Welcome to Laguna Miramar
Ringed by rainforest, pristine Laguna Miramar, 140km southeast of Ocosingo in the Reserva de la Biosfera Montes Azules (Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve), is one of Mexico’s most remote and exquisite lakes. Frequently echoing with the roars of howler monkeys, the 16-sq-km lake is bathtub-warm and virtually unpolluted. Rock ledges extending from three small islands make blissful wading spots, and petroglyphs and a turtle cave are reachable by canoe. The area is rich in wildlife. As you swim you might find yourself being ogled by spider monkeys, tapirs, macaws and toucans; butterflies are also prolific. Locals fish for mojarra (perch), and will assure you that the lake’s few crocodiles are not dangerous. Well, not that dangerous anyway! Take note though: getting to the lake can be a real mission. Don't bother coming unless you have several days at your disposal.
The lake is accessible thanks to a successful ecotourism project in the small Maya community of Emiliano Zapata, near its western shore. If you arrive independently, ask for the Comité de Turismo or El Presidente. Through this representative you must arrange and pay for the services you need: a guide plus the day-use fee and rental of a cayuco (traditional canoe) for exploring the lake comes to M$400 a day. Sleeping bags, hammocks and tents are available to rent (M$200 per person) and, for groups, local women can be hired to purchase and cook your food at the lake. Bring cash to cover your expenses. The 7km walk from Emiliano Zapata to the lake, through milpas (cornfields) and forest that includes caoba (mahogany) and the matapalo (strangler fig) trees, takes at least 1½ hours and can be very muddy (the walk can take much longer if the mud is in an especially thick and sticky mood) – good closed shoes are highly recommended.