I have to admit it’s been a while since we featured a purely natural attraction on the blog. Clearly, we’ve been enjoying colonial city life a little too much. To mix it up, we pried ourselves away from cobblestone streets and multi-colored casas and did a boat tour through the spectacular Sumidero Canyon in the state of Chiapas.
Entering through the southern end of the canyon at Chiapa de Corzo, we were quickly swallowed up by vertical walls reaching heights of up to 800 meters or more. Absolutely breathtaking! The two-and-a-half-hour tour travels 35 kilometers through the canyon and across a resevoir to a hydroelectric dam and returns via the same route. And keep those eyes peeled for wildlife along the way.
As you can see from our photos, the crocodiles were the stars of Sumidero. We were hoping to see a couple, but ended up seeing 12 large adults as well as a bunch of newly hatched baby crocs! This just might have been our best crocodile viewing ever. Beyond the crocs, there’s excellent birdlife as well as the possibililty of seeing monkeys and more. Add to that caves, stunning waterfalls (including the truly unique Christmas Tree Waterfall) as well as thick jungle, and you have yourself a world-class attraction.
Unlike the boat trip we did in Biosfera Ria Celestun to see the flamingos, the Sumidero tour was exceptionally well organized and, at US$12 a person, very reasonable. Be warned that after periods of rain, huge amounts of trash washed downstream can collect within the canyon. (In fact, Globetrotter Girls detailed this phenomenon on their blog.)
We passed through at just such a moment as we traveled to the hydroelectric dam. Amazingly, on our way back to Chiapa de Corzo, we discovered the government had brought in huge vacuum boats which had sucked literally tons of trash out of the water within a single hour. We are THRILLED that the Mexican government is taking this problem seriously and is taking steps to clean up the trash. Yay, Mexico!!! See tips below on visiting Sumidero Canyon.
Wild formations of Christmas Tree Waterfall
Tips on Visiting Sumidero
Organized visits including transport and boat tour can be arranged from San Cristobal de las Casas or Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
If you are going to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, you can also take an inexpensive local bus to Chiapa de Corzo where the boat tours begin. Boat tour operators will usually find you. Operators we asked were offering the tour for 160 pesos per person including transfer to and from the docks.