Montebello Lakes Tour, Chiapas, Mexico
John and I pride ourselves on being independent travelers. We do our own research, find our deals and take some gambles that we
hope will be combined with our good karma. So far (knock on wood) we've been very lucky. However, we wavered from our
original plan and took advantage of an organized tour from San Cristobal. An small 12 passenger excursion van was taking some folks
on a 12 hour tour of the south. After inquiring if the driver had a license to drive we decided to become one of the crowd. At 9:30
AM we were picked up by a tour operator from Otisa Operadores Turisticos Internationals and we were on our way. The first stop,
which lasted about 40 minutes was Grutas de San Cristobal, a long cavern just south of the city. The walk to the end is easy and
quite unique, although a bit dark.
From the Grutas we traveled for 2 hours through cane plantations, mountains and rain forest to The Chiflon Waterfalls. What a
beautiful place! The water was crystal clear, clean and inviting. After a slightly strenuous hike to the top we were awarded a million
dollar view and a nice cool over-spray. There were vacant campsites along the stream that would have fetched a ton of money in the
states. We're coming back with our tents someday............
Continuing on to Parque Nacional Lagunas de Montebello, we enjoyed the tropical scenery which included coffee and sugar
plantations. Eventually we climbed into the mountains and were greeted by the first of 50+ protected lakes. The park, which is
approximately 15,000 acres along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. The waters of each lake are a different color ranging
from deep green, to grey to green-blue and violet. These differences are caused by different oxides and levels. The area we saw was
pristine. The lakes are at 3000' and surrounded by pine forests. We understood from our tour guide that swimming in the lakes is
prohibited. Perhaps this was true of only certain lakes since our guide books mention the wonderful swimming that one can
experience.. The day we visited was cold and rainy. There was no desire to go into the water so we didn't pursue the subject.
Take a look at the photos. We're sure you'll agree we made the right choice in using a tour company for this expedition.
|Grutas de San
|Nine km south of San Cristobal are the San Cristobal caves.
There is a 1 km concrete walkway through the caves.
|The usual unusual formations along the walkway.
|There are miles and miles of sugarcane along the route to
|El Chiflon Falls..what a place to pitch a tent!
|The zip line only operates on weekends.....
|Beautiful and secluded all at the same time.
|Waterfalls with magnificent color and force
|This is the highest point you can hike to on a
|For scale there are people on the viewing platform.
|Swimming is not allowed but kayaks and log rafts
|Fog and rain didn't dampen our day at the Montebello Lakes
|It looks as though you should spot a moose or deer, huh?