If you’re staying in or around San Cristobal de Las Casas and want to get out of the city for a bit we highly recommend visiting las Cascadas el Chiflón. The falls are about a three hour drive southeast of San Cris. To break up the journey, and also because we wanted to visit the Lagunas de Montebello, we stayed in the town of Comitán, which is more or less between these two attractions. We’re going to describe a little of the logistics involved in getting to the falls. If you want to just hear about the falls themselves, skip to the bottom.
To get to Comitán you can hire a taxi or, for a more economical choice, take a bus. We opted for the bus route. To get the bus, just go to the OCC station off of Calle Insurgentes. The route runs every hour or so and the fares are affordable. In Comitán, we got a taxi from the bus station to our AirBnb. I found a great place with comfortable beds and hot showers. The best part about it is the host Penelopé. Her family owns a restaurant in town and she was very helpful in helping us find a place to eat dinner. There’s a great place right across the street from this place serving local delicacies. If you stay here, just ask Penelopé about it.
Note: If you’ve never used AirBnB before, we highly recommend it. It can be a great alternative to hotels, especially when other options are slim, as in a place like Comitán. Use our referral link and get $40 toward your first trip.
To get to the falls from Comitán you can take a combi. They run every hour from Comitán, with the last ride ending at six. Don’t be alarmed when your driver makes ad hoc stops to pick up cement blocks, live chickens, and other miscellaneous persons and items–it’s a normal part of traveling how the locals do in Mexico!
These falls are a series of waterfalls with a mineral content that makes the water a beautiful turquoise color and leaves and interesting petrified residue on the riverbed. They remind us a lot of some of one of our favorite places in the world: Havasupai Indian reservation in Arizona. You pay a small fee to enter the falls (~50 pesos). There is a trail that follows the river up the mountain past all the different cascadas. You can swim, but unfortunately only in the lower section of the river. The lower part of the river was full of Mexican families picnicking and enjoying the water. We recommend you make the trek all the way to the top in order to get away from the crowds and enjoy a better view. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a soak in the cool and refreshing water.
Food options here were meager so we recommend bringing your own snacks. A michelada is a great drink to enjoy by the river after your hike. Make sure you’re by the combi stop by six so you can catch the last bus back to Comitán. If you want to do something else while you’re in the area, you’re in a good position to check out the Lagunas de Montebello.