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.

Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

3. Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

Embark on amazing experience to Sumidero National Park. Explore Sumidero Canyon and the town of Chiapa de Corzo on this 9-hour tour from San Cristobal. Begin with a 45-minute drive through the mountains, along a scenic highway toward Tuxtla Gutierrez. Admire the beautiful panoramic views as you pass through the clouds to reach the canyon. The tour continues with a boat trip, as you marvel at the immense Sumidero Canyon from another perspective. After taking in this stunning natural scenery, you’ll visit the magical town of Chiapa de Corzo, known for its magnificent 16th-century Mudéjar Fountain, with its colorful xicalpestles (lacquered and painted gourds). It’s also home to Parachico revelers, the main attraction at the Fiesta of San Sebastián. After the visit you’ll continue on the drive, enjoying breathtaking views of the Sumidero Canyon from several lookout points, including the Ceiba, the Coyota, the Roblar, the Tepehuaje and the Chiapa. These locations allow you to admire the grandeur of the canyon as well as the local flora and fauna.

Yaxchilan & Bonampak Ruins and Lacandon Jungle from Palenque

4. 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.

Palenque: Bonampak Site and Rafting in the Lacandona Jungle

5. 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. 

Sumidero Canyon, Chiapa de Corzo & San Cristobal Tour

6. Sumidero Canyon, Chiapa de Corzo & San Cristobal Tour

Take a boat ride from the airport and go on a wonderful journey through time, as you contemplate the majestic walls of the Sumidero canyon. Here you can admire its incredible flora and fauna including crocodiles, monkeys, and birds among other species. Later you will visit the colonial city of Chiapa de Corzo, a small Mexican city located in the center of the state of Chiapastime where you can explore and buy local crafts. Finally you'll continue to San Cristobal de las Casas and admire the beautiful landscape.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez: Sinkhole of Parrots Full-Day Rappel

7. Tuxtla Gutiérrez: Sinkhole of Parrots Full-Day Rappel

Get an adrenaline rush on a full-day tour of the Sima de las Cotorras (Sinkhole of Parrots) in the karst plateau of Chiapas. Following a pick-up from your hotel in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, drive towards the Selva El Ocote Biosphere Reserve, and marvel at the rain forest of Chimalapas. Straddling the borders of eastern Oaxaca and Veracruz in the Uxpanapa Chimalapas region, it is part of the largest tract of tropical rainforest in Mexico. Once inside the reserve, go to the circular cavity of the Sima de las Cotorras sinkhole, and prepare for your dramatic descent. Every morning, thousands of parrots fly out of the cavity, returning by dusk. As you abseil down about 200 feet (60 meters), you’ll see trees that can grow up to 100 feet (30 meters) tall, providing home to the parrots at the bottom of the hole. About half way down, you will also discover some ancient cave paintings, thought to be up to 10,000 years old. After your rapel, there will be time to eat at a local restaurant to taste the regional food of Chiapas, before your transfer back to Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo: Day Tour from Tuxtla

8. Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo: Day Tour from Tuxtla

Jump aboard a boat and enjoy a leisurely 2-hour boat along the steep edges of the canyon as you see stunning waterfalls, beautiful caves, and amazing cliffs roll out before you. Make your way slowly to the spectacular Sumidero Canyon, whose colorful waters drop from walls over 4,000 feet high. After finishing your boat ride, head over to Chiapa de Corzo, once the first colonial city founded by Spanish conquistadores, and now a typical Mexican town with a selection of great regional cuisine. After your meal, take a walk to the city's central fountain to admire the outstanding mudejar-style brickwork and enjoy a beverage before the end of the tour.

San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

9. 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.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez: Chiflon Waterfalls + Montebello Day Tour

10. Tuxtla Gutiérrez: Chiflon Waterfalls + Montebello Day Tour

Start this full-day adventure into the wilderness of Chiapas with a morning pick-up from your hotel. Drive to the impressive El Chiflon Waterfalls near the colonial city of Comitan, and hike approximately 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 4 to 6 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 Tuxtla Gutiérrez for drop-off at your hotel.

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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!