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
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
Grutas de San Cristobal (Caves)
|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 Montebello Lakes.
|El Chiflon Falls..what a place to pitch a
|The zip line only operates on
|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 developed trail
|For scale there are people on the viewing
|Swimming is not allowed but kayaks and
log rafts are.
|Fog and rain didn't dampen our day at the Montebello