Nahá is a good place to observe and learn about Lacandón culture and lifestyle, while Metzabok has somewhat richer outdoor opportunities. A highlight for many visitors is a meeting and ritual ceremony with Don Antonio (US$30 per group, advance notice required), an octogenarian spiritual leader and successor to the great now-deceased Lacandón shaman Chan Kin Viejo.
Nahá also has a modest museum (US$1, by appointment only) with photos and artifacts explaining Lacandón history, beliefs, and practices. Signage is in Spanish, with some English translations.
Local guides lead visitors on nature outings of various types and lengths, as well, charging around US$20–50 per group, but highly variable depending on what you’d like to do. There’s a short (two-kilometer) nature trail that leads from the village to Laguna Nahá. There, it’s possible to canoe around the lake, whose reed-filled shallows and curving tree-shaded banks offer fine bird-watching.
There’s also a waterfall within walking distance, and plenty of numerous opportunities to see and learn more about the rich rainforest flora, including medicinal plants.
At the time of research, Nahá’s tourism contacts were Miguel and Kin García (tel. 55/5150-5953 or 916/341-4473), who can help make advance arrangements for your visit. Alternatively, call or visit the Palenque office of the Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, Prolongación Av. Juárez 1085, Barrio La Cañada, tel. 916/345-0967, naha [at] conanp [dot] gob [dot] mx, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri.), which oversees the reserve and tourism there. It’s best to go (or call) on Monday or Tuesday, as the regional specialists typically are in the field the rest of the week.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition