Almost a week into our whirlwind trip, Mexico was far from the sun-drenched desert I had pictured in my mind. We’d experienced the vibrancy of Mexico City, the colours of Cholula and Puebla, and the incredible ruins and food of Oaxaca. Now, we were heading into the rainforest! The state of Chiapas is home to the stunning Sumidero Canyon, where we stopped off for an exhilarating speedboat ride on our way to San Cristobal.
Heading into the canyon
While we were disappointed that the sun wasn’t shining for us at Sumidero, in many ways the overcast skies and creeping fog were the perfect conditions in which to experience the magnificence of the canyon. The steep walls rise up to a kilometre above you, as the calls of birds and monkeys echo all around.
Can you spot the seahorse stalactite?
Loving the speedboat ride!
The entrance to the gorge even decorates the Chiapas state seal
The beautiful waterfalls cascading down the side of the canyon reminded me of New Zealand’s Fiordland – it was just as green, and just as stunning! One of the most remarkable is the Arbol de Navidad, or Christmas Tree – you can spot its branches below.
Gazing straight up at the tree
The boat-ride is about 13km each way, and you head all the way up the canyon to the Chicoasén Dam, one of the most important in the country as it supplies energy to a large part of Mexico, and also Guatemala.
Now I promised you crocodiles, I know! And let me tell you, seeing a few of these huge beasties in the flesh made my skin crawl – I could barely sit still long enough to take a photo before cowering into the middle of the boat. I’m not generally scared of animals but all I could picture was every scene from scary movies of crocodiles lunging, jaws wide, at tiny boats…!
You stay over there mister!
After a flight from Oaxaca back to Mexico City, then another to Tuxtla and then the coach ride into Chiapas state, our speedboat ride through the magnificent Sumidero Canyon was the perfect way to feel refreshed! I spotted pelicans, monkeys, herons and of course the crocodiles (could have done without those), and enjoyed the beautiful calming waterfalls. Definitely worth the stop if you’re in the region!