The beautiful jungle park Villa Luz mixes botanical wonders with sulphur-blue waterfalls, blind 'sardines' living in dark caves, swimming pools, monkeys, wobbly bridges, a sniff of history and a boat ride. Not bad for just a half-day outing!
The park is a five-minute boat ride (per person round-trip M$50) along the Río Oxolotán from the village embarcadero (boat landing) – you may have to get local boys to whistle a boat up for you.
From the landing, it’s a 1km walk to the park’s Casa Museo, the former country villa of Tomás Garrido Canabal, the rabidly anticlerical governor of Tabasco in the 1920s and ’30s (he demolished Villahermosa’s 18th-century baroque cathedral, banned alcohol and gave women the vote). From here other paths lead 600m to the cascadas (beautiful waterfalls tumbling into a river, with pools for a refreshing dip) and 900m to the Cueva de las Sardinas Ciegas (Cave of the Blind Sardines), named for the sightless fish that inhabit the sulfurous river inside the cave. You’re not permitted to go more than a few steps down into the cave because of the strong odors. You need about two hours to walk the 5km required to see the waterfalls (unless you arrange to be dropped off beneath them), house and cave, and longer in rainy season, when the paths turn muddy. There are a few snack bars but outside weekends and holidays don't rely on them being open.
Official guides can be found hanging around Tapijulapa plaza. They charge in the region of M$250 for a half-day tour with all transport and guiding in and around the park.