If a week of immersive cultural, nature, and foodie experiences sound good to you, keep reading. This seven-day trip to the Chiapas region of Mexico is full of adventure: a visit to the stunning Sumidero Canyon, paddling across a lake on a traditional log raft, and more. Top things off with a visit to a coffee plantation and a five-course cooking class.

Highlights

  • Take a boat trip through the steep Sumidero Canyon
  • Learn to cook traditional regional fare
  • Explore the colorful streets of San Cristóbal
  • Swim in the turquoise waters of Agua Azul

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Welcome to Chiapas! Visit Sumidero Canyon Natural Park San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 2 Cooking Experience in Zinacantan, The Flavors of San Cristobal de las Casas San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 3 Free Day in San Cristobal de las Casas San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 4 Private visit to Agua Azul, Misol Ha and Palenque San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 5 Tziscao's Mountain Coffee Plantation Experience, Campfire by Lake Tziscao, Transfer to Tziscao Tziscao
Day 6 Explore Montebello's Lake on a Traditional Raft, Transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 7 San Cristobal de las Casas to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Welcome to Chiapas! Visit Sumidero Canyon Natural Park

View of the Sumidero Canyon from the Grijalva River
View of the Sumidero Canyon from the Grijalva River
Welcome to Chiapas! Your local driver will pick you up at the airport and take you on the first tour of your trip. You will head towards the Islet of Cahuaré embarkation point near Chiapa de Corzo, approximately a 25 minutes drive. Here, you will board a motorboat with other travelers to navigate along the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon, a stunning natural formation whose geologic roots reach back approximately 136 million years ago. Its walls reach 2,624 ft (800 m) in height above the Grijalva River in the middle of lush vegetation.
 
During the journey, you will see a wide diversity of wildlife, flora, and fauna such as bromeliads, pines, river crocodiles, and spider monkeys. You'll also see some waterfalls, caves, and interesting rock formations as you learn about the area's nature.

After your excursion, transfer to the charming town of San Cristobal de las Casas

Day 2: Cooking Experience in Zinacantan, The Flavors of San Cristobal de las Casas

Learning about the corn
Learning about the corn
The experience begins with the daily walk to the Tzotzil community of Zinacantan (place of bats). You will arrive at a local house to meet your hosts and take a look at the kitchen where you will later prepare the food. If it is milpa season, you will take a one-hour walk to learn about the work they do in the community. When you arrive at the traditional cornfield you will learn everything that can be found in it, as well as the history of the products. You will harvest the ingredients needed for cooking when you return to your host's home.

In this half-day activity, you will taste and get into the rhythm of life of the local people, feel the sun on your skin, smell the smoke in the air and taste local and traditional dishes of this charming town.

Enjoy a five-course dinner that will introduce you to the traditional flavors of the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas. It's a relaxed atmosphere where you will be able to ask about the creation process of each dish since it is an open kitchen tasting. For two hours you will be able to experience the process of each dish you enjoy and taste the flavors of the region. 

Day 3: Free Day in San Cristobal de las Casas

Wander the city's streets
Wander the city's streets
Enjoy a free day to explore this quiet town in the hills. Walking is the best way to get to know the true San Cristóbal, so take your time and enjoy getting lost in its narrow and colorful streets. From the lovely churches to the animated plazas, spend the day resting and learning about the regional culture.  

The city is home to many churches, ex – convents, and museums. Some suggested cultural sites to enjoy are The Cathedral, the ex-convent of Santo Domingo, or the Church of Guadalupe. You could also visit “Lagrimas de la Selva”, an artisan amber workshop, the Jade Museum, the museum showcasing the typical dress of Sergio Castro, or the Na-Bolom Museum.

 Or, simply enjoy a delicious, aromatic coffee cup in one of the town's many coffee shops.

Day 4: Visit Agua Azul, Misol Ha & Palenque Ruins

Palenque's archaelogical site
Palenque's archaelogical site

On this visit, you will explore the lesser-known archaeological area of Palenque, where you can see how quickly the jungle can re-absorb an entire city. Once a center of civilization until the 7th century, the now-abandoned city was taken over by the forest, until people re-discovered it and began excavations. Since then, the site has been recognized for its historic value and given a UNESCO designation.

These days, the ruins are one of Mexico's most interesting Mayan ruins, with plenty of artifacts that shed insight into the myths, rituals, beliefs, and lives of the people who built the city. As part of its importance, both regionally and nationally, archaeologists have determined that Palenque was one of the main sites that influenced other settlements of the Usumacinta Basin. 

After, head an hour outside the town of Palenque for a relaxing adventure to the Agua Azul Waterfalls. The falls are famed for their beautiful turquoise waters, which cast a refreshing spray into the air around the falls (perfect for cooling off!)

Look around you when you reach the falls — you might be able to spot fish in the clear water, monkeys in the trees around you, or even toucans, parrots, or motmots (clock birds) in the tree canopy above you. You'll spend several hours enjoying the scenery, going for a refreshing swim, and relaxing by the water before heading back to town. 

Day 5: Tziscao's Mountain Coffee Plantation Experience, Campfire by Lake Tziscao, Transfer to Tziscao

Coffee explanation
Coffee explanation
Experience everything about the production of Cafe Tziscao's organic coffee, one of the best organic coffee exporters in the world. In this two-hour activity, you will learn how to make a coffee seedbed, how to plant it in the ground, and how to harvest it while enjoying a walk through the trails between the organic coffee fields.

After, enjoy a cozy campfire while drinking traditional Mexican hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows in the fire. Nature's sounds will surround you during this hour.

Later, your private driver will take you from San Cristobal de las Casas to Tziscao on a 4-hour drive through Chiapas landscapes.

Day 6: Explore Montebello's Lake on a Traditional Raft, Transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas

Raft tour in Montebellos lakes
Raft tour in Montebellos lakes
On this tour, you will paddle on a traditional raft made of tied logs on one of the most iconic lakes of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park.

You will spend about an hour surrounded by nature and tranquility as you learn about the flora and fauna of this place.

Later, your private driver will take you from Tziscao to San Cristobal de las Casas on a 4-hour drive through Chiapas landscapes.

Day 7: San Cristobal de las Casas to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Departure

Paddling a traditional raft

Your last day in Chiapas. Spend some time exploring on your own or relaxing before your private driver takes you from San Cristobal de las Casas to Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport.

 

More Mexico Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other 7-day Mexico itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.

Looking for a shorter duration? Check out this 6-day version or this 5-day version of this itinerary. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.