Things to do in
Chiapas

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Our most recommended things to do in Chiapas

Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

1. Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

Marvel at the majestic walls of the Sumidero Canyon on this 5-hour excursion that feels like a journey back in time. Tours depart from the Algrano Cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas. After a transfer to the jetty, take a boat to the canyon. Be on the lookout for crocodiles, monkeys and a wide variety of birds. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the colonial city of Chiapa de Corzo. Take some time to browse the numerous shops that offer local craft items. Continue to San Cristobal de las Casas, where the tour ends.

From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

2. From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

Following pick-up from your hotel in San Cristóbal de las Casas, head towards the ancient Maya city of Palenque and stop at the amazing waterfalls of Agua Azul along the way. Gaze in awe at the cascades, formed by the currents of the Otulún, Shumuljá and Tulijá rivers and shallow canyons banked by vertical cliffs. Get the chance to cool down with a swim, time permitting, and marvel at the different areas and landscapes of the natural wonder. Continue to the waterfalls of Misol-Ha, where the water can rise to heights of up to 30 meters in the natural rainforest surroundings. Then, discover the ruins of the Maya civilization at the archaeological site of Palenque. Admire the impressive buildings and structures of the former city state, including the Temple of the Foliated Cross and Temple of the Sun in the stunning Temple of the Cross group of step pyramids. Return to San Cristóbal at the end of the day for drop off at a central location.

Yaxchilan & Bonampak Ruins and Lacandon Jungle from Palenque

3. Yaxchilan & Bonampak Ruins and Lacandon Jungle from Palenque

Benefit from early morning pick-up at your hotel in Palenque, and drive to the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Bonampak, first seen by non-Mayans in 1946. Upon arrival, get 2 hours to explore the site and look at its famous murals. Enjoy a breakfast buffet on the road, and venture into the lush green rainforest of the Lacandon Jungle. Declared a natural monument on August 21, 1992, the forest extends over some 4,357 hectares and is still inhabited by the Lacandon Maya people. Encounter refreshing streams and marvel at the endemic flora and fauna of the dense countryside. Upon your departure from Bonampak, take a 30-minute drive towards the frontier town of Frontera Corozal. Then, take a 1-hour boat trip to the hidden ruins of Yaxchilan, also known as "The City of Green Stones.” Once one of the most powerful Maya states along the Usumacinta River, the site is known for its decorative walls and the ruins of “The Labyrinth,” a temple with rooms spread over 3 levels and linked by interior stairways.  Get 2 hours to explore the complex and unravel some of the mysteries of its palaces, temples and public plazas. Then, journey back to Palenque and get dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour services.

Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

4. Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

Learn more about the everyday lives and ancient beliefs of the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people on an amazing day trip from San Cristóbal de las Casas. Travel in air-conditioned comfort to the town of San Juan Chamula to get a better understanding of the mix of contemporary culture and ancient traditions that gives the town its unique aspect. Continue to Zinacantán, where the majority of the population are Tzotzil Maya indigenous people. Visit the church and the home of a family co-operative, where you will be welcomed with a regional drink and can watch the women at work on pre-Columbian waist looms. Get invited into their kitchen to taste their traditional handmade tortillas before the return journey to San Cristóbal de las Casas.

From San Cristobal: Palenque, Cascadas Agua Azul, & Misol-Ha

5. From San Cristobal: Palenque, Cascadas Agua Azul, & Misol-Ha

Get picked up early in the morning in San Cristobal de las Casas and begin your tour. Stop at a traditional Mexican restaurant and enjoy a delicious breakfast.  After, head to a set of waterfalls named "Cascadas de Agua Azul," created by the currents of the Otulún, Shumuljá, and Tulijá rivers. See shallow canyons with vertical cliffs. Go for a swim and enjoy the different views that surround you.  Continue to the Misol-Ha Waterfalls which are 30 meters high and surrounded by a tropical jungle, making this a beautiful and refreshing place. Then stop at the archaeological site of Palenque where a professional tour guide will accompany you in this historic site. Admire The Palace, The Temple of the Foliated Cross, The Temple of the Sun, and other famous sites in this Mayan city known for its architectural and sculptural heritage. After, reflect on your fun-filled day as you head back to San Cristobal de Las Casas to get dropped off.

San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

6. San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

Start this full-day adventure into the wilderness of Chiapas with a morning pick-up from your hotel in San Cristobal. Drive to the impressive El Chiflon Waterfalls near the colonial city of Comitan, and hike an approximate 1-mile (1.5 kilometers) to the top of the multi-staged cascades, surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Known for creating the impression of a pair of “angel’s wings” that appear to emerge from the mountain, the falls also offer striking turquoise waters that you can take a dip in at the end of your walk. Continue to Montebello Lakes, a collection of 52 crystal clear lakes surrounded by pine forest. Here, you can dive into the refreshing blue waters, and even cross in a cayuco (a small, rustic wooden raft) to see beautiful orchids. In total, you will visit about 5 to 7 of the main lakes to experience the contrasting colors, which can vary from dark green, to bright emerald, turquoise, and even purple or red, depending on the mineral content. You will then be transferred back to San Cristobal for a drop off at your hotel, or the Zocalo (Plaza 31 de Marzo) if you prefer.

Palenque: Bonampak Site and Rafting in the Lacandona Jungle

7. Palenque: Bonampak Site and Rafting in the Lacandona Jungle

Begin your 13-hour outdoor adventure with a pick up at your accommodation in Palenque. Enjoy the ride, in an air-conditioned minivan, to the Lacanjá River in Lacandona Jungle and take a short breakfast stop on the way.  Surrounded by the gorgeous Lacandona Jungle, the Lacanjá River is the perfect place to get a taste of Chiapas’ nature and fascinating cultural heritage. First, explore the beautiful surroundings on your way down the Lacanjá River. Your expert guide will teach you about the ways of the river and explain how to safely raft down it. Enjoy being swept across the water as you admire the surrounding jungle. Keep an eye out for creatures of the jungle, like the monkeys playing in the trees. In the afternoon, enjoy a satisfying lunch. Then, stretch your legs on a brief hike through the jungle. Listen as your guide tells you all about the native flora and fauna. Next, make your way to Bonampak, an ancient Mayan archaeological site. Immerse yourself in history as you navigate the grounds, which were built as early as 580 AD. Learn about the Temple of Murals, which is a long narrow building with interior walls containing well-preserved Mayan paintings. Reflect on your exciting day on the ride back to Palenque, which ends at your accommodation. 

Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

8. Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

This 12-hour tour takes you from San Cristobal de las Casas in the morning to Lagos de Montebello. Head first to the Chiflón waterfall, a natural freefall of water surrounded by reeds and palm groves. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Montebello Lakes in a nature reserve that is Mexico's most beautiful lake district. The reserve comprises acres of pines, oaks and rainforest where, weather permitting, there will be the opportunity to enjoy views of the many lakes and the varying colors of the waters. After visiting this picturesque natural environment, the tour returns to San Cristobal de Las Casas, arriving in the early evening.

From Tuxtla Gutierrez: Sumidero Canyon & San Cristobal Tour

9. From Tuxtla Gutierrez: Sumidero Canyon & San Cristobal Tour

Wonderful journey through time, as you contemplate the majestic walls of the Sumidero canyon. Departure from the hotel or reception at the first class bus station, to go to the jetty, where you will take a boat that will take you to the wonderful walk in the bowels of the Sumidero Canyon, where you can admire its flora, fauna (crocodiles , Monkeys, infinity of birds, among other species). Later they will go to the colonial city of Chiapa de Corzo, time to realize the Visit and to make purchases of crafts. Continuation to San Cristobal de las Casas. A unique experience, that you should not miss!

Agua Azul & Palenque Ruins: Full-Day Tour from San Cristobal

10. Agua Azul & Palenque Ruins: Full-Day Tour from San Cristobal

Your full-day tour leaves San Cristobal de las Casas for the 90-minute transfer to Agua Azul. When you reach this series of glittering cascades you’ll have free time to immerse yourself in the pools, and later you’ll see Misol Ha, the highest waterfall in Mexico. In the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountains you’ll marvel at Agua Azul, a series of cascades and shallow pools of limestone-rich water. You can follow the movement of the water down a series of natural dams to the point where it ends the clear, waist-deep Shumulhá River. During April and May, the dry months, the water is a shimmering blue due the high amount of limestone present. In the rainy season the color is diluted because of the increased volume of water. These beautiful cascades continue on for miles across lush valleys and canyons. The Mayan archaeological site at Palenque is your next stop on the tour. Palenque was a Mayan city-state that flourished during the 7th century. The ruins that have been unearthed date as far back as 226 B.C, with the most recent dating to the fall of Palenque, which occurred around 1123 A.D. Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than some of the major Mayan sites, but it contains some of the finest Mayan architecture, sculpture, and bas-relief carvings found to date.

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What people are saying about Chiapas

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 221 reviews

Leaving San Cristobal around 9am with the Spanish-speaking group, we changed minibuses when we arrived in Tuxtla Gutierrez to join the English-speaking guide Eduardo, who was very friendly. The cruise in the canyon is absolutely beautiful. We saw crocodiles, herons and pelicans, but on the other hand the spider monkeys remained hidden. We continued with the visit of Chiapa del Corso where we had lunch. Some beautiful squares with large kapok trees. Finally the visit ended with the viewpoints (miradors) on the canyon which give beautiful photos. Return to San Cristobal around 6 p.m.

The pick up was an hour late without any communication, which was frustrating as we could have grabbed a coffee or something instead of just waiting in the dark. The driving was a little crazy, but that seemed to be the case in the whole region. The trip itself was really great. They provided an English translator that gave us information on the boat as well as a personal walking tour in Chiapa de Corzo. Canyon was beautiful. Look out points were cool. Had an amazing buffet lunch at a local spot in Chiapa de Corzo. The logistics just could have been improved.

Well organised trip, we were picked up in time, a nice guide and driver, and they were vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch. The day is long from Palenque but we thought it was definitely worth it! Only thing is that the « get your guide » app was saying we could not get picked up from our hotel as it was not in the pick up area, but we contacted the local travel agency directly by whatsapp and there was no problem- so do double check if the same happen to you!

The round trip is long, but worth it. The transportation is a van and it takes 5 hours to go, and 5 hours to return, but if you do not have the option of staying in Palenque, and you have to go and return to San Cristobal, it is a great option. You have to consider bringing water, and money for lunch.

We had an amazing day visiting the canyon and Chiapa de Corzo. Our guide Eduardo was brilliant and so kind to translate the tour into English for us. A really memorable and special day, would definitely recommend!