Off the Beaten Path: Mexico’s Chiapas
Our 14 day suggested travel itinerary to discover Chiapas.
Chiapas is a land of adventures known for its traditions, celebrations, and wonderful landscapes. It is a very mountainous region where nearly one million indigenous peoples native to Mexico live. Nine different ethnic groups live here. We are passionate about the region of Chiapas and excited to help you discover it! You will expore natural landscapes such as the Cañón del Sumidero National Park, the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, the El Chiflon waterfalls, Agua Azul and Misol Ha. You will visit remarkable archaeological sites such as Bonampak, Yaxchilán and the mysterious ceremonial center of Palenque. If you dream of wide open spaces and hiking trips that take you away from the crowds, this trip is made for you. Culture and sport activities for all levels…Vamonos!
Length of stay: 14 days
Kind: Family Fun in Mexico
Fix: For all public
Countries visited: Mexico
- Day 1 : México
- Day 2 : México
- Day 3 : Mexico City
- Day 4 : Tuxtla Gutiérrez
- Day 5 : San Cristobal de las Casas
- Day 6 : San Cristobal de las Casas
- Day 7 : San Cristobal de las Casas
- Day 8 : Montebello Lagoons
- Day 9 : Las Guacamayas
- Day 10 : Las Guacamayas
- Day 11 : Lacadon Jungle
- Day 12 : Palenque
- Day 13 : Palenque
- Day 14 : Palenque
San Cristobal de las Casas
Your customized trip
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Day 1 : México
Arrive in the Sprawling City of Mexico
Welcome to Mexico City !
Meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel Punto MX. Deluxe room.
Day 2 : México
Experience the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Meet in the hotel lobby and depart for a visit of the surroundings of Mexico City . North of the city, visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe , built in the 17th century. It is the most important religious site of Latin America and a major pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics coming from all over the world. You can also see the Old Basilica that is slowly sinking into the ground. The Old Basilica shelters a reproduction of the Black Madonna, which can be seen behind the choir inside the modern basilica.
Today, head to the archeological site of Teotihuacan with the pyramids of the Moon and the Sun, the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcóatl), the Temple of the Feathered Snails and the Palace of the Jaguars. The ‘City of the Gods’ was built in the seventh century and was probably, with its 200,000 inhabitants, the most populated city in the world at that time.
Afterwards, visit a carved obsidian workshop . Obsidian is volcanic glass-stone produced when lava cools so fast that it practically doesn’t crystallize and it was once one of the most important materials distributed in Mesoamerica. Your host gives will also give you samples of tequila to taste.
Then, head back to Mexico City for the evening.
Suggestions for the Evening (contact us):
– A Lucha Libre Show (Mexican Wrestling): A very popular sport in Mexico. Visit the great arena of the capital and watch this incredible spectacle – a great atmosphere is guaranteed! (Tuesdays at 7PM, Fridays at 8Pm and Sundays at 5PM).
– Folklore Ballet at the Bellas Artes Palace is one of the best experiences in Mexico City – a whirlwind of color, beauty and music. (Wednesdays and Sundays – 8:30PM)
Option included: English speaking local guide for the whole day. Option included: Entrance fees to Teotihuacan. Overnight stay at the hotel Punto MX. Deluxe room.
Day 3 : Mexico City
A Tour Around Mexico City
After breakfast, meet in the hotel lobby. Depart for a city tour, starting with the Zocalo , one of the largest squares in the world. There stands the largest Cathedral in the Americas, built on the site of the former grand Aztec temple ‘Teocalli’. Its three naves shelter many chapels and altars adorned with gold, including the beautiful ‘Altar of Forgiveness’. The Palacio Nacional (National Palace) was built on top of the Palace of Moctezuma and features frescos painted by famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Nowadays, it houses the President’s offices. The Templo Mayor (only outside) is a relic of the ancient Aztec capital Tenochtitlan… a pre-Columbian temple in the middle of urban jungle: absolutely amazing!
Visit the National Museum of Anthropology
In the afternoon, visit the National Museum of Anthropology (closed on Mondays) considered to be one of the most harmonious settings conceived to revive ancient antiques. Inaugurated in 1964, the museum is perfectly integrated in the scenery of the park. It contains a considerable amount of pre-Columbian archeological objects and presents the indigenous groups that lived (and still live) in Mexico in a lively and engaging manner.
Return to the hotel at the end of the day. Option included: English speaking local guide. Option included: Entrance fees to the National Museum of Anthropology. Overnight stay at the hotel Punto MX. Deluxe room.
Day 4 : Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Arrive in Tuxtla-Gutierrez
Arrive in the capital city of Chiapas and embark on your transfer from Tuxtla airport to the village of Chiapa de Corzo (17 km/10 miles). You will take a boat and travel through the Canyon del Sumidero, a deep natural canyon on the Rio Chiapas. You will see the ‘Christmas tree falls’, a rock wall eroded by 800 m/2,625 ft high waterfalls. The Canyon is home to a great variety of wildlife including: herons, vultures, spider monkeys and crocodiles…
Note : This is a 2-3 hour shared boat tour, we recommend taking a hat!
Note: Canyon visit cannot be guaranteed in case of arrival after 2PM at Tuxtla’s airport.
Magical Town of San Cristobal de las Casas
Afterwards, travel to San Cristobal de Las Casas, a town located at the center of an indigenous population area, and is the birthplace of the Zapatist movement, developed under the leadership of Subcomandante Marcos for the protection of the indigenous rights. Every morning, the Tzotzil people sell their products at the market.
It is truly one of the most romantic Pueblos Magicos in the state of Chiapas. Explore the narrow, cobblestone streets of the traditional neighborhoods and and appreciate the houses painted in bright colors that are homes to quaint shops and markets. Admire the beautiful embroidery and the jewelry made from amber and wood pieces that are on display in the windows and on the shelves of the local shops. Option included: Entrance fees to Canyon del Sumidero – shared boat tour.
Overnight stay at hotel Casa Margarita. Standard room.
Note: Breakfast is served 350m from the hotel.
Day 5 : San Cristobal de las Casas
Horseback Riding Through Chiapas
Take an amazing horseback ride through the mountains that surround San Cristobal de las Casas. There are options for riders of every level; the horses are well trained which is ideal for beginners. Ride down winding roads through corn fields to the quaint town of San Juan de Chamula, where the inhabitants practice a form of syncretism: a mixture of Christian beliefs and ancestral rituals. This is great way to experience a special element of traditional Mayan culture!
Lunch with the Locals in Zinacantan
Stop for lunch in Zinacantan where Doña Antonia will open the doors of her house to share her customs and traditions (weaving). The hostess will invite you to drink a glass of pox (corn alcoholic drink) and to taste handmade tortillas.
Return to San Cristobal de las Casas in the afternoon. Overnight stay at hotel Casa Margarita. Standard room.
Note: Breakfast is served 350m from the hotel.
Day 6 : San Cristobal de las Casas
Magical Town of San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal is located in the center of an area of Indian population where the Zapatista movement led by Subcomandante Marcos for the defense of Indian rights has developed.
Along its cobbled streets, San Cristobal has many surprises in store for you. Craft treasures, excellent regional products, charming colonial architecture and very good restaurants.
The Chiapas region is known and recognized for its agriculture and Indian culture. This day of relaxation will allow you to immerse yourself in the history and strong identity of this generous land.
High in color, smell and taste, the city of San Cristobal deserves to take the time to discover it through its markets, churches and pedestrian streets. You’ll remember it fondly.
Note: Transport is not included on this day. Overnight stay at hotel Casa Margarita. Standard room.
Note: Breakfast is served 350m from the hotel.
Day 7 : San Cristobal de las Casas
Hike to El Chiflon
In the morning, take a one-hour hike to the El Chiflon waterfalls, hidden in a valley surrounded by mountains and dense jungle. The 5 waterfalls here form magical pools of turquoise water!
Then head to the village of Tziscao , situated on the shores of a glorious lake, where you will spend the night. Option included: Entrance fees to El Chiflon. Overnight at the Cabañas Tziscao.
Day 8 : Montebello Lagoons
The Many Lakes of Laguna de Montebello
This morning, head to the Montebello Lakes . The temperate pine and oak forest along the Guatemalan border east of Chinkultic is very picturesque, peaceful and, after the steamy heat of the nearby jungles, beautifully cool and refreshing. Here, it’s possible to take a short one-hour hike around the Lagunas de Montebello: there are 59 little lakes in total, all of a different color, including purple, turquoise and emerald green.
Then, continue to the Las Guacamayas campsite, located in the jungle, where many monkeys and toucans have found shelter and where we will spend the night. Option included: Entrance fees Lagunas de Montebello. Overnight stay at hotel Las Guacamayas. Standard room.
Day 9 : Las Guacamayas
Wake up to the Sounds of Nature
Is there any better way to be woken up than by parrots in the midst of a tropical forest? Have breakfast at the Camp Guacamayas and departure on a pirogue (a wooden canoe) for a 3-hour adventure in permanent contact with the fauna and the flora of the Reserva de los Montes Azules .
Note: Boat trip is not included if you choose a self drive option.
Return to Las Guacamayas. Boat Reserva Montes Azules. Overnight stay at hotel Las Guacamayas. Standard room.
Day 10 : Las Guacamayas
Admire Colorful Bonampak
Departure for the majestic site of Bonampak . The site, discovered in the middle of the jungle in 1946, features gorgeous and incredibly well preserved frescoes, depicting wild fight scenes, on the inside walls of the temples. Part of the entrance fee goes to the Lacandon indigenous community, supposedly the direct descendants of the Maya.
Rafting Trip through the Jungle
We enter the heart of the jungle and for about 1 hour, head down a series of waterfalls about a meter high (some can reach 2.5 meters in the rainy season). Paddle for an hour before leaving your boat on the side of the river. A trail in the middle of the forest takes you to the small archaeological site of Lacanjá. Then we head to the Moctuniha waterfalls where you can take a swim.
Or go for a walk in the forest in Lacanja instead!
We spend the night at Don Enrique’s campsite . Option included: Entrance fees to Bonampak. Overnight stay at Rio Lacanja Eco Cabins.
Option included: Jungle Cabin with shared bathroom.
Day 11 : Lacadon Jungle
Explore the Majestic Yaxchilan
In the morning embark on a trip to the archeological site of Yaxchilan . In the Maya language it means ‘Place of the Green Stones’ and is a site of amazing temples, plazas and sculptures. Sitting on the banks of the river Usumancinta (on the border with Guatemala), Yaxchilan has been almost completely swallowed by the jungle where the ceiba and gum trees host howler monkeys and toucans.
Reach the site by paddling down the Usumacinta River on a pirogue (45 minutes). Discover the site’s impressive atmosphere, among many howler monkeys and toucans. Here you can take a walk between the many Mayan temples.
Head to Palenque towards the end of the afternoon . On the way, stop to refresh yourself in the magnificent waterfalls of Roberto Barrios. Option included: Entrance fees to Yaxchilan. Option included: Boat to Yaxchilan. Overnight stay at hotel La Aldea. Standard room.
Day 12 : Palenque
Explore the Maya City of Palenque
In the morning, visit the archaeological site of Palenque . It might well be the most magical site of Mexico! The majesty and mystery of its ceremonial centers still echoes from the past. At the heart of the Inscriptions Temple stands the crypt of King Pakal, discovered in 1952. It still contains the remains of the powerful monarch, covered with jewels and a mortuary mask made of jade mosaic. The surrounding jungle and the buried ruins create an awe-inspiring scenery and it’s easy to imagine the magnificence of the place, back when the temples and the palace stood in their full glory, adorned with richly animated esplanades, columns and ceilings.
Guided Tour Through the Jungle
In the afternoon, meet with your guide for a beautiful adventure in ‘la selva’. Discover Mother Nature at the height of her splendor during a 2-hour hike amidst gigantic trees and beautiful plants. Take a refreshing moment near the waterfalls and, if luck is on your side, you might see howler monkeys.
Return to your hotel in Palenque at the end of the day. Option included : Entrance fees to Palenque. Option included : English speaking local guide in Palenque. Option included: Jungle tour with a Spanish speaking guide. Overnight stay at hotel La Aldea. Standard room.
Day 13 : Palenque
This morning, cool down in a truly unique setting. All year long, water comes down from the mountains and eventually creates magnificent waterfalls like Misol Ha or Agua Azul . This is the perfect place to try some grilled fish for lunch. You can sit near the water while enjoying a beautiful view. You will also have plenty of time to go swimming in one of the many pools shaped by the waterfalls.
Return to your hotel in Palenque and spend the rest of the afternoon in this jungle setting. Option included: Entrance fees to Misol ha. Option included: Entrance fees to Agua Azul. Overnight stay at hotel La Aldea. Standard room.