Next to the airport, Yumká (Ranchería Las Barrancas s/n, tel. 993/356-0107, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$4.75 adults, $2.50 children) is Villahermosa’s attempt at an eco-park. Named after “the elf that watches over the plants and animals in between the wetlands and the jungle,” Yumká is basically a glorified throwback to the African Lion Safari theme parks that were so popular in the United States in the 1970s.
Divided into three sections—a guided walk through the jungle, a ride through the savanna on a tractor-pulled trolley, and a boat ride on a lagoon—visitors see monkeys, jaguars, hippos, giraffes, elephants, and birds. Between the tractor, the outboard motor, and the 747s taking off next door, however, it’s not exactly an eco-adventure.
The park offers shuttle service on weekends and holidays only (US$1.50 pp, each way), departing from the entrance of Parque-Museo La Venta at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, and 1:30 p.m. A taxi from downtown costs US$14–17.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition