On my trip to Mexico, Chiapas totally conquered me.
Not only for the particular atmosphere in San Cristóbal de Las Casas or for the teachings of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
The nature of the southernmost State of Mexico is incredible.
Forests, jungles, woods, waterfalls, rivers and caves are the natural habitat of parrots, toucans, monkeys, crocodiles.
CANYON DEL RIO LA VENTA
If you want to avoid the tourist crowds in the more famous Sumidero Canyon, you have to go without regrets to the Rio La Venta Canyon.
This canyon, more suitable if yout like trekking and exploration, is 50 miles long and its walls are up to 1300 ft high.
Going down 750 steps you get to the river that generated it, also reaching the beautiful Aguacero waterfall, 230 ft high.
Inside the canyon there are many caves, used by pre-Hispanic populations both as a refuge and for ceremonies.
In the most remote area of the canyon, known as “Sacred Canyon” and reachable with a trek of several days, the river allows kayaking and rafting excursions.
SIMA DE LAS COTORRAS (CHASM OF THE PARROTS)
Thousands of parrots live inside this impressive natural cavity, 460 ft deep and 525 ft in diameter.
I recommend sleeping in the nearby stone huts, to see the incredible exit of thousands of parrots from inside at sunrise.
After this show you could walk safely around the pit or rappel deep into the cavity.
In this way you reach a cave on whose internal walls there are various pre-Hispanic paintings.
I had never made a descent with the rope and being suspended there was very nice.
The descent was quiet and fun… but I still remember the effort to go up.
At sunset, the parrots come back to the chasm and you see their return.
They are very faithful animals and their couples are forever.
So is exciting to note how they always move in pairs.
Alone parrots are those who have not yet found company or have lost it and will still remain faithful to the end.
THE MAYA JUNGLE
This not only for the beauty of the buildings, but for the nature that surrounds, hides and protects them.
Most of Palenque‘s buildings are still buried under tropical vegetation.
But this isn’t a problem for the splendor that we see.
The same about Yaxchilan, an archaeological site on the border with Guatemala.
You can even get here only by sailing on the historic Usumacinta River, the longest and most flowable river in Central America.
These areas are obviously the natural habitat of many animals.