During this summer vacations, I had the chance to make a road trip around the most beautiful parts of Chiapas. For me, it was the second time to visit this State; however, the whole experience was still amazing and breathtaking because of Chiapas, like other States in Mexico, has its unique vibe. But before jumping into my list of places that you MUST visit, I would like to make a little introduction about this State so that you can understand what I mean by saying “unique vibe.”
What is Chiapas?
Chiapas is a beautiful State located in the southeast part of Mexico. It is bordered north by the State of Tabasco, west side by the State of Veracruz and Oaxaca, and by Guatemala country to the east. At the south, it has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean.
In general, it has a humid tropical weather since within its territory we can find the Lacandon Jungle (the largest rainforest in North America which is the home of endangered species like the spider monkey, tapir, eagle, red macaw, and the near-threatened Jaguars). This weather along with the jungle, make Chiapas a place where you can have a nice hike around nature while enjoying the diversity of flora and fauna. Moreover, an interesting fact to mention is that Chiapas is the third State with the largest population of indigenous groups (after Yucatan and Oaxaca). Meaning that we can still listen to people talking to each other in their native Mayan dialect (which is an enjoyable experience for even Mexican people) and that we can also see traditional costumes worn by indigenous populations.
As you all might have already imagined, Chiapas is full of culture and history, but I will talk something about this in between the lines. LET’S GET STARTED!
Places to practice Ecotourism,
If you are looking for a beautiful place with hints of the great Mayan civilization and a piece of adventure, then this is the ideal location for you. Considered one of the most important archeological sites in Mesoamerica, Palenque extends itself on the Northeast side of Chiapas. To visit this place, you can either hire a tourist guide who will explain you the city’s history, tell you interesting facts about the king’s life and show you around OR…you can choose to do ecotourism, and explore it by yourself!!. You can have an entertaining adventure looking for un-excavated constructions that are still hidden inside the Lacandona Jungle while you hear the howler monkey somewhere inside the woods. Close by; there is also a waterfall. Make sure you check it out!!
Where to eat in Palenque? Street food is an excellent way to eat a local delicious food with a fast service at a very affordable price. Just before the entrance to the ancient city, you can find locals (mostly indigenous people) selling all types of tacos. From potato and Mexican sausage tacos, cochinita-pibil (a pork based dish marinated with citrus juice and achiote), beef or chicken tacos, to tamales (a corn dough stuffed with beans or meat wrapped in corn husks), quesadillas, bottled waters, sodas, you just ask!
However, if you want to eat at a full-service restaurant, there are also some restaurants near the ticket entrance 🙂
Roberto Barrios Waterfalls:
Off from the tourist trail, Roberto Barrios is a group of hidden waterfalls inside the Jungle. It is a just a few minutes from the archeological site of Palenque, and it can be the perfect spot if you are looking for a place where to relax, be out from the tourist jam and enjoy fantastic views of nature. If you are an extreme adventurer, you can even find some caves behind the waterfalls. I dare you!!
The Chiflón Waterfalls:
Located inside the El Chiflón Ecotourism Center, the Chiflón waterfalls are a breath-taking experience. The whole adventure consists of five waterfalls with different sizes and shapes that you can visit by climbing the mountains while walking on paved walkways that are at the edge of the river. The journey to the top can be a little bit exhausting considering the warm of the jungle and the slope. However, the effort always pays off!! At the middle of the path, you will reach the main waterfall that will receive you with a refreshing drizzle and a beautiful view of the whole area!The Chiflon Falls are the ideal place if you want to go with your family as you can also rent some camping houses inside the center, make some grilled steaks at the hunts, plan a picnic or view the falls from the zip lines. As the running water of the river is not too strong, you can also have a good time swimming inside the natural pools or just relaxing
Where to eat?. Inside the Ecotourism center, there’s a Mexican restaurant where you can have local food. While you order, make sure to ask for a drink called “CHIFLONAZO.” It is made from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice accompanied with (or without) vodka. SO WORTH TRYING IT!
Very near to Chiapa de Corzo and the capital of Chiapas (Tuxtla Gutierrez) stands this impressive Canyon. According to the history, the Canyon was a witness of the bloody war between the Spaniards and the Chiapa Indians during the Conquer of Mexico. During the war, Indians fought with great courage despite the vast number of enemies, but when they saw the defeat coming, some of them still showed their bravery deciding to jump from the cliff before being under the domination of conquerors.Nowadays, you can enjoy a nice trip inside a boat along the Grijalva River. The ride lasts about 2 hours boarding from the CHIAPA DE CORZO’s pier, and it costs $190 pesos per person. From the boat, you can have beautiful views of the river and witness from crocodiles to howler monkeys and birds living in their natural environment. The guide will also take you to interesting spots like the natural formation of a tree from which top emerge a small waterfall during the rainy seasons (August through October).
Even if it is not the rainy season you are gonna have a good time there. The Canyon IT’S JUST STUNNING.
To make your adventure more enjoyable, make sure to buy mosquito repellent, have a sombrero to protect yourself from the sun and drink lots of water.
ENJOY YOUR JAUNT INSIDE NATURE!