Our Treehouse in the Mexican Jungle

A beautiful disaster

Jessica Jungton
Jul 3, 2018 · 5 min read

When I was a child, I dreamed of living in a treehouse in the jungle. Some little girls wanted ponies or castles, but I wanted to live in the rainforest.

Every year, we go backpacking in the Canadian wilderness so I thought with electricity and flush toilets this would be easy and comfortable. I was wrong.

The Pros

This was the epitome of a full jungle experience, but with some modern comforts. The bed was comfortable and the room was clean. The tree house felt secluded, safe and private, more-so than a tent.

The best part of these accommodations is that they are only a five minute walk from Las Pozas, our main reason for visiting Xilitla.

The Colony

The cons for these accomadations can be summed up in one word: bugs.

The cabin was not sealed, with large gaps in the floorboards, walls and doors, many insects came inside to hang out with us.

There was a hornet nest and a huge spider and web in the women’s bathroom so I used the men’s. Although there are three treehouses, Evan and I were the only ones staying that night and he didn’t mind. We also came across many bugs I’ve never seen before in my life. A cricket/locust with a body larger than my thumb landed on me. It felt heavy.

Although Mexico has many large creepy crawlies, no pest caused a greater distress to us than the ants.

We noticed maybe a dozen ants the night we arrived, but it wasn’t until the next morning that there were hundreds of ants in the treehouse with us. What were they after? Let’s play a game. The ants very clearly were after one of the items we brought. Can you guess what it was?

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Sealed snacks
  3. Dirty laundry
  4. Banana
  5. Apples
  6. Bathing suits
  7. Our sneakers
  8. Deodorant
  9. Lip Gloss
  10. Toothpaste

Is you guessed #6 — my BATHING SUIT — you are correct! The morning before we went to the Pozas, I was excited to put on my brand new bathing suit. I opened my backpack that was sitting pretty on the chair with no signs of trouble. I took out a shirt and some items, none of which had ants on them.

Then I took out the bathing suit bottoms. Black ants on a black bathing suit aren’t noticeable at first, especially without my glasses, so I didn’t immediately figure out what was going on. I just saw that the bathing suit appeared to be moving in my hand. I focused, saw dozens of ants, screamed out of surprise, throwing the bathing suit across the room. And this point dozens more ants start coming out of the backpack.

Although not usually too bothered by bugs, I was in shock. Thankfully, Evan came to my rescue and took each item out of my backpack, shook it off and put it aside.

There were hundreds of ants. Some of them were carrying what looking like uncooked rice over their heads.

“You must have spilled rice into the backpack.”

“No, I was so careful not to have any food in there. Besides, there is no reason why we would even have had rice in that bag,”

But the evidence was there. Dozens of ants holding rice over their heads. Despite us disrupting their party, the ants weren’t aggressive and none of them bit us. I got a closer look at one of the ants.

“I don’t think that’s rice. It’s kind of see-through with a little black thing in the middle.”

“What would that even be?”

“I think it might be baby ants.”

That’s right, a colony of ants decided to fully move into my backpack, babies and all. I was the ant queen with my very own army.

There was a two-piece bathing suit and a one-piece, both purchased from the same place, both never worn, each with hundreds of ants. The ants were not interested in the other pieces of clothing. And our table full of carefully sealed snacks and fruit was completely untouched.

Evan shook off the ants and put the suits in a bag that we sealed. That was the end of our ant colony but I can still feel them crawling on me.

We debated finding a hotel for the next night but stuck it out in the safety of our mosquito net.


We found the treehouse on Airbnb for $40 a night. We still don’t know if this was for one treehouse or all three.

Final Thoughts

I had a love/hate relationship with our treehouse. I’m glad we stayed there and it made for great stories, but I was terrified the first night and morning. If bugs do not bother you at all, then you need to stay here. If you like a barrier between the indoors and outdoors of the jungle, I’d look elsewhere.

For more information on a trip to Xilitla, including how to get there and what else you need to see and eat, click on the post below for links to all of the articles.

Jessica Jungton

Written by

I paint landscapes in portrait and smile at strangers.

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