Off the beaten path tour in Mexico’s Chiapas

14 day adventure tour in 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 Mexican Indians live. Nine different ethnic groups live here. Thanks to this trip you will discover Chiapas as we love it. You will discover beautiful 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 treks away from mass tourism, this trip is made for you. It combines culture and sports activities for every level. Vamonos!

Length of stay: 14 days

Kind: Family Tours

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: Mexico

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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.

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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.

Magnificent Teotihuacan

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 felsic 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 flavors of tequila to taste.

Then, head back to Mexico City for the evening.

Suggestions for the Evening (contact us) :

– Show of Lucha Libre (Mexican Wrestling), which is a very popular sport in Mexico. Visit the great arena of the capital and watch this incredible spectacle – a great atmosphere is guaranteed! (Only Tuesday at 19:00, Friday at 20:00 and Sunday at 17:00).

– Folklore Ballet at the Bellas Artes Palace is one of the best experiences in Mexico City – a whirlwind of color, beauty and music. (Only Wednesday and Sunday – 20:30) 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.

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Day 3 :

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: simply 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.

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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). There, 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!

Canyon visit cannot be guaranteed in case of arrival after 14:00 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.

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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 obedient 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.

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Day 6 : San Cristobal de las Casas

Magical Town of San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal is located in the centre of an area of Indian population where the Zapatista movement led by Subcomandante Marcos for the defence 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 colour, smell and taste, the city of San Cristobal deserves to take the time to discover it through its markets, churches and pedestrian streets. You will have an emotional memory of it.

Note : Transport is not included on this day. Overnight stay at hotel Casa Margarita. Standard room.

Note : Breakfast is served 350m from the hotel.

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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.

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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 colour, 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.

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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.

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Day 10 : Las Guacamayas

Admire colourful 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 frescos, depicting wild fight scenes, on the inside walls of the temples. Part of the entrance fee goes to the Lacandon indigenous community, supposedly the true descendants of the Maya.

Then we go on a rafting trip .

We enter the heart of the jungle and for about 1 hour, we go down a series of waterfalls about a meter high (some can reach 2.5 meters in the rainy season). Then we paddle for an hour before leaving our boat on the side of the river. A trail in the middle of the forest takes us to the small archaeological site of Lacanjá. Then we head to the Moctuniha waterfalls where we will get to swim.

In the afternoon, possibility to 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.

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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 menas ‘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 in a “first exploration” 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.

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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 in 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.

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Day 13 : Palenque

Mystical Waterfalls

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.

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Day 14 : Palenque

Hasta luego México !

Transfer from the hotel to Villahermosa Airport .

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