A while back ago I got a map on my birthday. I started picking places from Mexico that I had already visited. Being born in México, it was shocking for me to realize that I had a few (a lot actually) places on my map without a checkmark. It was obvious to me that if I wanted to see all these places, not just from México but from around the world, I needed to start traveling alone, nobody to wait for, nobody to stop for. So this is a start. The beginning of a trip for myself.
Welcome to Chiapas! The first trip paid by me, for myself only. Chiapas is located in Southeastern Mexico, bordering with Guatemala. In general, Chiapas has a humid, tropical climate. It is also home to the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque, Yaxhilán, Bonampak and Chinkultic. A week in Chiapas was more than enough to fall deeply in love with the jungle, the city, the ruins.
I started my week-long tour at Palenque. Among so many green, Palenque is an amazing place with so much history. Beautiful ruins so out of time, naturally absorbed by the jungle that surrounds it. The size of the ruins will make you wonder how the hell were they built so long ago, without technology, bull-dozers or whatever. I mean, really, only human (super human) force. Tenoch, our guide, proudly told us all about the history of the place. Palenque ruins date back from 226 BC to around 799 AD. The jungle is covered all over with all the amazing kinds of green you have ever seen; mahagony, cedar and sapodilla trees are popular at the region. Humidity at its finest. We had the chance to explore for about 4 hours, I do recommend you to ask for a personal guide, so much history and interesting facts lay underneath the ruins.
Take note: you need good, closed shoes, you'll sweat like you never have, bring water.
Yoga here is a must.
Next stop, la Selva Lacandona, (Lacandon Jungle). It covers an area of approximately 1.9 million hectares extending from Chiapas into northern Guatemala and southern Yucatán. Here you NEED a guide. This guide will not only be of great help, but also your passport into the jungle. Locals don't like tourists, your guide will be the friend in between. I can't even begin to explain the humidity, we were lucky it wasn't that sunny. I had the chance to stay here an entire day, i met locals and I was invited to their house. Sadly taking my camera with me was just not an option. They believe that cameras in general take a portion of their souls when taking a picture. They live 100% from the jungle, so they protect it with their heart. (As we should protect our environments).
Cataratas de Agua Azul is a waterfall body that consists of many cataracts following one after another. Located just 69 km away from San Cristóbal, perfect blue water with high mineral content. Beautiful view all-around, and a large market by the side where you can buy almost anything. From coconuts to wetshoes.
One of my favorite places had to be at the border between México and Guatemala. (I lived in Guatemala for almost 6 years and its safe to say its one of my favorite places on this planet) Río Usumacinta defines part of the border between Guatemala & Mexico.The view is UN-belivable, it really is. There's a really good restaurant at the top of a hill where you can see both countries sharing this beautiful view.
(I had to hug Guatemala's geographic limit)
My last place to visit was magical. Cañón del sumidero, a deep narrow canyon surrounded by a protected national park, located just north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo. You can take a tour on a boat that will take you through it. You may get wet, but trust me it is absolutely worth it.