Best of the Lakes Region
El Zócalo: Shady benches, a gurgling fountain, and live music in the central bandstand make this a classic colonial plaza. But the modern-art sculptures, welcoming red-suited tourism officers, and amiable atmosphere, day and night, make it cien por ciento (100 percent) Comitán.
Cascada El Chiflón: Extending more than a kilometer, this impressive series of waterfalls has radiant turquoise water and includes a 120-meter tumbler that’s one of the tallest in Mexico. Trails lead up both sides, with mist-drenched observation points and a zip line across the main cascade.
Parque Nacional Lagunas de Montebello: Nearly 60 lakes, each seemingly a different hue, all ensconced in a cool pine forest, have long made this a favorite destination. Spend a day hopping from lake to lake — a photo-op here, a spin in a kayak there — either on your own or with a tour.
Laguna Miramar: Said to be the purest body of water in Mexico, Laguna Miramar is postcard gorgeous, with warm crystalline water that’s ideal for swimming, kayaking, even snorkeling. It’s all the more lovely for its remote, hard-to-reach location, deep in the Lacandón rainforest.
Las Guacamayas: A relaxing and beautiful ecocenter on the edge of the Montes Azules biosphere reserve, Las Guacamayas has hiking and boat tours through the rainforest, and is a nesting ground for hundreds of endangered guacamayas (scarlet macaws). It’s a great stopover on the roundabout route between Comitán and Palenque.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition