Chiapas: A Journey Through Mexico Less Visited

Days: 7

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Chiapas: A Journey Through Mexico Less Visited provides a diverse look at Mexico’s Southwest and the Mundo Maya regions, through active days of hiking, swimming, and waterfall explorations.

Nat Geo LogoOur journey begins with a visit relatively unknown, yet awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon before climbing up into the highest part of the Sierra Madre Sur and arriving to the charming colonial city and commercial center of the highland Tzotzil and Tzetzal indigenous groups. We will visit local artisans in their workshops, where we learn about and even have a chance to try our hand at their crafts.  The little known, but immensely important sites of Yaxchilan, Bomampak, Palenque, and Edzná are as interesting as are their locations spectacular.


Sumidero Canyon – Embark on a boat ride to witness the towering rock walls of this beautiful canyon

San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan – Visit these indigenous villages  to explore the culture and learn the traditions of the Mayans

Agua Azul  & Misol Ha – Experience the beauty of the aqua-blue waters in the Palenque jungle and further witness and explore the magical waterfall, Misol Ha

Yaxchilan & Bonampak – Explore the Mayan culture by visiting these important sites located in the rainforest

Palenque  – Visit and explore archeological sites that were important to Mayan civilization

Dates & Prices


Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.


Our custom-tailored journeys start from $600 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Customizable Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival to Tuxtla Gutierrez
You will be picked up at the airport in Tuxtla Gutierrez and taken to the colonial highland town of San Cristobal de Las Casas via private transfer. In route you will visit the Sumidero Canyon where you will  board a speedy launch and venture through the majestic rock walls  towering thousands of feet above. If lucky, you may see fauna such as crocodiles, spider monkeys, cormorants, and herons. At arrival check into your lovely hotel and enjoy rest of evening at leisure.

Day 2

Mayan Villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán
After breakfast today,  embark on a cultural walking journey through the Chiapan country side. Transport by vehicle  to San Juan Chamula and visit the main church, the indigenous cemetery, and the town center before setting out on foot towards San Lorenzo Zinacantan. After leaving the main road, you will enter into the beautiful whispering pine forests before arriving to a beautiful overlook from where you can see in the horizon the next destination: San Lorenzo Zinacantan. After a few pictures from this excellent vantage point,  descend into the village to learn more about the history and traditions of the highland Maya and in particular the inhabitants of this interesting town. Time will be spent to visit our friends, traditional back-strap weavers, and sample hand made tortillas and the local home brewed fire-water before heading back to our beautiful lodging in the center of San Cristobal de las Casas in the late afternoon with free time to wander the cobbled stone streets.

Day 3

Cultural Excursion to Amatenango del Valle & Pottery Experience
Amatenango del Valle, the village of potters, is located on a small hill overlooking a fertile valley covered with crops 35 miles southeast of San Cristobal de Las Casas. This town is characterized by women artisans who use pre-Hispanic methods in the pottery making process.  You will be taken to famous Amatenango (1 hrs driving distance) for a interactive Pottery experience,  and be invited to an Artisan home work shop to learn about the Pre-Hispanic and most primitive way of doing pottery (Coil Technique).

Day 4

Agua Azul, Misol Ha, & Palenque
Early morning, depart from San Cristóbal de las Casas then navigate the Southern Sierra Madre descending from alpine forests into the steamy lowland jungles of Palenque. In addition to the incredible setting, this national park is also hosts some of the most interesting and diverse bird species in all of Mexico. The limestone sedimentation causes this beaucolic network of streams, rivers, and cascades to turn a dazzling aqua-marine blue, thus giving the name Agua Azul or “Blue Water” during the dry season. Hike up the river searching out our own private swimming holes and enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to our vehicle and continuing on to Misol Ha for more waterfall wonders. This single jump falls is impressive in the rainy or dry season; the projection of the water allows us to actually walk behind the curtain of water for a unique perspective of the lush river valley from behind the rushing wall of water. For the adventurous, you can continue behind the water fall and check out a river and cave system nestled into the vertical river canyon walls. Spelunking into the shallow tunnel system allows us to see the marvels of the underground river system and geological formations that run in a vast network throughout the limestone shelf of the Yucatan Peninsula. In the late afternoon, you will  reach Palenque to check into your hotel.

Day 5

Private Tour to Lancandon Jungle, Yaxchilán and Bonampak
Today you will visit some of the least visited and most impressive sites in the Mayan world. Set out early to Yaxchilán, which is renowned as much for its incredible setting as it is for its ornamented building facades, roof combs, and impressive stone lintels that depict battles and ceremonial events. Yaxchilán straddles a U bend in the Usumacinta River, which is the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala. This ancient city’s unique position on the mighty Usumacinta allowed it to control trade throughout the region, making it one of the most important sites in the Mayan world. The inscriptions here teach us about the legendary ruling clan – the Jaguar dynasty. As you explore the ruins, the calls of the large troops of howler monkeys remind you just how far from modern civilization you are and how powerfully alive the Lacandón forest remains. Return to Palenque stopping at another fascinating and well guarded secret of the Lacandón forest, Bonampak. Bonampak was nowhere near as important a settlement as Yaxchilán, as it was very much under the sphere of influence of its more powerful and well-populated neighbor. However, Bonampak is famous for its astonishing frescoes inside the modest looking Templo de las Pinturas (Bonampak means “painted walls” in Maya, the native language still used by the inhabitants of this isolated region). From the consecration of heirs to the throne to vivid depictions of battles and bizarre rituals of torture and blood letting, these frescoes are unmatched throughout the Mayan world. After time to take in these surprising illustrations,  continue back to Palenque .

Day 6

Palenque and Villahermosa
Enjoy a privately guided visit to the stunning archaeological site of Palenque including the Templo de las Inscripciones, one of the most renowned burial monuments in the Americas. Palenque was an important power center during the height of Mayan civilization that dates back to 100 BC. It is still unclear what led to the important city state’s fall around 800 BC. Nestled deep in jungles at the foot of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Palenque’s setting is as memorable as the site is important for the light it sheds on Mayan traditions, rituals, ceremonies, and spirituality. It is located on the western edge of the Maya empire near the important commercial hub of Villahermosa. The archaeological site left behind is very well preserved and maintained by local people as well as anthropologists. The setting of this site is truly unforgettable.

After lunch,  head eastwards to the Gulf of Mexico and the bustling economic center of Villahermosa. Here, you will visit the La Venta museum to learn about the Olmec civilization that has its first traces close to 3,000 years ago! The facility also houses a zoo, where you can see some of the native species from Veracruz state and others from further a field in the Mexican republic.

Day 7

Departure from Villahermosa
Private transfer to Villahermosa airport for your onward flights home.

Tuxtla Gutierrez

Sumidero Canyon

Private Boat Ride in Sumidero Canyon

Sumidero Canyon

San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas

San Juan Chamula

Zinancantan Family

Misol Ha

Misol Ha


Ruins of PalenPalenqueque



Agua Azul


chiapas tuxtla gutierrez
Boat in Sumidero Canyon
Sumidero Canyon Excursion
Chiapas San Cristobal
Chiapas San Cristobal Casas
Church in San Juan Chamula
Chiapas Culture Zinancantan
Walking in Misol Ha Chiapas
Chiapas Spiritual Mexico Misol Ha
Chiapas Palenque
Palenque Ruins
Culture in Chiapas
Bonampak Paintings in Mexico
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