Although San Cristóbal de las Casas is not a large city by any means, we have quickly grown accustomed to living in an urban environment. We can mark the time by the loudspeaker of the water jug truck coming down the street, and our excursions involve mostly navigating narrow sidewalks to avoid the flow of traffic around us. However, as we were pleased to discover, just beyond the northern beltway, the sights and sounds of the city melt away into the tranquility of bubbling streams and hanging orchids.
The trip to Orquídeas Moxviquil OM is literally a breath of fresh air. It is only short walk north of the main city market and could be reached by foot from the center of town without too much trouble. OM’s mission is to work with the local community to preserve and protect the wild forests around the city as well as make the forest accessible through recreation and education. With our hiking boots laced tight, we were thrilled to tackle their 1.5 mile nature trail.
Having been a bit removed from nature as of late, we truly loved every minute of our trek through the forest. Using the paper trail guide and the many informative signs along the way, we learned quite a bit about the native plants and the many types of epiphytes, including orchids. Most of all though, we enjoyed the thrill of exploring a new kind of forest and soaking in the sounds of nature uninterrupted by motor vehicles.
When we finally wrapped up our wonderful hike, we took a last look at the city framed by rolling hills and green leaves. It felt good to know that if we needed another break from urban life, refuge would be just a short walk away.