Mexico – Yukatan: Road Trip to Celestun

Celestun is a good two hour drive from Progreso and if done right takes a whole day. You can take a bus from Merida but since we had the rental car, we drove southwest from Merida through the pueblos of Uman and Kinchil. I love the pueblos. Although everyone of them has a main square with a park, a church, a commisario, schools and a commercial area they are decidedly unique and each one has a look that distinguishes it from the next.Sometimes it’s the colours, the state of the streets and buildings, sometimes it’s the people and sometimes it’s the church. In everyone of them, you will see people going about their business, children coming and going from school, teens playing soccer or basketball and if you drive through at night you will see the pueblos come to life with light, sound and people walking and visiting. Must not forget the peros, for the dogs are as much a part of the scenery as the people and on close observation appear to have purposeful pursuits just like their human counterparts. It is well worth stopping, parking and walking around the square in the pueblos, often you will be asked where you are from or you will find a unique little shop or a cafe with delicious Yucatano food that you might not otherwise have discovered. Of course any semblance of main road dissolves as you enter the pueblo and soon you are driving circles around the square looking for the way out of town as signage is sometimes at a minimum.

Main Square – Pueblo Convent  Photo by Thompsonclair

Pueblo Tiendas – Photo by Thompsonclair

Setting up the fair in a Pueblo – Photo by Thompsonclair

Climbing the walls – Photo by Thompsonclair

Schools Out in the Pueblo – Photo by Thompsonclair

Delivery truck in the Pueblo – Photo by Thompsonclair

Old Convent Walls in Pueblo – Photo by Thompsonclair

Every Pueblo has a Church – Photo by Thompsonclair
Every Church has a Jesus… – Photo by Thompsonclair

…And a Mary – Photo by Thompsonclair

A Deluxe Taxi – Photo by Thompsonclair

If the walls could talk


On to Celestun, slowed only by curiosity and the multitude of  topes (speed bumps) and what awaits when you arrive is worth any effort to get there. Celestun is in the Parque Natural Ria Celestun and is where you head for a really close up look at the flamingos as the park is a nesting grounds. When you drive into Celestun if is easy to find the beach where you can have lunch at a beach cafe and where you can find a boat to take you down the coast a ways and into the ria to visit the mangroves. The boat trip is not expensive if you wait to get to the beach in the main town and you are willing to go with five or six others to see the ria. 
Flamingos in Parque Natural Ria Celestun – Photo by Thompsonclair

 Along the way bird life abounds so bird-lovers are going to like this trip. In addition to beautiful scenery and lots of birds we were lucky enough to see a crocodile, camouflaged and snuggled up against a mangrove tree. He hung about for some minutes before he decided to pay us any attention, even though we were feet away in the safety of the boat. When we finally did seep into his awareness he causally gave a look and slid away into the water.

Pelicanos – Photo by Thompsonclair

Crocodile in Mangroves – Photo by Thompsonclair

Sliding Away – Photo by Thompsonclair

Celestun Shore – Photo by Thompsonclair

A Post for Everyone – Photo by Thompsonclair

Flamingos in Flight – Photo by Thompsonclair

Pink Reflections – Photo by Thompsonclair

Boats of Celestun – Photo by Thompsonclair

Dutch Friends from Boat Trip – Photo by Thompsonclair

Although it was late in day before we left Celestun we wanted to see Sisal, the famous port from which the henequen rope was exported and the reason this rope made from the Yucca cactus, became known worldwide as Sisal. As each crate of Sisal left the port it was stamped with “Sisal” to indicate the name of the port, not the product within. Through more Pueblos and over more topes we made our way to Sisal with just enough time to have a cursory look at the Port of Sisal before the sun slid below the horizon.

Author: scbates

I love to travel, solo or together with friends. I seem to have fallen into a pattern (at least for now) of Europe in the fall, Latin America in the winter and home on beautiful Vancouver Island for spring and summer...but this could change anytime.

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