Aguacero waterfall (7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$2) is one of Chiapas’s most picturesque cascadas, with countless rivulets falling from a long moss-covered ledge, the wind drawing them out in a graceful mist. El Aguacero is located at the bottom of a deep canyon, its water emerging from the mouth of a cave, and there’s a sheer cliff, shooting hundreds of meters high, on the opposite bank. The Río Venta is swift but tranquil, and a number of sandy spots make for a pleasant lunch break.
The access road dead-ends at a small parking lot, where an amiable family charges admission and operates a simple restaurant (with terrific canyon views, but frequently out of supplies). A pathway—with 724 stairs, the family proudly informs visitors—winds steeply down to the river, where you bear left (upriver) about 250 meters to the falls.
You’ll have to clamber a bit—crossing overgrown brush and fallen trunks, and hopping rock to rock in places—and eventually remove your shoes (or get them wet) to reach the base of the falls. It’s definitely worth it, though, especially on hot days when the falls are perfect for cooling off.
The path and riverbank are good places to spot herons and collared aracaris, and curious insects like praying mantis and stick-bugs.
Getting to El Aguacero
The well-marked turnoff to Cascada El Aguacero is about 16 kilometers southeast of Ocozocoautla (or 60 km from Tuxtla) on Highway 190. From there, it’s three kilometers down a dirt road. The last section is quite steep and slippery; if it has rained recently, consider parking where the road starts to descend sharply and walking the final 750 meters to the entrance. There is no public transportation.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition