Attractions in Chiapas, Mexico: What to do and where to go
In Chiapas, the Maya and the Olmeca cultures left monumental legacies as seen in the archaeological sites. However, you can also travel by boat down the Grijalva River, the 1000 feet high walls of the majestic Sumidero Canyon towering beside you, or admire the waterfalls of Aguas Azul and visit the Montebello Lakes. Head off and explore the jungle at Yaxchilan where toucans, howler monkeys and parrots abound or explore El Triunfo Reserve, domain of the Quetzal. In Chiapas, the adventure never ends.
The deep caverns of the Sumidero Canyon are ideal places to stimulate the imagination and refresh the spirit, and the rock formations with their mystical figures are truly impressive yet at the same time graceful and delicate. The Grijalva River passes through the Canyon on its tireless journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
This area was declared a National Park in 1982, and is filled with beautiful flora and fauna and many interesting species, among which there are crocodiles, spider monkeys and sea birds.
Agua Azul Cascades
These impressive waterfalls are formed by the Agua Azul River which meets at its end the Shumulha River. The indigo blue color of the water, the green vegetation, the constant breeze, and the never ending sound of the water makes this site one of the most spectacular and unforgettable in Mexico. It is located 64 kilometers (40 miles) south of the city of Palenque. Around this area there are regional arts and crafts for sale, you can also go camping and it's an excellent spot for photography, and swimming.
Comitan de Dominguez
The city of Comitan de Dominguez was dismissed as an Indian village by the Dominic Monks; nevertheless, it later went on to become one of the most important cities in the Colonial Provinces, famous for its large estates and haciendas. Nowadays you can tour the actual route of independence, retracing Friar Matias de Cordova's steps as he proclaimed this territory's independence from Spain. This is a small but interesting city and there are many natural attractions in the surrounding areas.
The great Mayan metropolises were built in the forested areas of Chiapas. The closeness these people were searching for to their gods, their refined architectural taste and the perfection of the sculptures are marvelously reflected in the site at Palenque. Among its well preserved buildings, travelers can see El Palacio, which features an intricate structure that includes patios, corridors, sculptures, and towers.
The Temple of Inscriptions, presents the most refined architecture in the entire complex, and it is the site where an enormous mausoleum was found underground in 1949 containing the King Pacal's Tomb. When it was opened they discovered a whole treasure trove of precious offerings and jade decorations, which can now be seen at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. Other outstanding buildings include the Temple of Skulls, the Temple of the Sun, and the Fourteenth Temple. All theses vestiges are reminders of the Mayan wisdom and talent, for they are one of the most interesting and mysterious civilizations of all times.
San Cristobal De Las Casas
Founded in 1528, San Cristobal was named after its first bishop, Bartolome de la Casas, who was a fervent supporter of the local natives' rights. This town is home to the Santo Domingo Church, an elaborate baroque structure that now houses an excellent museum of Mayan culture.
Today San Cristobal is a classic Spanish Colonial town with a lively and celebrated Indigenous heart. It is a city of cobblestone lanes, red tile roofs, opulent churches and small tree-filled plazas. Surrounding San Cristobal are many traditional Indigenous villages, where no fewer than 10 different dialects are spoken.
San Cristobal is a wise choice to use as a base for exploring the numerous, spectacular, intimate and seldom visited wonders of Chiapas, as well as the colonial city itself.
Ruta del Cafe
La Ruta del Cafe (The Coffee Route) is an ecotourist project created by the coffee farms in the beautiful region of Soconusco, in southwestern Chiapas. The main purpose of the project is to promote ecotourism as an instrument for conserving natural and cultural resources of the area, which in turn, helps preserve the ecological heritage of the state. The tours are conducted across the protected reserves and through the coffee plantations, crossing rivers and waterfalls, and sharing the jungle with unique endangered species.
This excursion is ideal for travelers seeking adventure, fun and full interaction with nature. In contrast with other ecological trips, the Coffee Route aims to create a unique experience that leaves the participant with a sense of environmental awareness. There are also special techniques implemented for a proper agronomic management of resources. The coffee farms that currently participate in the project are: Hamburgo, Irlanda, San Francisco, Chiripa and Argovia. They offer rustic cabins, restaurants, spas, temascal and infrastructure for lodging and special events.
The city of Tapachula lies partly on the Sierra Madre and partly on the Pacific Coastal Prairie; hence it has a variety of different terrain, and weather ranging from warm to chilly in the same day. The architecture consists of brightly painted houses with wooden motifs and wrought iron balconies. The Tacana Volcano, which can be seen from different vantage points in the city, has an altitude of 4,100 meters above sea level, and spans an area from Mexico to Guatemala.
Tapachula is predominantly a business destination, and considered one of Chiapas' most prominent cities, mainly because of its impressive coffee plantations, exuberant natural attractions and the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the city.
This, the Capital city of Chiapas, has grown and evolved throughout its history with vigor and energy. Proof of this can be seen in the modern constructions in the city, created by a down to earth, vibrant population. Although modern, the city retains its charm and the special magical flavor of the state. As in most Mexican cities, it has a central square (Zocalo) in the heart of the city.
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