Take this fascinating Chiapas tour for a diverse look at Mexico’s southwest region and the Maya world, through days of hiking, swimming, and waterfall explorations.
The journey begins with a visit to the relatively unknown yet awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon before climbing up into the highest part of the Sierra Madre Sur. Visit the Tzotzil and Tzetzal indigenous groups and get to know more about their ancient cultures.
Also, visit local artisans in their workshops to learn about, and even try to make, their crafts. Also, enjoy privately guided tours of little known, but immensely important, Maya archeological sites: Yaxchilan, Bomampak, and Palenque.
Sumidero Canyon – Embark on an unforgettable boat ride through 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 Maya
Agua Azul & Misol Ha – Experience the beauty of the aqua-blue waters in the Palenque jungle and discover the magical waterfall, Misol Ha
Yaxchilan, Bonampak, and Palenque – Uncover the secrets of the ancient Maya with a visit to these important jungle ruins
Day 1: Arrival in Tuxtla Gutierrez
Arrive at Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport and enjoy a private transfer to San Cristobal de Las Casas. En route, stop at the Sumidero Canyon to take an unforgettable boat ride through the majestic rock walls. Look out for the local wildlife which includes crocodiles, spider monkeys, and a variety of birds. After, continue on to San Cristobal for an evening spent at leisure.
Day 2: Visit the Maya villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán
After breakfast, embark on a walking adventure through the Chiapan countryside. It starts with a private transfer to the Tzotzil town of San Juan Chamula to visit its quaint church, indigenous cemetery, and the town center before setting off, on foot, towards San Lorenzo Zinacantan.
When the time´s right, leave the main road to enter a beautiful pine forest before stopping at a gorgeous lookout point. After a few pictures, descend into San Lorenzo Zinacantan to learn more about the history and traditions of the Highland Maya population.
Visit traditional artisans, enjoy hand-made tortillas, and sample home-brewed fire water before heading back to San Cristobal.
Day 3: Cultural excursion to Amatenango del Valle & pottery experience
The village of potters, Amatenango del Valle, is located on a small hill overlooking a fertile, crop-filled valley. Here, take part in a fun, interactive pottery experience.
Then, after being privately transferred to the town, head to the home of an expert artisan and learn all about the ancient techniques they use to create their magnificent potted pieces. Get your hands a bit dirty and fully express yourself in this artistic adventure into pre-Hispanic arts.
Day 4: Agua Azul, Misol Ha, and drop-off in Palenque
Head out of San Cristóbal, once more, for a day of adventure, visiting Agua Azul* and Misol Há before being driving on to a hotel in Palenque.
At Agua Azul lies a series of gorgeous waterfalls. Walk up a man-made path beside the falls to see a collection of cascades roaring to meet each other. At the top, find calm waters waiting to be washed down the falls at an incredible pace. See how the power of the water is eroding the earth, leaving trees clinging onto the shore by their exposed roots. Back at the bottom, take a swim in the calm pools of blue water before heading off to Misol Há.
Surrounded by lush vegetation, the waters of Misol Há power down a 35-meter drop into a round pool. Walk along a path underneath the rushing water to feel its power and get soaked by its spray.
Having spent time admiring this natural wonder, enjoy a private transfer to the hotel in Palenque.
*Please note: The tour to Agua Azul is not available from September to November
Day 5: Private tour to Yaxchilán and Bonampak
Today offers the chance to explore some of the least-visited yet most-impressive sites in the ancient Maya world. Head off early to Yaxchilán, an ancient Maya city nestled on the bank of the Usumacinta River. Explore this archeological gem as the sounds of howler monkeys echo between the ruins and an expert guide explains everything one needs to know about this fascinating spot.
Then, stop at a hidden gem in the Lacandón forest, Bonampak. Here, find astonishing frescoes inside a modest looking temple. From vivid depictions of battles and bizarre rituals of torture to bloodletting, these frescoes are unmatched throughout the Maya world.
Day 6: Palenque and Villahermosa
Visit the stunning archeological site of Palenque, visiting the Templo de las Inscripciones, one of the most renowned burial monuments in the Americas.
Nestled deep in jungle, at the foot of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Palenque’s setting is as memorable as the site is important for the insight it gives us into the ancient Maya world.
After lunch, head eastwards to the Gulf of Mexico and the bustling economic center of Villahermosa. Visit the outdoor museum, La Venta Park-Museum to learn about the Olmec civilization which came into being around 3,000 years ago.
Day 7: Depart from Villahermosa
Enjoy a private transfer from a Journey Mexico guide to Villahermosa airport for flights home. Alternatively, speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner to organize further activities and to extend the vacation.
Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.
Our custom-tailored journeys start from $800 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.
Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.