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Mexican Jungle Adventure

Stomp steamy forests, discover Mayan ruins, navigate waterways, leap into waterfalls and bed down in remote jungle eco-lodges

Duration

10 nights

Annual Leave

7 days off work

Group Size

Up to 14 people

Season

Oct-Apr

Location

Mexico

Meeting Point

Angel Albino Corzo International Airport, Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Classic Accommodation

Hotel · Lodge · Cabin

Customer Reviews

(1)

5.0

Difficulty

Moderate

From

From

Hike through protected biosphere reserves and remote villages, rich with the traditions of the Tzotzil and Lacandon Maya

Leap and slide your way along the azure waterfalls of Tzimol, kayak Sumidero Canyon and paddle the Montebello Lakes

Explore the jungle-clad temples of Yaxchilan and enter the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque by the 'back door'

Day 1

¡Hola Mexico!

Arrive into the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where your host will meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Chiapa de Corzo. This small, charismatic town on the banks of the Grijalva River is centred around 'La Pochota', an old ceiba tree, and is the gateway to Sumidero Canyon. Meet up with the rest of the group in the hotel at 18:00 for a chat through the adventure to come and a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2

Kayak the Sumidero Canyon

Kayaking

4hrs · 8km

Head to Islet of Cahuaré, jump into a kayak, and paddle out onto the Grijalva River which cuts through the sheer 800m stone walls of the Sumidero Canyon. This 136 million-year-old natural wonder, with its misty waterfalls and hidden caves, is home to spider monkeys who live amongst the thick vegetation and pine trees. Later, you'll hop in the van and head to the charismatic town of San Cristobal de las Casas, the cultural capital of Chiapas.

Day 3

Hike to Mayan villages

Hiking

4hrs · 15km · 855m up · 175m down

Lace up your boots and head into the hills of Chiapas, dotted with Mayan Tzotzil villages rich in tradition. You’ll reach San Juan Chamula village, explore the church of San Juan Bautista, rest or wander through the local market, before hitting the trail again to finish in Zinacantán village. Here, generations of expert weavers hand-stitch garments with enigmatic motifs. Meet the local indigenous community and sup a traditional corn-based drink, before heading back to San Cristobal for some downtime.

Day 4

Canyoning the pools and waterfalls of Tzimol

Canyoning

4-5hrs

Leave the charm of San Cristobal behind and hop into a 4x4 truck which will transport you along a bumpy dirt road into the mountains, passing fields of swaying sugarcane. With a briefing done and safety gear on, set off on a forest trail that leads to the river. You’ll spend a wild morning sliding across boulders, edging along riverbanks, swimming and leaping from rocks into blue waterfall pools. Kick back in a hammock and soak up the peaceful natural vibes before moving on to your digs for the night.

Day 5

Los Lagos de Montebello National Park

Hiking

3hrs · 3km · 146m up · 181m down

Travel through Chiapas to Los Lagos de Montebello National Park. With 59 lagoons in hues of turquoise and emerald and hundreds of types of orchids hidden among pine forests, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a tranquil location. Set sail on a traditional log raft, gently paddling and gliding through the forest reflections. Back on dry land, head to Lago Pojoj to hike the shady trails that meander along the hillsides, with viewpoints emerging along the way.

Day 6

Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve

Hiking

3hrs · 3-4km · 73m up · 42m down

Driving

3.5hrs · 135km

Head into the jungle of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. Hop onto a boat that will carry you along the Lacantún River, one of the most biodiverse waterways in Mexico - eyes open for squawking red macaws and watchful crocodiles. Check in to your ecolodge, then hike through the jungle with your guide to learn local legends along the way. Kick back at the lodge, then after sunset return to the jungle on a night walk to spot its nocturnal inhabitants and hear the chirping insect chorus.

Day 7

Yaxchilan

Driving

4hrs · 136km

Take a road trip through this jungle region to discover the overgrown city of Yaxchilan, the 'place of the green stones'. Board a boat on the Usumacinta River (the largest in Mesoamerica) and travel deep into the heart of the forest. Explore the ruins of the vine-clad temple complex, marvel at how nature is slowly reclaiming the awe-inspiring ancient structure along and discover ancient mural paintings. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, before heading to your palapa-thatched jungle cabin for the night.

Day 8

Nahá Reserve

Hiking

6-7hrs · 11km · 50m up · 29m down

Head out into the tropical jungle this morning with your Lacandon guide, winding your way through the thick foliage to learn about the medical properties of the forest's plants. Take a breather and a cool dip at a waterfall. After lunch, jump back in the van to meet the indigenous Nahá people, in a place thick with ancient knowledge and stories. You’ll learn about the local culture and try your hand at archery using traditional bow and arrows. In the late afternoon, head off into the darkening forest to spot rare endemic owls.

Day 9

Metzabok Lagoons

Hiking

4-5hrs · 5km · 84m up · 42m down

Fuel up on breakfast and head out to explore the protected Nahá Reserve. Hike up to the trailhead, then into the jungle boarding a boat at Nahá Lake - eyes open for crocodiles and turtles. Next up is Metzabok, a lagoon system in the heart of the Lacandon Jungle and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Explore one of the lagoons by boat, then hike trails that lead to lost Mayan ruins and ancient cave paintings. Finally, you'll move on to Palenque, where you'll spend the night.

Day 10

Palenque and the Roberto Barrios waterfalls

Enter the archaeological complex of Palenque through an exclusive entrance, a unique introduction to one of Mexico's most important Mayan sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the iconic pyramid and mysterious temples, overlooked by monkeys and tropical birds. Later, you'll cool off in the beautiful turquoise pools of Roberto Barrios waterfalls. This wildlife haven has fish in the clear waters and monkeys, toucans and parrots in the canopy above. Wander the trails from one waterfall to the next, take a swim and relax, before enjoying a barbecue on the banks of the river. Later, you'll return to Palenque for your final night in Mexico.

Day 11

¡Adiós Mexico!

Enjoy breakfast and explore a little more before your host takes you to the airport in Tabasco in time for your onward flight.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking tour leader, plus specialist guides for activities

Accommodation

5 nights in hotels, 3 nights in eco-lodges and 2 nights in forest cabins

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All equipment and safety gear for kayaking, wooden rafting and canyoning

Permits

All permits, tickets and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9 – Day 10

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Cochinita pibil tacos, Mexico

The food in the Chiapas region has its roots in the pre-Hispanic era of the Olmec and Maya. Corn has been a staple for a very long time, so expect tortillas to make a regular appearance with variations of beans, chilli and avocado. Typical dishes include tamales, pepita con tasajo (strips dried meat with a sauce of pumpkin seeds, tomato, rice and spices), and carne cocida en limón (fresh vegetables and beef cooked in lime juice). As you head deeper into the jungle, you'll experience different flavour variations, so there is a lot to tantalise the taste buds! Fresh fruit will be abundant, as well as plenty of seasonal vegetables.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Chiapa de Corzo

Your first night in Mexico will be spent at La Ceiba Hotel. Located near the central square of Chiapa de Corzo, close to the archaeological area, you’ll feel welcomed to Chiapas by its colourful colonial styling and decor of local textiles. You’ll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms. If you arrive in the morning, you can make use of the hotel’s luggage room until check-in time, allowing you to head out and explore.

San Cristobal de las Casas

Located in the centre of charming San Cristobal de las Casas, you’ll stay in Hotel Parador Margarita. It's a short walk from the central plaza, in a quiet location on a colonial side street with a courtyard garden. You’ll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms.

Tzimol

In Tzimol, you'll stay at the Canto del Agua Ecolodge. With modern, rustic and comfortable cabins within earshot of waterfalls, you’ll drift off in no time. You’ll stay in a twin-share cabin with a private bathroom.

Montebello National Park

Within the Montebello National Park, you'll stay in the Cinco Lagos Cabins. Set overlooking the lakes, you can kick back and take in the views. You’ll stay on a twin-share basis with a private bathroom.

Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve

Set right in front of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, you’ll stay at the Canto de la Selva Ecolodge. A community business, the ecolodge is owned by members of the Galacia community, who have preserved their forest for conservation. You’ll stay in a twin-share cabin with a private bathroom and terrace. Bed down to the sounds of the jungle right outside your door.

Lacandon Jungle

Located an hour's drive from Yaxchilan, this evening you’ll sleep at Campmento Lacandones. You’ll stay in a twin-share cabin with a private bathroom, palapa roof, terrace and hot water. Set deep in the Lacandon Jungle, it's near the village of Lacanjá Chansayab and surrounded by nature.

Nahá

You’ll stay in the Nahá Ecolodge. Surrounded by lagoons and wildlife, the Nahá community are committed to caring for the jungle and its sustainable development, in order to benefit nature and the 21 families that live here, in harmony with the environment. You’ll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature on your doorstep.

Palenque

Your final nights in Mexico will be spent in Palenque, at the 4-star La Aldea del Halach Huinic Hotel. An eco-hotel surrounded by tropical gardens, it's located near the entrance to the Palenque National Park. You’ll stay in a twin-share room with a private bathroom, terrace and hammock.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Angel Albino Corzo International Airport, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport, Villahermosa, Tabasco

14:00 on Day 11

Transfers

The trip begins in the state of Chiapas and ends in the state of Tabasco, utilising different airports for your arrival and departure. There are regular flights to and from each airport via Mexico City.

Your host will meet you on arrival at Angel Albino Corzo International Airport in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas and transfer you to your hotel in Chiapa de Corzo. On Day 11, your host will transfer you to Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport in Villahermosa, Tabasco around lunchtime for your onward flight. Please ensure your flight departs after 14:00 on Day 11.

Airport transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 11. If you wish to arrive before the trip starts or stay longer at the end, your host can arrange private airport transfers. See Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are indirect international flights to Chiapas from the US, the UK and major European hubs, via Mexico City.

For those arriving early or wanting to stay on, extra nights (and transfers) can be arranged with your host at an additional cost. Please see Optional Extras for more information.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

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What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)

CLOTHES

  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Thin fleece jacket or similar
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking shoes/boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals
  • Water shoes (for Tzimol and the waterfalls)

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Post-trip Hotel Room in Palenque

Payable Before Departure

Post-trip Hotel Room in Palenque

Pre-trip Hotel Room in Chiapa de Corzo

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip Hotel Room in Chiapa de Corzo

Optional private room upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room upgrade

Private Transfer from Palenque Hotel to Tabasco VSA Airport

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Palenque Hotel to Tabasco VSA Airport

Per Person

Private Transfer from Chiapas TGX Airport to Chiapa Corzo Hotel

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Chiapas TGX Airport to Chiapa Corzo Hotel

Leah N.(January 2024)
Mexican Jungle Adventure

Our group of 6 had an amazing time on this epic adventure into Chiapas, in the Mexican Jungle. I had no idea what to expect but enjoyed every moment of it, despite the very bad food poisoning we all got! Our guide, Eber, was excellent. Professional, knowledgeable, caring and passionate about his home state. I loved the mix of activities - from canyoning, hiking, ziplining and swimming, to exploring the cities of San Cristobal de la Casas and Chiapa de Corzo. I would recommend packing travellers diarrhoea medications/probiotics/gastro meds if travelling in this area.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 321kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Whilst no prior experience is needed, a reasonable level of general fitness is required - you'll be hiking, kayaking and swimming, at different points across the itinerary between 2 and 4 hours in duration and using different muscle groups. Kayaking in the Sumidero Canyon on the Grijalva River will be gentle, although at times with higher water levels currents may make the paddling a little more challenging. The hiking within the itinerary will be through rural hills, archaeological sites, jungle and tropical foliage, and although not at high altitude or on difficult terrain, the heat, humidity and possible rain will mean you need to be prepared. The swimming at various waterfalls will be easy, and, although not difficult, the coasteering at Tzimol waterfalls will be more or a challenge.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion, but there is a tipping culture in Mexico. If you wish to tip the tour leader and local guides, we suggest the below as a guideline per person: £7 / $8 USD / 160 MXN, per person, per day Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink. Your host will supply clean drinking water from 20 litre containers stowed on the vehicle. Please pack your own reusable bottle, it will be well used. Water bottles with inbuilt filters are becoming increasingly popular for travellers to use in countries without clean tap water. Please see our guide for advice on the best water filters for adventurers if you wish to bring your own filtration bottle on this trip

Mexico is a large country with a varied climate, which also holds true for Chiapas. The trip journeys through two different ecosystems, with the areas around San Cristobal de las Casas and Tzimol being cooler and fresher than jungle areas and Palenque, where it’s tropical, hot and humid. The months the trips are scheduled to operate have been selected to avoid the heavier showers of the tropical rainy season across May to September.

Between October and April in the fresher areas of Chiapas, the daytime temperatures are generally between 26°C / 79°F to 33°C / 91°F, and down to between 17°C / 62°F and 22°C / 72°F at night. In the tropical, hotter and jungle areas of Chiapas, the daytime temperatures are generally between 29°C / 84°F to 35°C / 95°F, and down to between 20°C / 68°F and 25°C / 77°F at night.

Due to the point to point nature of this trip, your luggage will be transported with you throughout the journey.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

The kayaks used in the Sumidero Canyon are sit-in kayaks, custom produced and made of fibreglass, with both singles and double kayaks available. The single kayaks have a weight capacity of up to 160 kg / 352lbs and the doubles have a capacity of 230 kg / 570lbs. Sit-in kayaks are designed to be stable on the water, comfortable to sit in, easy to get into and cater for all paddling abilities from a complete novice looking to buy their first kayak to an experienced paddler looking for a relaxing afternoon paddling on the local stretch of water.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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