This picturesque fishing village is the doorway to one of the natural wonders in the state of Yucatán: the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. Seafood delicacies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the most wonderful sunsets, and beaches that could become your private island: are you ready to discover this place? We are talking about San Felipe, only 200 km from Mérida.
One of San Felipe’s unique characteristics is the way the houses are built, and it might be the only town that has something completely different from Maya style houses. You can see one of these original houses on our cover photo. They are all built from wood! They used to be made of cedar and mahogany, but there are only a few of these left. The majority of the wood houses are on the main street. In order to survive in our tropical climate, they must be built with hard woods, like the zapote, chacté or ki’ché (local trees), because these woods are shunned by the “comején” (termites). A long time ago, the wood from the mangroves was used, but this is now prohibited and the mangroves are protected.
Something that makes these houses even more original, are the colors of their walls. Because of the weather, they use a kind of varnish for the façades, some with or without color. So you be can see houses painted in pink, blue, green and every color of the rainbow! This makes San Felipe one of the most visually cheerful towns in the state of Yucatán. There are more than 500 of these houses in San Felipe.
While visiting San Felipe, don’t miss Cerritos Island, antique trading post of the Itzáes (Maya), located only 5 km west of San Felipe. From here the city of Chichén Itzá had a commercial route that went as far as the southwestern US. Did you know that more than 50,000 archaeological items have been found here?
You can also visit the Kambulnah cenote, not known before 2002 (some say it was known, but others no). One thing is for certain: after Hurricane Isidoro it was known by everyone! This spring-style cenote is ideal for swimming.
To do these kinds of tours, and to go to the beach, you must take a touristic boat from the boardwalk of San Felipe. Remember to take snacks and beverages with you, and of course arrange your pick-up time with the fisherman. This way you will be able to enjoy your almost-private beach for a few hours.
San Felipe is an eco-touristic destination because of the variety of fauna. You will be able to see many of the 350 species of birds such as the beautiful flamingos, as well as turtles, foxes, ducks, and more. Its waters contain lobsters, octopus, grouper, and other delicacies, all part of the local delicious gastronomy.
When you go to this lovely seaside town, you can stay at the Hotel San Felipe de Jesús. From here you will be able to see the wonderful sunsets that go from reds to blues, on the most beautiful palette of colors that you thought imaginable.
Editorial by Natalia Bejarano Calero
Photo by Armando Ruz Peraza
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