On this quick tour of Chiapas, you'll explore the region around San Cristóbal de las Casas: highlights include striking natural landscapes, indigenous communities, the imposing Sumidero Canyon, azure-colored waterfalls, and the many lakes of Montebello Lakes National Park. You'll also roam vibrant markets, try traditional food, and visit historic colonial town centers.

Highlights

  • Ride a boat through the Sumidero Canyon on the Grijalva River
  • Go on a walking tour of San Cristóbal de las Casas
  • Learn about San Juan Chamula's indigenous Tzotzil culture
  • Feel the refreshing spray of cascades at El Chiflón Waterfalls

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 2 Walking tour of San Cristobal de las Casas San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 3 Visit San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan indigenous towns San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 4 Excursion to Montebello Lakes and El Chiflón Waterfalls San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 5 Departure from Mexico  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Sumidero Canyon and Chiapa de Corzo

Sumidero Canyon
An aerial view of Sumidero Canyon

Welcome to Chiapas! After breakfast in your hotel, you will be picked up by your driver and head towards the islet of Cahuare near Chiapa de Corzo, where you'll board a motorboat to navigate along the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon. A stunning natural formation that dates back 136 million years, its walls soar high above the Grijalva River amid thick vegetation. During the journey, you'll see a wide diversity of wildlife, flora, and fauna, including bromeliads, pines, river crocodiles, and spider monkeys. You'll also see waterfalls, caves, and interesting rock formations.

Later, continue to charming Chiapa de Corzo for lunch. Visit the beautiful downtown where you can taste the ancestral Mayan beverage pozol con cacao before returning to San Cristobal de las Casas for the evening.

Day 2: Walking tour of San Cristobal de las Casas

Colorful buildings in San Cristobal de las Casas

Today, you will do a walking tour of colorful San Cristobal de las Casas. Stroll past colonial houses and visit important historical sites, such as San Cristobal’s Cathedral. Stop into Los Altos Museum, located in the former convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, to learn more about regional history. Then shop for handicrafts and textiles at the open-air marketplace outside. 

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Day 3: Visit San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan indigenous towns 

Tzotzil handicraft
Observing Tzotzil handicraft traditions in action

On day three, you'll visit two indigenous villages in the highlands of Chiapas. Your day of cultural immersion will start at San Juan Chamula, a Tzotzil community of pre-Hispanic origin that's still strongly connected to its traditional customs. There are three main neighborhoods—San Juan Bautista, San Pedro, and San Sebastián—in the ceremonial center. Each one has its own pantheon presided over by giant crosses that present Chul Metic (God Mother) and Chul Totic (God Father). 

Next, you'll be taken to San Lorenzo Zinacantán, another Tzotzil village. Here, the sacred spaces are marked by the hills that surround the small valley, as well as by its distinctive group of colonial churches and chapels. You'll stop into a local home to learn more about handicraft and textile traditions before you head back to San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 4: Excursion to Montebello Lakes and El Chiflón Waterfalls

A lookout point over Montebello Lakes

Your day will begin early in the morning: you'll drive to Lagos de Montebello (Montebello Lakes) and appreciate the beauty of this natural park, which was created in 1959 and later a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. There are 59 lakes, each with different colors created by currents, flora, and sunlight reflection. You'll visit several lakes, including Tziscao, Pojoj, and Montebello. 

Afterward, head to El Chiflón Waterfalls to admire the tallest waterfalls in Chiapas. You'll have the opportunity to see the main waterfall, called “Velo de Novia"—a towering curtain of water formed by the San Vicente River. 

Day 5: Goodbye México

The former convent of Santo Domingo in Chiapa de Corzo
Morning light at a convent in Chiapa de Corzo 

After breakfast and a quick stroll through town, it's time to head to the airport to catch your flight home. Safe travels!