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Curiosities Sumidero Canyon (Chiapas)

The steep walls of Sumidero Canyon were created millions of years ago by the wild river Río Grijalva (sometimes also known as Río Grande de Chiapas). The river originates in the mountains of the Cuchumatanes in Guatemala, running almost 1000 km before entering into the Gulf of Mexico. In 1981 a huge dam was built on one end of the Canyon. That calmed the fierce waters of Río Grijalva and raised the water level 90 meters. Chicoasen hydroelectrict power station is one of the most important in the country serving energy to 16 states of Mexico. You can admire Sumidero Canyon from the heights (stopping at some viewpoints along the road) or from a motorboat ride that takes about two hours.

What here: Take a motorboat ride among the walls of the canyon. 20 to 30 people fit one boat, the fee is about 180 pesos. You can buy your ticket at the official ticket booth at the marina „Embarcadero Cahuare“. The walls of the Sumidero Canyon reach the height of 1000 meters and create amazing formations such as The Christmas Tree (on the pictures). It is very likely you see alligators, turtles and many aquatic birds, but also floating plastic garbage (Mexicans are still not very familiar with garbage bins :). Unfortunately. You will be perfectly dry on boat, however, take some jacket because the boats move fast and it gets chilly (thought in general the climate of this part of Chiapas is very hot and humid). This is a routine work for the „captains“, sometimes they give a really nice tour, other times they do a sloppy job.

Sumidero Canyon is a perfect, easy, one day trip from San Cristóbal de las Casas, a beautiful town in the Chiapas mountains and a ideal place where you find lots of accommodation possibilities.

How to get here: The small port „Embarcadero Cahuaré“ is on the road from Chiapa de Corzo and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. If you are travelling from San Cristóbal, just take a “combi” that goes to Tuxtla and ask the driver to left you off at the Embarcadero (about 1 hour). From the main road you need to walk some 10 minutes down to the port. There are also plenty of organized tours.