After a month exploring Mexico, we’ve developed a curated information of probably the most wanderlust-inspiring waterfalls in Chiapas, and probably the most atmospheric cenotes in Yucatán.
Mexico has beautiful seashores. Lengthy stretches of golden sand dotted with palm bushes body clear blue oceans. Cozy loungers, with cocktails available, present the right vantage level for people-watching.
However deluxe seaside golf equipment usually are not the one option to cool off in Mexico.
The cenotes of Yucatán are pure sinkholes created after limestone bedrock collapsed, exposing the groundwater beneath. Vines from the bushes above stretch down their lengthy cavernous partitions reaching cool clear water on the backside.
Additional inland the distant territory of Chiapas has a few of the greatest waterfalls in Mexico. Water cascades over deep valley partitions into swimming pools surrounded by lush vegetation and boulders large enough to hold a sunbather.
So put down the cocktail and take a look at some distant and wild swimming. After a month on the street, listed below are our favorite cenotes and waterfalls in Mexico.
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MAP / WATERFALLS IN CHIAPAS & YUCATÁN, MEXICO
Together with in style vacationer resorts, the Caribbean coastal state of Yucatán has a number of nice swimming spots in completely atmospheric locations.
However on our Mexico street journey we headed additional inland to find a few of the most stunning waterfalls in Chiapas – an space of dense rainforest, dotted with unimaginable Mayan ruins. Cool off in deep cave techniques or lush waterfalls on this completely under-visited a part of Mexico.
1 – MISOL HÁ
A tropical oasis with a wonderful pure pool below a waterfall
Misol Há is a 35-meter waterfall set deep within the jungle of Chiapas. It drops into a superbly shaped round pool, surrounded by rocks and plush vegetation. A path runs instantly behind the falls and results in a small cave offering nice views via the water.
A excessive focus of mineral deposits maintains the water’s clear, brilliantly blue lustre. This makes Misol-Há the right spot for a refreshing dip earlier than unwinding and warming your self on one of many giant rocks framing the pool.
Within the late afternoon, the solar filtering via the falls creates a mesmerizingly tranquil scene.
For the sheer fantastic thing about the place, and the pristine water, Misol Há is definitely certainly one of our favorite waterfalls in Mexico. It’s additionally near a few of the fascinating archaeological websites in Mexico and a good way to chill off after a protracted day of sightseeing.
Attending to Misol-Há / Misol-Há is 20 kilometres from Palenque on the street to San Cristóbal | Location – Camino a Cascada de Misol-Ha, Chiapas | Hours – 06:45 – 19:45 | Prices – There’s a small charge for entry and parking.
2 – CASCADA EL AGUACERO CHIAPAS
An journey to a deep canyon waterfall in Chiapas
Cascada el Aguacero Chiapas is positioned on the finish of a makeshift street that appears prefer it was in determined want of restore a long time in the past. A twisting drive down a steep rutted concrete street ends at a parking lot the place a cheery Mexican will request 35 peso per particular person and promise to regulate your automotive.
However, what makes Cascada el Aguacero certainly one of our favorite waterfalls in Mexico is its beautiful location. From the automotive park, 700 steps result in the valley ground the place steep canyon partitions rise on both aspect, and a small river winds previous giant boulders.
If the water is excessive it’s a 30-minute hike via the jungle to get to the waterfall. Nonetheless, from round December to Could it’s often potential to stroll alongside the valley ground which solely takes quarter-hour to achieve the silvery strands cascading over mossy rocks.
Numerous paths result in hidden caves and an underground river. Deliver a picnic lunch and a few beers to actually get pleasure from this relaxed ambiance. Simply have in mind it’s 700 steps again as much as the automotive park, so not too many beers.
Attending to Cascade el Aguacero / Cascada el Aguacero is about 1-hour drive from Tuxtla, search for the turn-off about 15 kilometres west of Ocozocoautla on the 190 (not the 190D) | Handle – Cañón Río La Venta, Cascada El Aguacero.
3 – AGUA AZUL
Vibrant turquoise waters in a lush jungle setting
Slightly below 40 miles from Palenque, the brilliant blue waters of Agua Azul lower a placing scene via the Lacandon Jungle. Quite a few cascades race over orange rock, diverting then reconnecting, earlier than forming swimming pools of turquoise waters all through the jungle panorama. The color and the namesake comes from the excessive mineral content material of the water, making Agua Azul probably the most placing waterfalls in Mexico.
Being so near the ruins of Palenque it’s not precisely off the overwhelmed observe. Rows of tourist-targeted eating places and trinket outlets line the trail. However if you happen to’re not anticipating to have the place to your self Agua Azul is nicely definitely worth the go to. Proceed previous the outlets and finally the trail turns into extra pure, the crowds disappear and also you’ll realise why it’s certainly one of our favorite waterfalls in Mexico.
The highest of the trail is a good place for a swim and when you’ve labored up an urge for food within the waters of Agua Azul, there are many eating places to select from in your method again to the automotive park.
Attending to Aqua Azul / Agua Azul is 40 miles from Palenque off Hwy 199 | Colectivo – Shared taxis go from Palenque to “Crucero de Agua Azul” the place pickup vans will take you the remainder of the way in which. | Excursions – Alternatively, take a guided tour from San Cristóbal.
4 – CASCADA DE LAS GOLONDRINAS
A robust waterfall for some energetic swimming
Between the favored ruins of Palenque and the marginally much less in style archaeological web site Yaxchilán, Cascada de las Golondrinas offers the setting for a terrific afternoon swim in probably the most energising waterfalls in Mexico. Right here two cascades dramatically meet in a wonderful pool, surrounded by verdant jungle.
After a brief stroll up from the automotive park and alongside wood boardwalks you will see picnic tables and quick access to the turquoise swimming pools. However swimming at Cascada de las Golondrinas is extra a take a look at of power than leisure.
Quick flowing water pushes even the strongest of swimmers away from the bottom of the waterfall, hurtling you again in direction of the sting of the pool.
Fortuitously, the pool is large enough to keep away from the robust currents and a rope and netting present help if you happen to worry being swept downstream. It’s a enjoyable option to cool off from the warmth of the day. Some fundamental amenities can be found to get pleasure from a picnic at a wonderful waterfall in Mexico.
Attending to Cascada de las Golondrinas / Cascada de las Golondrinas is 56 kilometres from Frontera Corozal (the entry level for Yaxchilán), and 128 kilometres from Palenque. It’s a ten kilometres drive off Freeway 307.
5 – HACIENDA SAN LORENZO OXMÁN CENOTE
An atmospheric cenote deep cenote with vines stretching to the water
There are round 6000 cenotes in Yucatán which could be collected on a week in Playa del Carmen. The one at Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman is our favorite. Deceptively deep and absolutely collapsed, roots twist their method down its complete size, accumulating water for the bushes rising across the rim. Crops cling to the moss-covered rocky partitions with water trickling down from above. It’s a wonderful cavernous swimming gap.
Like most cenotes in Mexico the water is clear (showering is obligatory earlier than getting into) however extraordinarily refreshing. A rope hangs over the water, and it’s nice enjoyable to swing throughout and drop your self into the pool to the approval of the cheering crowd. On our go to, we noticed children – significantly devoid of sanity – leaping in from the highest.
Subsequent to the cenote, there’s a pool that guests can use and a well-stocked bar. This offers Hacienda San Lorenzo extra of a celebration vibe than a soothing chill-out house, and it really works its theme completely.
Attending to Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman / San Lorenzo is 5 kilometres from Valladolid. Bikes could be employed for round 80 peso for the day or taxis are straightforward to order. Parking is included within the entrance charge | Hours – 8:00 – 17:00 | Price – 30 pesos per particular person | Location – Calle 54, Valladolid
6 – IK KIL CENOTE
Lovely icy dip near Chichén Itza
If you end up sizzling and sweaty after exploring Chichén Itza make your option to the marvel of Ik Kil Cenote. This significantly engaging cenote – sacred to the Mayans and used for ritual providers – is a 26-metre climb down spiral stone stairs to get to the 40-metre deep swimming gap.
The steep partitions and deep water make it significantly icy, however when you courageous the temperature, the attractive clear water, small waterfalls trickling down the rocky partitions and vines descending from the floor, all make Ik Kil an atmospheric cenote that actually shouldn’t be missed. Deliver a pair of goggles to identify the pleasant fish which have made this place their residence.
As Ik Kil is just a 10-minute drive from Chichén Itza and has vacationer amenities together with a restaurant and a present store, you gained’t precisely have all of it to your self. However on our go to, there have been extra individuals within the present store than the cenote.
Attending to Ik Kil Cenote / Many tour operators run from Chichén Itza, nevertheless, you probably have your individual automotive it’s a very simple drive | Location – Hwy 180, Km 122 | Hours – 8:00 – 17:00 | Price – 70 peso for adults, 35 for youngsters
7 – X’KEKÉN
An virtually fully enclosed underground swimming cave
For a unique expertise to the opposite cenotes or the waterfalls in Mexico, Cenote X’kekén, is an virtually fully enclosed cenote with only a small opening on the prime letting in a dramatic shard of sunshine.
It lacks as many vines and roots rising down from the highest however it makes up for it within the uniqueness of swimming in an underground cave. Stalactites dangle gracefully from the limestone ceiling and the water is cool, clear and filled with inquisitive fish.
There’s second cenote, Cenote Samulá, a 5-minute stroll away. However though it’s bigger it’s a lot much less engaging. Over latest years, amenities have began showing at X’Kekén together with a present store, lockers, bogs, showers and meals stalls. Lifeguards are on obligation within the cenote. Attempt to arrive late morning/noon when the daylight is streaming via the opening.
Attending to X’Kekén / X’Kekén is 3 kilometres from Vallodlid | Price – 80 pesos for adults, 50 for teenagers (1 cenote); 125 adults; 50 children (each cenotes) Location – close to Dzintup
MORE READING FOR MEXICO TRIP
Mexico has a vibrancy and vitality that hits you the minute you arrive. There’s a lot to discover in Yucatán close to the biosphere reserve of Celestun, plus listed below are some extra of our guides:
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