The impressive Sumidero Canyon is a strait crossed by the Grijalva River, with gigantic walls and cliffs that sometimes rise more than a thousand meters high.

Sumidero Canyon : Our guide to visit the cliffs and the national park

Vue du cañon du Sumidero depuis un drone

This jewel of nature is one of Mexico’s 67 national parks and a federal reserve that is home to many of Chiapas’ endemic species.

It is a vast area that covers 21789 ha between the cities of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapa de Corzo, Nuevo Usumacinta and San Fernando.

The canyon was formed about 35 million years ago and is today one of the main attractions of Chiapas as it offers a magnificent panoramic view to visitors.

To live the experience completely, we recommend that you discover the canyon from both above and below, with visits to the famous viewpoints and on board a boat.

In our complete Sumidero Canyon guide we will explain why it is essential to go there, the attractions not to be missed, how to get there, what to take and where to sleep to visit it.


  • What to do in Sumidero Canyon?
    • Boat trip along Río Grijalva River
    • Walk on the Miradors
  • When to go
  • How to get there
  • Estimated cost to visit Sumidero Canyon
    • Miradors
    • Boat trip
    • Guided tour
  • Our recommendations
  • Accommodation
  • Where to eat

What to do in Sumidero Canyon?

There are two ways to visit the Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas: take a boat tour and walk along the viewpoints.

These are radically different experiences and we sincerely recommend that you do both to make the most of the Sumidero Canyon!

Boat trip along Río Grijalva River

One of the best ways to get to know the Sumidero Canyon is to take a boat trip along the course of the Río Grijalva. The boat trip takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of about 64 kilometers along the Grijalva River. The tour starts in Chiapa de Corzo, you reach the Chicoasén dam and then make the trip in the opposite direction.

It is important to know that if today the river seems calm, it is only thanks to the construction of this hydroelectric dam in 1980, because before then the current was strong and it was dangerous to cross the river.

Since 1980, this place is considered a national park, and some parts of its cliffs can reach up to 1 kilometre high. It is possible to see some species of this habitat such as crocodiles, spider monkeys and an infinity of birds. The walk is a lot of fun and the experience of entering the Sumidero Canyon and seeing the walls surrounding us as you go deeper into the Sumidero Canyon is simply amazing!

There are several small caves and several natural formations on the walls. The two most important ones are the Christmas Tree and the Cave of Colors, where the guide stops to let you observe and take some pictures.

The Cave of Colours is a natural chapel with pink tones on the walls due to the natural infiltration of different minerals. A Virgin of Guadalupe has been placed there and on December 12th a large floating mass is celebrated in her honour!

The Christmas tree is the nickname given to a 750-metre high limestone formation located on a canyon wall and created by a 200-metre high waterfall. The best time to observe the waterfall is during the rainy season.

To make the boat trip through the Sumidero Canyon, there are 4 piers in Chiapa de Corzo!

Malecon Pier

📍 Address: Embarcadero s/n, San Jacinto, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis, Mexico
📞 Phone: +52 961 616 0 453 / +52 961 171 7 542

The Malecón pier is the most crowded, so there’s no need to wait very long for a group to complete each other. You can park in the main plaza of Chiapa de Corzo and walk a few blocks to get to this pier.

Unidad Deportiva Pier

📍 Address: Capitán Vicente López 7, San Jacinto, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis., Mexico
📞 Telephone: +52 961 390 2 447 / +52 961 616 0 680

Cahuaré pier

📍 Address: Al Embarcadero 100, Ribera Cahuaré, Cahuaré, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis, Mexico
📞 Telephone : (961) 6161572

Cahuare is smaller of the piers, but it has a parking lot. However, the waiting time to gather a group on this pier is slightly longer (about 20 minutes).

Belisario Dominguez pier

📍 Address: Ribera, Ribera Cahuaré, Cahuaré, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis, Mexico (
📞 Telephone : (961) 11 1 84 03

For all piers: 

💲 Average budget :

  • Price in collective boat: $200 pesos per person. This price includes the bracelet of the CONAMP (Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas) which gives access to the watchtowers.
  • Cost by private boat: from $2,800 pesos.

⏱️ Schedules: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Every day.

Walk on the Miradors

Just a few minutes from Tuxtla, you can also enjoy an equally spectacular way to observe the Sumidero Canyon from the top of the famous watchtowers.

These are small roads at the top of the Sumidero Canyon, offering 6 watchtowers from which you can admire the curves of the Grijalva River in all its splendour. 

Each of the watchtowers has its own charm and offers different perspectives to appreciate the Sumidero Canyon. 

The different viewpoints of the Sumidero Canyon are :

La Ceiba

From this viewpoint you can see Chiapa de Corzo in the distance and the beginning of the Sumidero Canyon that is beginning to take shape.

La Coyota

From this viewpoint you can see the great walls that form this natural wonder that is the Sumidero Canyon, always surrounded by lush vegetation.

El Roblar

As with La Coyota, from this viewpoint you will go deeper into the Sumidero Canyon, and, in addition to being able to see from a slightly higher vantage point, from where you can appreciate in the distance the Rio Grijalva, which runs through the enormous walls of the Sumidero Canyon.

El Tepehuaje

This small watchtower offers a nice view of the Sumidero Canyon in the shade of the trees. Here you will also find a large parking lot and a large space to enjoy the landscape and the boats that pass below.

Los Chiapa

It is one of the main viewpoints of the Sumidero Canyon, mainly because it offers an incredible panoramic view. From here you can enjoy a large part of the Sumidero Canyon. Note that this is the highest point of the route.

La Atayala

This is the last of the watchtowers, and it is the perfect place to take a break and finish this trip, as there is a recreation area for children as well as a 2-storey building where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular views of the Sumidero Canyon.

When to go

You can visit the Sumidero Canyon any day of the year, but here are a few things to consider to best prepare for your visit!

Avoid Tuesdays : The watchtowers are closed every Tuesday for maintenance and cleaning of the area.

In Winter : From November to February, it is less hot but there is less water and the landscape is not as green as in summer.

In Summer : From June to August it is very hot, but because of the rains there is more water and the landscape becomes totally green.

Rainy Season : Usually from June to October. This is for us the best time to visit the Sumidero Canyon! Natural waterfalls form on the walls of the Sumidero Canyon.

During the Fiesta Grande period in Chiapa de Corzo : January 8 to 23. The most beautiful and traditional patron saint festivals in Mexico.

How to get there

Tuxtla Guttierez > Canyon du Sumidero (Miradors) :

📍Sumidero Canyon is located 20 kilometers from Tuxtla Guttierez.

More information about the routes :

Unfortunately, there is still no public transport to get to the viewpoints of Sumidero Canyon.

If you use GPS, just search for “Miradores Cañón del Sumidero”.

It is necessary to arrive by vehicle as there are about 13 kilometres of road between the entrance and the fifth watchtower.

Another option is to rent the service of a local taxi for the whole day, they charge about 800 pesos for the whole day.

Tuxtla Guttierez > Canyon du Sumidero (Piers) :

📍 Chiapa de Corzo is located 20 kilometers from Tuxtla Guttierez.

More information about the routes :

Unfortunately, there is still no public transport to get to the viewpoints of Sumidero Canyon.

If you go by car and use the GPS, look for “Embarcadero Cahuare” or “Chiapa de Corzo“.

If you go to the Malecon, you can park in the main square of Chiapa de Corzo and walk a few blocks.

If you don’t go by car, you can get there by public transport from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Chiapa de Corzo, ask at the collective bus center.



Schedule: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.

The entrance to Sumidero Canyon National Park costs 34 pesos per person. You will be given a bracelet that can be used for the watchtowers as well as for the boat trip.

Boat trip

Price in collective boat: 200 pesos per person + bracelet.

Cost in private boat: from 2,800 pesos + bracelets.

Schedule: From 8 am to 3 pm. Every day.

Guided tour

We are not big fans of organized tours, but if you wish, you can save time with a tour of the Canyon including a visit to the watchtowers, a boat tour and a guided walk in Chiapa de Corzo.

Our recommendations

We recommend that you first go to the viewpoints, then take the boat trip, after which you can eat and walk around Chiapa de Corzo. The boats are taken from Chiapa de Corzo, which is practically glued to Tuxtla. It takes about 30 minutes from the Miradors to get there.

Be careful, the boats are collective and there are no fixed departure times, they leave in groups of at least 15 people.

Wear enough sunscreen as you will be in the sun for at least 2 hours. Although at midday the sun is more intense, you can take more beautiful photos as they illuminate both sides of the canyon. Note that there are boats with a roof, but you will enjoy the show less from these boats. 

If you are wearing a cap or hat on the boat, hold them tightly or better yet remove them, because of the speed of the boat, there is a good chance that they will fly away.

On the road there is nothing to eat, but at the third lookout there are sanitary facilities and a small shop. In the last viewpoint there is a cafeteria where you can taste Chipilín tamales for $25 pesos.


Tuxtla : This city has an exceptional hotel offer and accommodation by Airbnb from 250 pesos. We recommend our holiday rentals Casas Alma de Chiapas in Tuxtla in the city centre.

Chiapa de Corzo : Here there are not many options for sleeping and it is a little more expensive. We recommend “Posada la Tradición” 3 blocks from the promenade for 400 pesos per night.

San Cristóbal de las Casas : In this magical city you will find many accommodation offers, just take into account the transfer of about 1 hour to Tuxtla. There are very good options from 200 pesos per night.

  • If you want to read our complete guide to accommodation in Chiapas, with options for all budgets, click here

Where to eat

Tuxtla : If you stay in Tuxtla, we recommend you to taste delicious tacos de cochito with pozzuolana at “Casa Blanca”. The tacos cost 11 pesos and the pozzuolana 15 pesos. And in the evening, don’t forget to go to “Las Pichanchas” for the fun experience of ordering a “Pumpo”, it costs 160 pesos for 4 people. Also at 21:00 there are traditional dances, you just have to book because it’s sold out.

Chiapa de Corzo : Try the cochito asado, the pepita with tasajo and the pozol. They sell them everywhere, at the market you can find the dishes for 60 pesos and the pozolana for 15 pesos.

Miradors : On the road there’s nothing, but on the third viewpoint there are bathrooms and a small shop. At the last viewpoint there is a cafeteria where we tasted the famous tamale of Chipilín for 25 pesos.

Boat excursion : Snacks and beers are sold on the docks. At the end of the tour, there are boats that also sell micheladas for 50 pesos, they are jokingly called Oxxumacinta.

  • If you would like to read our complete guide to restaurants near the Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas, with options for all budgets, click here

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