Christmas Trees and Crocodiles at the Sumidero Canyon

As much as I love the immense All Inclusive resorts, Caribbean waters and boisterous nightlife in my current state of Quintana Roo, the lush state of Chiapas holds what many believe to be the most impressive natural beauty in the entire country.

Chiapas is filled with tall mountains, sparkling waterfalls, ancient Mayan ruins, colonial cities and small mountain towns untouched by modern culture, the perfect place for an adventurous getaway. A few years ago, I got to see them all… and I’ve been dying to go back ever since.

Misol-Ha Waterfall

One of the state’s most impressive natural attractions is the Sumidero Canyon, whose stone cliffs reach heights of more than 3,200 feet. On my visit, our group got to take a boat tour along the river that winds through this breathtaking canyon. We drove to the town of Chiapa de Corzo, where we hopped into some boats and headed down the river.

Chiapa de Corzo central square

Our boat ride began on a wide stretch of river, flanked by soft mountains on either side. Once we passed under the bridge, I began to see the steep rock walls that this canyon is known for.

After a few twists and turns, we came across the canyon’s deepest point. This natural gateway is one of the symbols of the state of Chiapas, proudly displayed on its state seal. A simple photo doesn’t come close to describing what it feels like to see this in person, looking up from a tiny boat in the middle of the river. (Somewhere in the back of my mind, I could hear Wallace Shawn screaming “the cliffs of insanity!”)

My favorite part, however, was probably El Arbol de la Navidad (The Christmas Tree), a unique waterfall spilling down the side of the canyon.

The rest of our boat tour is filled with tiny caves (including one with the Virgin Mary), rock islands and even crocodiles.

Can you see it?

Chasing flocks of birds with a motorboat was fun, if not somewhat frightening.

The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, is almost completely flat with hardly any hills, much less mountains and cliffs. The fact that I hadn’t seen mountains in years made this trip all the more exciting for me. I hope to go back to Chiapas with Jorge someday, and take our time to really explore everything this state has to offer.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever traveled to?

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

17 thoughts on “Christmas Trees and Crocodiles at the Sumidero Canyon

  1. WOW, this was gorgeous!! I did see the crocodile, and that was a little scary to think he might be swimming near my boat. LOL.

    As for me, the prettiest place I have been to lately is Luray Caverns. The Sea of Glass was probably my favorite part there, and hearing some of the “ghost” stories.

  2. How far of a trip is that from Cancun? I’d LOVE to go see it someday… per your description, it reminds me a great deal of how Minneapolis is pretty flat and then going up to the North Shore of Lake Superior there are waterfalls, cliffs (no crocs!) with very much the same emotion all within the same state!

    • It’s 18 hours by bus from Cancun (!!) but you can easily fly into the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

      Honestly I had no idea how beautiful that part of the US was until I started following your blog. Now I really wanna go!

  3. Chiapas is also one of my favourite places to visit in Mexico. I have been 5 times and plan to go again when time permits. It is such a beautiful place and the people are very open and kind.

  4. That is absolutely incredible! The Christmas Tree waterfall is super cool! The most beautiful place I’ve been to is Dahab, Egypt, which is a resort on the Red Sea. It had the most crystal blue waters I have ever seen…

  5. Absolutely gorgeous pictures, darling. After I’ve finished my teaching course in Playa del Carmen, I plan to head across to Chiapas. Would love to see this.

  6. Most beautiful. Three automatically come to mind (and you’ll know how far behind I am in blogging my travels)– Ladakh, India had mountain valleys which were immeasurable. Ice & sand. Never seen anything like it! Laos has gorgeous karst mountians which you can see from via river boat & look like paintings. Lastly, Jeju Island has natural rocks, waterfalls and cliffs which make my jaw drop.

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