Monday, January 28, 2013

Checking out the surrounding Campgrounds

When we left Balneario Colcolitos this morning we headed to Chetumal, which is 40 minutes south of here, and on the border of Belize.   

There were tons of cars parked on both sides of the road, but practically no people anywhere to be seen. 

I think a lot of them got on the ferry to Belize.

This is the largest government building I have seen so far in all the towns I have visited in Mexico.   I haven't been to many big cities.    Perhaps the cars belonged to government workers? 

Driving along the oceanfront, we came across this extraordinary building.   There are no signs telling us what it is, no people in it, on it or near it, and it doesn't look as though it has finished being built.   Can anyone tell me what this is?    My guess is, it is about  6 stories high. 

While in Chetumal we realized we were very close to Yax-Ha RV resort.   We stopped in to check it out.   This is the entrance to the ocean from the campground.   It looks like boats can come in through here. 

They have a lovely swimming pool and nice bathrooms.   

There is a restaurant inside the campgrounds (as well as several more just down the road).
They charge 250 pesos a night, but by the week it is cheaper and works out to 200 pesos per night.    We haven't decided if we will turtle on down the road to spend a couple of nights here or not.   We are quite smitten with the Lagun de los siete colores.   

I have been missing the roadside fruit stands since being in the Mayan Riviera.   They can be found if you go off the main strip, but they are not near as convenient as we are used to. 

Heading back out of Chetumal we drove past a large shopping plaza, that even has an Applebee's.   It seems there would be no shortage of places to shop and eat when camping at Yax-Ha. 

These workers were amazing to watch.   They climbed up a ladder onto this building with pails full of cement on their heads.


On the way north again, we stopped in at Cenote Azul.  It is very deep and looks inviting.    There are a couple of restaurants surrounding it.   Divers can descend in here  

and ascend in the Laguna de Los Sieta Colores on the other side of those trees, very close to the campground in Bacalar that we are staying at.

We were enjoying our drive about so much we decided to head all the way over to Majahual to check out their campground as well.    That was another hour drive.   By the time we got there, we were sorry we took on so much in one day.      

They have Cabanas that they rent out for 300 pesos a night.   RVers are charged 100 pesos per person per night, plus 60 pesos per day if you use electricity.  The electricity is only 40 pesos per day if you don't use it during the day.   It is a tranquil spot, almost on the beach.   When the cruise ships come in, it gets crazy busy along the Costa Maya strip that runs between the campsites and the ocean. 

mmmmm.....fresh lobster.   This man just climbed out of a boat and headed for the restaurant.   We stopped to eat, before these lobsters were caught.   We had fresh Red Snapper and shrimp in our tacos.   After eating we were somewhat revitalized and headed back. 

We took a quick detour to have a look at the neighbourhood we considered buying a house in 6 years ago.   They were just being built and were 30,000 dollars back then, and are now 39,000 dollars.   

We only had one more campground to check out and it was on the way back.   Laguna Azul was about 3 kilometers down this road through the jungle. 

On the main road before turning onto this dirt road, there were several pineapple stands.   There were no other fruits or vegetables at any of them.   We realized why when we came across this stretch of  pineapple fields.   

Neither of us had ever seen a pineapple plant before and if we didn't actually stop and pick one, we would not have known what they were. 

Laguna Azul Campgrounds is on the Laguna de los Sieta Colores, but the colour looked more like a northern Ontario Lake.   At this end of the lagoon, the shoreline is much higher.   Apparently, the rains in August were heavy and the run-off poured so much mud into the lagoon that the blue colours are just recently starting to come back.   

There were no campers here, but it was lovely.   The owner is an elderly man named Heinz, who moved down here from Ontario 17 years ago.     They have no electricity or water hookups, but do have hot showers, nice bathrooms and a dumping station.    In keeping with the jungle atmosphere, there is a restaurant down this path.     Rvers can camp for 75 pesos a night. 

He has one bedroom cabins, with a table and a bathroom that he charges 500 pesos per night for.   There were no people in them either.   It felt a little bit like we were in a horror movie.... 

The very best part of the day was about 1 kilometer back down the dirt road.    I may be crippled up all night long from overdoing it today...but I don't care, the experience I was about to have was worth it.


I have to admit, I did not take this picture.  I downloaded it from the internet.   We did however see a beautiful black jaguar walk across the road about 20 yards in front of us on our way out of Laguna Azul Campground.   I was so shocked, I didn't even think to stick my head out of the car window and try to take a picture!   

The conversation went something like this:

Gerry: "what the heck....what is that?  It can't be a cat"

Brenda: "holy crap that's a jaguar!"

Gerry:  "holy crap it IS A JAGUAR!"

Brenda:  "wow!, just wow! That was a friggin jaguar!  I want to sit here and watch to see if  it comes back out again!"

We drove up to the spot the jaguar walked into the jungle and tried to peer in.  The jungle was so thick...we couldn't see anything.    It was so fleeting a moment, we could hardly believe we really saw it.   

Me:  "Now all I want to do for the rest of the week is hang around on the back roads in the jungle watching for jaguars!" 

Gerry:  "most people who live in Mexico can't even say they have seen a jaguar, so we can count ourselves lucky."

I wish I had thought fast enough to try to get a picture.   


  1. Wow, cool seeing a Jaguar.
    Were there any campers at Chetumal or Majuhual?
    Did you come across Doug & Marsha in the red van at Majahual?
    Could you get your RV into Laguna Azul? Worth it?

    1. Yes, there were campers at both those places, Doug & Marsha were alone at Majahual and there were two rvers from Quebec at Chetumal.

      We would have no problem driving down the road to Laguna Azul, however, the Laguna is not Azul at the moment because of the run-off. Gerry was turned off by the colour of it, and says he doesn't want to go there this year. However, I think the place is magical, blue lagoon or no blue lagoon. We saw a jaguar there!!! Imagine the rest of the wildlife. The birds must be amazing.

  2. Incredible!! Only you would go a stick your head down the path a giant killing machine just walked down though...

    1. Well, to be fair...we stayed in the car to peer through the jungle, and there was no path.

  3. haha, right on. I didn't realize they were spotted, I thought they were full black. That's a great photo, even if it's not yours. I 50% really want to see one and 50% absolutely do not want to see one when we're there

  4. Thanks for all the checking out of campgrounds. It's been four years since we were in that area. We actually spent 2-3 weeks in Chetumal dry camping for free about 3kms past the RV park there. There is a lady who lets people camp on her property providing they are self contained, she even has a dumpstation, she used to be an RVer herself and had driven her RV all the way to Panama many years ago.

    You were definitely very lucky to have seen a Jaguar. Maybe one day we will too.

    Kevin and Ruth