The Colonial lakes are located 73 kilometers from Comitán in the small town of Cristóbal Colón. This area known as the municipality of La Trinitaria is not only warmer, but increasingly scenic as you continue towards Guatemala. The lakes are composed of the Lagartero river and provide 44 very different pools from clear to bright blue in color. It also has 3 streams, waterfalls, 3 rivers, and a system of caves called “Grutas del Arco”, which I did not have the chance to explore this trip. The area is quite commercialized in places yet also very wild and untamed in others.
Getting to these brilliant blue enigmatic pools was a little tricky. From Comitan, Mexico we hopped into a small van at the comvi-station, the fee was 50 pesos or $3usd and it dropped us into town. From the drop site we could either take a taxi or hop into another van, we choose the latter and were whisked around all the little adjacent villages. Unfortunately the cost for this economic little journey was 25 pesos or $1.5usd, hmmm. The fee for the park was 25 pesos or about another buck and a half. On the way back from the lakes we were worried about getting a ride and after a short wait, it was decided to jump into an escort truck with a direct shot into town. This was somewhat again costly at 50 pesos or $3usd, however it’s a couple dollars and my friend said last time they waited forever for transport. Personally I’d rather shell out a couple bucks then anxiously wait for a better price.
Also known as the lakes of Columbus, of the 44 different colored pools that the area boasts, we probably only toured half. I actually swam in two of the clearest before the weather turned, and enjoyed the fish spa treatments. The water was cool, yet I wouldn’t call it cold and certain parts were portioned off by rope to protect the flora and fauna. I had of course brought plenty of gear, but there is no need for a mask when the pool is translucent and you can see all the fish. The pools are variable in depth which can provide an eerie mystique, staring into this unfathomable abyss.
Of course one of my favorite things about touring Chiapas is the “but wait there’s more” aspect. Here also lies the archeological zone of the Lagartero which is said to have been occupied in the year 300 d. C., the early classic period until the late Postclassic, between 1200 and 1400 AD. C. The ruins have been rebuilt around the erosion of time and therefore betray a classic and somewhat comical sag. It reminded me of the first time I made a cake, when the picture in your head kinda doesn’t turn out the way you were thinking. The Mayans here were quite inventive and used the waters to build canals to support farming in the region. Less than a kilometer from the main lakes the site is home to three main structures and of course a ball court. The area around the ruins is a treat for the eyes and locals gather here for a refreshing dip as the site is free of charge.
Though the Lagos de Colon is usually overlooked by most tourists it is definitely worthy of a day-trip or an overnight, with cabins starting at 600 pesos or $32usd. Shadowed in fame by the Lagos de Montebello, you will find Lagos de Colon a unique refuge with plenty of space to reflect and rejuvenate your soul. “A place of wild and incomparable beauty, with shaded riversides by some of the majestic trees of the tropical forests , water as clear as glass and fish a foot long, swimming as calmly as if the hooks did not exist ” explorer John L. Stephens 19th century.