Located just over an hour south of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico you will find a biosphere reserve with fresh water canals and over 23 Mayan archaeological sites hidden in the jungle. Our small group of 7 took off from the hotel in Playa Del Carmen with our guide, Adrien, to explore this ancient Mayan port where over 1000 years ago goods for trade were brought in from the sea through narrow fresh water canals. Below is a video of our arrival where we boarded a boat and crossed over the bay on our journey to discover canals and a small Mayan port "station". After a short visit on shore we actually put our life jackets on like diapers (no photos lol) and jumped into the fresh water canal and floated through a peaceful beautiful river through mangroves. After the refreshing float in the cool water we walked through the wetlands on a dock system to where our boats were waiting to take us back to shore. At shore we found a picnic table and had a small snack and bottled water and then continued through the jungle to learn about trees, origins of gum, homeopathic remedies and Mayan culture.
As we continued our tour through the jungle we came upon a tower where we could view the entire biosphere, a few of us decided to climb to the top to get that perfect photo (see video below). I have seen the ruins at Tulum and I love them, but this tour is much different. As you can see from my videos, there are smaller groups of people and not the masses of tourists you get at Tulum; probably due to the fact this is a newer tour. It's nice and shady on the jungle paths, and I loved coming through the woods upon the ruins their natural state, some not even fully exhumed.
Once we were done with the tour of the jungle our driver was waiting to take us to lunch in Tulum. This bohemian beach town reminded me of what Cancun may have been 40 years ago -- just a sleepy beach town inhabited by a few tourists staying at small hotels. We enjoyed a nice sea side lunch and relaxed on the beach before boarding for the trip home. I really enjoyed this tour for it's slower pace and the emphasis on nature and eco friendly tourism. Amstar does a great job of providing affordable, comfortable and safe tours. Thank you Amstar, Adrien and especially the Mayan people who really understood how to live in harmony with nature.