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The lake is where it shines
Tóxcatl is in a privileged area
The Tuxtlas mountain range is a place that stands out in the american continent. Due to its strategic location, It is a refuge for an enormous number of animal and plant species and a place where ancient cultures thrived. More than 5 thousand years ago, the olmecs, one of the oldest civilizations in the continent, settled in this area.
Today, náhuatl and popoluca are still spoken in the region.
The Catemaco lake is 11 km long by 8 wide (6.8 x 5 ml) and stands at 340 m. (1115 ft.) above sea level. The climate is tropical, with the lowest temperatures in January between 17 and 25 C (62.6 and 77 F) and the highest in July between 23 and 33 C (73.4 and 91.4 F)
(See full charts below)
HOW TO GET THERE:
If you want to go by motor boat, it´s a fantastic way to arrive!
Here is how:
Don Pedro Betaza and his son Pedro Jr.
Are our boat drivers, located right in front of the ADO bus station at the end of the Malecón.
They will charge you $300 pesos to take you directly to Tóxcatl across the water. Tell them it´s right after the small heron´s island (Isla chica de las garzas). There, Don Jesús will be expecting you by the shore. This is an adventure, so be ready to put on your rubber sandals and roll up your pants to step into the water to disembark. Sandals are useful because pebbles are uncomfortable if you are barefoot and there is some mud too. About crocodiles, don't worry, they are well behaved.
If you feel like touring around by water, you can ask Don Pedro to come get you at the date and time of your choice and they have a number of interesting destinations to propose to you. You can choose some of them or all of them. There are for example 3 monkey islands, each with different kinds of monkeys: The Macaques, the spider monkeys and the Saraguatos or howling monkeys. Then, you have a place where you can get a facial with naturally occurring greenish mud, there is a place where a shaman can give you a spiritual cleansing and then we have right across our land two great white heron islands which can be visited up close. The tour would cost you $500 pesos.
Also, if you want them to come and get you on the day of your departure, ask them to come to Tóxcatl and take you back into town.
PLANNING YOUR STAY:
There are restaurants in Catemaco with great local food, but to prepare your sojourn at Toxcatl, the market and small supermarkets have food. There is good fish and you can easily find it in the market or at the fish depot, where fishermen take their fish to sell. Don't forget garlic and herbs to grill it, found with the ¨marchantas¨ outside the market. Don't forget to take drinking water too.
Since Toxcatl is like a place for a retreat, it's wise to do your shopping before you get there. You might eve bring ingredients from the place you are coming from, prior to Catemaco. It's nicer if you don't have to go into town too often just for shopping, specially if you don't have a car or a boat. On the other hand, if you want, you can make a deal with a fisherman to bring you fresh fish at your ¨door¨or to come and get you to take you into town by boat and then bring you back with your groceries... Now, that's real luxury in the jungle!
¿What clothes to bring? Our region is always warm all year round and quite hot in the summer, as is the case in the tropics. You can check the weather chart under ¨How to get there¨, if you want to be cautious. Rains can be an unforgettable experience: Here, the clouds are not joking when it rains. We recommend you bring boots if you like hiking and exploring and sandals for around the cabin. We are lucky to be quite free form mosquitos, but sometimes when it gets hot, some of them materialize. Don't forget hats and sun-block lotion, specially if you get enthralled watching nature as you kayak around. If you happen to come to the monkey islands, don't disembark lest our furry cousins think you are bringing food, which should not be done, since they receive a special monkey diet. Unfortunately many visitors give them junk food and they are getting fat and decadent like those who give it to them.
When you arrive at Toxcatl, our caretaker Don Jesús, will be there
to open the gate and welcome you.
I will let him know your arrival time, but if unsure, you could also call him.
His cell phone number is (294) 1008110
La Casona restaurant
Right across from the Central Park and the church, oposite the municipal palace
And huge jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) grows in Tóxcatl. It belongs to the moraceae family and comes from Asia. Those who are ready to discover new frontiers will be able to taste this delicacy, well known in Thailand, India, the Philipines and very expensive in the streets of New York...
It is the national plant of Bangladesh.
But mind your head when they fall!
Pinpoint the jack fruit tree as you take a stroll.
Bird shit is safer
compared to a jack fruit falling on your hat...
The tree is located between the cabin
and Don Alejandro's house
The armadillo looks a bit like a jack fruit
And this is the Apompo fruit, attractive but not eatable
Small dinosaurs hide well to escape from us,
You might get a glimpse of red guacamayas,
green parrot flocks...
or even a toucan on a branch
You may even hear the howling monkey, a shy fellow who likes our jack fruits...
And herons here, are far from being an endangered species
This is an archaeological zone as well
If you are seriously interested in the Olmecs and the ancient cultures of the region, on your way to Catemaco, stop over in Xalapa and visit the excellent anthropology museum.
You will then appreciate our area better.
Tóxcatl was one of the most important ceremonies celebrated by the aztecs. It was done to honour the god Tezcatlipoca, their main divinity.
You have 3 choices:
Look us up under Toxcatl in Catemaco and follow the path...
Banco BBVA Bancomer
Go to a BBVA bank and deposit to the card # 4461183000211316
The account holder is Martin I. P. G. Vinaver López
(The only bank in Catemaco is BBVA)
If you choose to pay at the bank, take the receipt and...
at an internet cafe, have it scanned and sent to
so we can welcome you at Toxcatl
You can bake bread, pizzas and other goodies in our wood-heated oven !
Don Jesús, the caretaker will get the oven going for you, but please give him $50 pesos every time he fires it up. Besides his time, this will also take care of the firewood he chops for the oven.
To start heating up the oven, Don Jesús will make a fire inside it, adding some thicker pieces of wood to get hot coals, which will achieve the desired temperature - shown with the thermostat.