El Cañón del Sumidero is one of the visits you can’t miss when you visit Chiapas. Even if you are not a nature fanatic, you will be amazed by this gigantesque canyon that hides many vegetal and animal species. Formed by the Grijalva River, it spreads along 80 kilometers and its walls can reach 1 000 meters. If you read these lines, it is certainly because you want to know what to see in El Cañón del Sumidero and how to go there. So, let’s dive in!
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What is El Cañón del Sumidero?
El Cañón del Sumidero was declared a National park in 1980, a great way to protect one of the most impressive sites in Mexico. Some Mayas’ presence has been found to imply the place has been known by human beings for a very long time. Indigenous people of the area consider the Cañón a sacred place.
The park was formed, there are more than 35 million years and covers 2789 hectares. Impressive fact: some hills are high by 1000 meters. You will surely understand how huge this dimension is when you pass on the boat to discover the Cañón from the river Grijalva. If today, tourists can enjoy a nice ride on the water, it is thanks to the construction of the hydroelectric dam in 1980.
What to see in the Canyon del Sumidero?
There are two ways to visit El Cañón del Sumidero: from the top and from below.
Visit The Miradores
The best way to discover the Cañón is to start with the miradores. This way, you will see it from the top and will understand how big and impressive the site is before visiting it from the river.
A small route on the top takes you from one mirador to another. There are 6 in total. Each of them offers a totally different view of the site.
Take the boat tour
There are several piers where you can take a boat. You need to know there are 2 types of embarkation: the collective boats that leave once they are full and the private boats that are obviously more expensive.
It is impossible to visit the entire canyon, but the ride lasts around 2 hours and will allow you to discover remarkable spots like the Christmas tree or the cave.
Besides admiring the natural beauty of the Canyon, the impressive hills, and the beautiful perspective, you will also see the animals. They all live in the Cañón, like the spider monkey or the great curassow, but the most impressive are the crocodiles.
When to go to El Cañon del Sumidero?
You can visit El Cañón del Sumidero all year, but you have to know that the impressive beauty of the waterfalls will depend on the quantity of rain for the period you visit.
Don’t go on Tuesdays, because the miradores are closed for maintenance.
How to get to El Cañón del Sumidero?
To start, you must know that going on your own is not the best option. I don’t like tours. I don’t like them at all, but I highly recommend you book one to visit the Cañón del Sumidero.
How to get to the miradores?
It is important to highlight that there is no public transportation to the entrance of the miradores Road, so you will need a car to go there. The fee is 34 pesos; you can stop at all the miradores.
How to get to the piers?
If you have your own car, it is easy to reach one of the piers from wherever you live. If you use public transportation from Tuxtla, you need to find a colectivo to Chiapa de Corzo, and from there, walk to the closest pier.
Take a tour
I really think it is the best option, especially if you come from San Cristobal de las Casas. If you walk in the city center, you will see many agencies that offer the tour, since it is the most popular excursion. They offer more or less the same things.
My tour started at 9 am in the Zócalo of San Cristobal de las Casas. From there, we walked to the mini-bus that took us first to the miradores. According to the agency and your arrival time, you can go to 2 and 4 miradores.
Then, it was time to take the boat. The mini-bus let us close to the pier, where we embarked on our new vehicle. The traject ended at the pier in Chiapa de Corzo where we had 1-2 hours to visit the city and eat a little.
Our driver told us to meet close to the Fuente Mudejar where he came to pick us up with the bus to take us back to San Cristobal de las Casas around 4 pm.
It is a fast and effective way to discover the site. I usually don’t like tours, because I think you never have enough time to really enjoy the places you visit, but actually with this tour you really make the most of El Cañon del Sumidero.
How much does the Canyon del Sumidero cost?
Access to the miradores costs 34 pesos. However, taking the boat first will be free since it is included in the boat tour fee.
The boat tour’s cost depends on whether you decide to take a private boat or a collective one. For the collective one, you will pay around 200 pesos and get the bracelet to freely visit the miradores.
If you choose the tour, everything will be included in the price: transportation, miradores, and boat tour. I paid 380 pesos in December 2022.
Tips to visit El Cañón del Sumidero
- Wear good shoes. You are going to walk a little.
- Get dressed with summer clothes, but take a jacket or a sweater, because you may experience temperature variations during the visit.
- Bring water. It can become pretty hot there.
- Bring sunglasses. It can be useful, especially on the boat.
- Be careful if you wear a hat on the boat because it could become pretty windy.
- Put sunscreen, since the sun can hit pretty strongly even if the sky is cloudy.
- Avoid Tuesday to visit, since the miradores route is closed.
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Visit El Cañon del Sumidero responsibly
During the boat ride, you will see that the river is pretty dirty. Don’t add to it, and keep all your trashes with you.
If you are in Chiapas, you need to visit El Cañón del Sumidero. It is a magical place where nature totally stuns you. I hope this article will help you to organize your next-day trip. Share it on Pinterest to help other travelers!