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Things to do in

Chiapas

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.

Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

2. 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

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.

From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

4. 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 Tuxtla Gutiérrez

5. Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from Tuxtla Gutiérrez

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 (only in January). 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 flora and fauna.  

Misol Ha and Agua Azul Waterfalls Tour from Palenque

6. Misol Ha and Agua Azul Waterfalls Tour from Palenque

Enjoy the drive to Misol Ha Waterfall to see its impressive cascade that’s 20 meters high. Continue to the Agua Azul Waterfalls on this six-hour excursion from Palenque. Marvel at the stunning turquoise color of the water. Start out midday with a pickup at your hotel and a drive that takes you through spectacular natural landscapes. After your visit to Misol Ha you’ll head to Agua Azul Waterfalls, where you’ll spend around two hours, with time for lunch before returning to your hotel in Palenque.

Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

7. 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.

Lacandon Jungle Tour from Palenque: River Rafting and Hiking

8. Lacandon Jungle Tour from Palenque: River Rafting and Hiking

Meet your driver at your Palenque hotel then set off on a scenic 1-hour journey to the Lacandon Jungle. Enjoy a traditional breakfast and hot beverages at a roadside restaurant before continuing to your destination. On arrival at the Lacanjá River, climb aboard your durable raft and begin your journey through the atmospheric and dense jungle. Float over tranquil waters before feeling your pulse start to quicken as you reach intermediate rapids in the rushing river; admire the fascinating flora and fauna as you enjoy the 2.5-hour voyage to the heart of the forest. Disembark your raft once you arrive at the Lacandon Jungle and prepare for an energizing 2-hour hike through lush vegetation. Awaken your senses to the piercing calls of monkeys and wild birds; smell the enticing aromas of exotic flowers; and listen to the crunch of leaves beneath your feet as you arrive at the ancient Mayan monument of Lacanja, a city abandoned and stranded in the midst of the jungle. Interact with the natives of Lacanjá Chansayab, a traditional Mayan village in which old customs still reign supreme, then stroll to the revitalizing Moctuniha Waterfall to marvel at the natural splendor of the formation. Take a revitalizing dip before enjoying a late lunch and returning to your Palenque hotel by mini-van.

Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

9. Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

Enjoy the stunning Chiapas state and explore its many treasures on this exciting day tour. Travel from San Cristobal to the beautiful Agua Azul Cascades, one of Mexico's most stunning natural attractions. Marvel at the clear blues of the water and relax to a breakfast of tasty regional dishes. After breakfast, opt for a invigorating dip in the large ponds formed by the waterfalls. From Agua Azul, make your way to the impressive Misol-Ha Cascade, which drops from a staggering 25 meters. Relax before this beautiful natural wonder and let the majestic sounds of cascading water wash over you. After Misol-Ha, head over to the fascinating Palenque Archeological Site, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its immense historic and cultural richness. Spend a few hours here exploring the remains of one of the capital cities of the Mayan empire. The tour will end in Palenque at 17:00, and you will have time to enjoy a dinner before the journey back to San Cristobal at 21:30.

San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Chiapas

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 227 reviews

The canyon is amazing and this tour provides the added bonus of being able to do a one way trip along it as well as go to some stunning viewpoints. The boat trip was very safe and well organised and the guide was very good, we even saw crocodiles on the river bank. The mini van is standard Mexican fare with minimal seat belts, average air con and lots of people squashed in but was fine'. Would recommend the trip as such an amazing place to visit.

It seems to me an essential tour if you are traveling through the San Cristóbal area. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know a bit of the local indigenous culture. The tour itinerary is very well designed. It is very dynamic and fun. If you are also lucky enough to have Alonso as your guide, the experience will undoubtedly be unforgettable. It was 10.

Great day out from Tuxtla. Managed to see a family of spider monkeys and baby croc. Not many croc today because it was a bit cooler. But that didn’t matter because the scenery was the star of the show. Great to have an English translator for the tour. We even managed a ride to San Cristobal de las Casas at the end of the day with one of the other groups.

Shuttle bus was slightly late and did not have proper air conditioning. The boat trip through the canyon was amazing! The captain made an effort to get close to all the points worth mentioning. So we came about 5 meters away from a beach full of crocodiles. The English guide told interesting stories about the canyon and its history. Recommended!

Very professional, fun activities, very worthwhile. We were given an english guide who was really nice and extremely helpful, and made sure we got the most out of the day