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Chiapas Mountain Biking

Chiapas Adventure

9 Day Sample Tour
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This active Chiapas trip in Mexico combines mountain biking, rafting, and hiking as you explore the Mundo Maya (Mayan World) and experience first-hand Chiapas' traditional cultures. This is an ideal Mexico tour for travelers interested in multisport activities who also want an authentic experience with visits to local villages, Maya ruins, and remote rainforest.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Tuxtla Gutierrez | Sumidero Canyon
Day 2 : Biking in Chiapas
Day 3 : Hiking the Montebello Lakes
Day 4 : Lacandona Rainforest | Las Guacamayas
Day 5 : Lacandona Rainforest Boat Trip and Hikes
Day 6 : Yaxchitlan Maya Ruins
Day 7 : Rafting the Lacanja River | Bonampak Maya Ruins
Day 8 : Palenque Maya Ruins | Mishol-Ha Waterfall
Day 9 : Transfer to Villahermosa

Highlights

  • Take a cultural biking journey through the Chiapan countryside
  • Hike Montebello Lakes, a cluster of over 50 lakes ranging in size and color
  • Search for wildlife at Lacandona Rainforest, a protected area
  • Boat to Rio Lacantun for bird watching and wildlife viewing

Places Visited

  • Central America & Mexico
  • Mexico
  • Bonampak Maya Ruins
  • Chiapa de Corzo
  • Chiapas
  • Comitan
  • Lagos de Montebello
  • Las Guacamayas
  • Palenque
  • Reforma Agraria
  • San Cristobal de las Casas
  • San Juan Chamula
  • Tabasco
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez
  • Villahermosa
  • Yaxchitlan
  • Zinacantan

Activities

Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Moderate

Trip Snapshots

Chiapas Mountain Biking Palenque ruins Mishol Ha Waterfall Traditional masks of Chiapas line a wall. A view of the amazing Sumidero Canyon. A guide informs visitors about the beautiful Misol-Ha waterfall. Travelers climb to the top of the Tonina ruins. Maya ruins

Day 1 Arrive Tuxtla Gutierrez | Sumidero Canyon

Arrive to the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport, meet your guide, and transfer to Chiapa de Corzo and the Sumidero Canyon. Embark on a motorboat trip through the majestic rock walls of the Sumidero Canyon towering thousands of feet above the river. Enjoy opportunities for wildlife viewing, such as crocodiles, cormorants, spider monkeys, and herons. Return to the dock and continue into the highlands to the quaint town of San Cristobal de las Casas and settle into the charming colonial hotel.

Day 2 Biking in Chiapas

Enjoy a 18-25 mile (30-40 km) bike excursion on a cultural journey through the Chiapan countryside with visits to the villages of Zinacantan and San Juan Chamula. Your bike trip is adapted to your interests and is vehicle-supported. Begin with a bike tour of San Cristobal, admiring the beauty of the colonial streets and alleys lined with red-roof tiles and white-washed walls. Visit Zinacantan, a Tzotzil Maya village outside of San Cristobal, known for its flowers and as the only source of salt in the Chiapas Highlands. San Juan Chamula is famous for its church, adorned with images and artifacts representing a unique blend of Maya and Catholic beliefs.

Day 3 Hiking the Montebello Lakes

Depart San Cristobal and travel to Montebello Lakes for a full day in this remarkable cluster of over fifty lakes and ponds. Each lake is unique in size, shape, and color, ranging from emerald green to cobalt blue. Enjoy a hike among the lakes and pine forest, boasting dramatic overlooks of the valleys below. Drive to the hacienda in Comitan for dinner and to settle in for the night.

Day 4 Lacandona Rainforest | Las Guacamayas

Descend from the Chiapas highlands with a drive into the Lacandona Rainforest. Stop at the Las Nubes Waterfall on the Santo Domingo River, famous for its vibrant turquoise color, for a 1.5 hour hike in the area. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue for two hours to Las Guacamayas, an environmental education and ecotourism center and your home for the next two nights. This lodge focuses on the conservation of habitat for the macaw in this region. Relax in your cabanas with a private bathroom and hot water, and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle as you prepare for the next day’s Chiapas adventure.

Lacandona Rainforest is a protected area with tremendous opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, including jaguars and eagles, both important symbols for the Maya. Tucans, red macaws, curassows, tucancillo collarejo, and cojolite (turkeys) are all found in this area, species sought by the Maya for their traditional headdresses.

Day 5 Lacandona Rainforest Boat Trip and Hikes

Choose from various options for today’s included activities. You can take a two hour boat trip on the Rio Lacantun for birdwatching and wildlife viewing (and maybe a jaguar if you are lucky), or hike to areas to spot the reserve’s macaws. If you simply want to relax at the lodge, a hammock is waiting for you! The day can be customized based on your preferences and interests.

Day 6 Yaxchitlan Maya Ruins

Bid farewell to Las Guacamayas and depart to Yaxchitlan, a Maya complex known for its strategic (and scenic) location on a bend in the Usumacinta River. The site displays ornamental facades and stelae (or carved stone slabs) that depict Maya battles and ceremonial events. Due to the remoteness of this site, Yaxchitlan is less-visited than other Maya ruins of similar importance and size, giving you more quiet and freedom to explore Yaxchitlan with your local guide.

Day 7 Rafting the Lacanja River | Bonampak Maya Ruins

Hit the river with a half-day rafting trip on the Lacanja River. This scenic river cuts through lush rainforest and passes through small waterfalls and pools, giving a nice variation between meandering stretches and exciting drops. Most drops are 3-5 feet high with one at 8 feet and a Class II - III rating depending on the water level.

This afternoon visit Bonampak, a Maya site meaning “Painted Walls” in a Maya dialect. The site is famous for its vivid frescoes showing the consecration of the ruling elite’s heirs, depictions of battles, sacrifices, and ceremonies and displays some of the finest murals found in the pre-colonial Americas. Many murals remained unfinished due to the fall of the classic Maya civilization. In the evening, travel to Palenque and overnight.

Day 8 Palenque Maya Ruins | Mishol-Ha Waterfall

Palenque was an important power center during the height of Mayan civilization that dates back to 100 BC. It is still unclear what led to the important city state’s fall around 900 AD. Nestled deep in jungles at the foot of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Palenque’s setting is as memorable as the site is important for the light it sheds on Maya traditions, ritual, ceremony, and spirituality. A massive complex spread over 15 sq. km., only the central area has been excavated. Peruse the Templo de Las Inscripciones, a burial monument that is Palenque’s tallest building, and El Palacio, the residence of Palenque’s rulers built in stages from 400 AD until 900 AD and restored in 1955. The palace’s tower is believed to have been constructed so Maya royalty and priests could watch the falling sun during the winter solstice.

After Palenque, continue to the Mishol-Ha Waterfall that cascades 115 feet into a pool surrounded by lush, green vegetation. An optional path winds behind the main falls that acts as a curtain and leads into a cave. Be prepared to get wet, but it is a nice break from the tropical heat. Bring your swimsuit and take a swim in designated areas during low flows.

Day 9 Transfer to Villahermosa

  • 1 Breakfast
Transfer to Villahermosa (two hours) for a late morning or afternoon flight out of of the airport to your next destination in Mexico to continue your Mexico tour or to return home.

Comitan - Hotels

Escudo Jaguar

Las Guacamayas

Palenque - Hotels

San Cristobal de las Casas - Hotels

Per person starting at
$3,225

Notes

$470 single supplement

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
    • 6 Nights Hotel
    • 2 Nights Lodge
  • 8 Days Private Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Gear Rental
  • Park Entrance Fee

Excluded

  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $300 Meals not Included
  • $17 Airport Departure Tax
  • $50 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jessica L

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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