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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More on Chiapas, Mexico

Before I elaborate on what we have experienced in El Salvador, I want to step back a tad and discuss traveling inland from Chiapas.
Palenque Mayan Ruin with Howler Monkeys In Background

On our inland trip in Chiapas, Mexico we heard our first howler monkeys in the thick, green jungle at the Palenque Mayan ruins. The ruins were impressive (640AD) and we saw tourists from all over the world visiting this ancient site, tour guides speaking a variety of different languages. If you can afford it I think it is probably worth hiring a tour guide to explain all the details. But, we passed on a guided tour because for 4 people it was pretty costly. And we enjoyed the freedom of hiking at our own pace - I also think we probably saw more of the site itself than the rest of our party who moved much slower with the guide. The only disappointment is that we didn’t have time for the museum.


Misol-Ha just happened to be on our route and we stopped for an hour. This cascading waterfall is gorgeous and the first waterfall I have ever seen like this. No, I have never been to Niagara. The kids and Jim wandered back inside the waterfall cave and found bats sleeping atop. You can swim at the falls, but we all opted to stay dry until the next stop.

Agua Azul, Mexico

The next stop was Agua Azul, a natural waterfall that boasts the bluest water. You can swim there, numerous restaurants offer interesting dishes, and there are plenty of things to buy from the vendors there. Carolyne and I refreshed ourselves with icy cold coconut milk and then ate the succulent sweet white meat afterwards. The kids swam and Jim and I enjoyed the family atmosphere of the local tourists and tranquil natural surroundings.

We were very tired – VERY tired after returning to the boat after this trip. It was exhausting the way we chose to do it.

IF I had it to do all over again, I would change some things and do it exactly this way:

Way cute hat I crocheted because I was SO cold in San Cristobal.
  1. I would leave by bus or rent a car early morning and head straight to Palenque. The scenery during the trip is awesome. Once in the town of Palenque, I would hire a van to take me to the entrance of the ruins, 30 or so minutes away from town.
  2. I would spend 2 or more nights there at a place called Ed and Margaurite’s , a darling bungalow cottage type abode that sits right in the jungle. There is a restaurant, Don Mucho's, that adjoins it that friends tell us had delicious food. I would give myself plenty of time to hike, explore, visit the museum and talk to the locals.
  3. When I had my fill of the Palenque ruin site and hiking the lush jungle, I would hire transportation to see the waterfalls, Misol-Ha and Agua Azul on the same day, and then arrive in San Cristobal to spend the night at any old hotel. We stayed at one around the corner from the bus station for $40US per night. And, I would bring warmer clothing this time of year. I crocheted myself a hat in 2 hours because it was so chilly in San Cristobal.
  4. I would store my luggage in the hotel for the day and wander in the town of San Cristobal in my crocheted hat, warm fuzzy sweater and jacket, fleecy socks, etc… (We really should have known better - if a Canadian tells you to wear a coat, then you know it’s got to be cold!): Amber museum, Jade museum, chocolate museum, Madre Tierra’s for dinner, shopping, etc…
  5. I would catch a bus back to Chiapas that same evening so I could sleep on the bus and arrive in the morning.
I think we stayed too long in San Cristobal and though it is an interesting town, especially at night, I would have much preferred to have spent more time at the ruins in Palenque. 


  1. I see that Tim has gotten a little shy. Nice pics.

    1. Yes- my poor, shy boy. I make yearly calendars with all the family photos on them and Tim wonders why there aren't many pictures of him. Go figure?

  2. Meri,

    My wife and i are in preparations to take our two kids (3 & 4) cruising. I am intrigued by the TOCK, and am wondering what your thoughts are on the boat. Would you be willing to correspond with us by email about you experirnces cruising with kids and your boat? My email is


    Tripp Presnell

    1. Tripp...
      I sent you an email, but haven't heard back. Contact me direct at meriev(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Wow, wow and wow! Thanks for the videos - what a great way to capture those amazing locales - especially the ruins with the howler monkeys in the background. My goodness!
    Also, do you know if the color at the Agua Azul site was due to any specific mineral deposits? It reminded me of the Little Colorado River (Grand Canyon) that is a spectacular turquoise due to calcium carbonate and copper sulfate minerals in the water. Regardless, amazing videos - thank you!

    Katie and Mark

  5. Glad you enjoyed! We loved it. I don't know about Agua Azul and the mineral deposits. It would certainly make sense, though.