We have been talking about our favorite things to do, eat and see in the Riviera Maya this month. We have saved the best for last! Five secret places in the Rivera Maya that you can see and do! These are not just off the beaten path areas and sites, these are secrets. These are five places that few talk about as they are sacred. Are you ready to get a peek into the local life as we know it? These spots are so secret I would bet that many locals who live in the Riviera Maya don’t even know about them. So here we go! Add these places and secret locations to your list and have fun getting away from it all!
1. Nopalito Lagoon in Pino Suarez – Pino Suarez is located just south of the Tulum Pueblo off HWY 307. It is about a 15 to 20-minute drive south of Tulum and a super cool place to hang during the day. Nopalito Lagoon is visited by locals only. There are no stores or tourist attractions to be seen. It is all about the water! On a super hot day, this is the place to be. The lagoon is sweet water, cold and wonderful. It is only accessible by a rental car or private driver and well worth the visit. This may be something that you don’t want to share, so you have the place to yourself! Pack a lunch, bring your own drinks and have a quiet, blissful day!
2. Smoked meat on the way to Rio Lagartos – We have been going to this smoked meat village for years. We call it the smoked meat village as all the stores sell smoked meat, which is it! There are a few furniture places thrown in, but the smoked meat is the best most people have ever tasted. The smoked meat Pueblo is on the road to Tizamin, about 10 minutes from Valladolid. It is worth the drive just to try their sausages, pork loin and smoked ribs! A secret rub is used on many of the meats which gives it a very distinct and delicious flavor. Have it fresh, right out of the smoker or take a few kilos home and store in the fridge. At 10 USD for 2.2 lbs, this is a steal and most likely the best-smoked meat you have ever had. TIP: slip into the back and watch how they smoke the meat! It is truly an experience.
3. Church in Chemax – Chemax is a Mayan town between Coba and Valladolid. We need to say up front, Chemax residents are not looking to build tourism in their town. Most speak Mayan and not Spanish, and it is safe to say that English is not the third language. We visit Chemax sparingly, and only to see the wonderful church and village cenote. It is worth the quick trip and drive through this village but do not think that people will be open to accepting US dollars, will be looking for tourism dollars or be opening up their homes to your visit. Chemax residents really want to keep their village as it is…we respect that and just go in to look at this magnificent church.
4. Snorkeling in the Sian Ka’an – If you are a strong swimmer, and you have a snorkeling buddy, we love snorkeling in the ocean in the Sian Ka’an. This adventure is a left turn here adventure where it may take you a few left turn here tries to get to a great snorkeling beach. When driving into the Sian Ka’an, you will see small paths leading to the beach. Try one and see if the area is good for snorkeling. We never find the same spot twice, so we can tell you ‘take this left-hand turn’ but we will say, it is wonderful when you find a great snorkeling spot. This is a true adventure and only for the adventurous! But if you are up for it, it is worth it. Be safe and this is best for experienced snorkelers only!
5. Ruins of Chac Mool – There is a set of ruins only accessible by boat out of Punta Allen. What we do is drive to Punta Allen on the Tulum Beach road and into the Sian Ka’an, ask a fisherman to take us to the Chac Mool ruins and have a nice half day in the area. Negotiate your price with the fisherman for the lift and include a return trip!
So there you have it. Some secret Locogringo adventures that you will be hard-pressed to find in any tour book. If you are new to adventure touring have a look at our new Loco Adventures that outline tour itineraries for your Riviera Maya visit! We have more coming so stay on the alert!