours. I do not recommend going at other times. I did not see services, there are marked paths to go inside the park.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? From the population of Chunhuhub and Chetumal you can take a bus that leaves you at the Nueva Loria road stop. From here you must walk about 3 kilometers for access to Las Lagarteras Natural Park. Remember that if you stay in the cabins of Kíichpam K'áax, Selva Bonita It is one of the excursions that offer you
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothes, hat, insect repellent, closed and comfortable shoes to climb structures and protect yourself from insect bites, some water always goes well.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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