The jungles of Chiapas are full of surprises. This is Mexico’s southernmost state and is an amazing place for those who want to explore nature. The climate of Chiapas is quite tropical, especially in the highlands where the rainfall is much more than the surrounding areas. The abundance of water combined with the many vertical drops, means there are many great waterfalls. We have explored several of these incredible natural wonders, and the falls at Roberto Barrios was top-notch, with an unforgettable jungle backdrop and crystal blue water.
Chiapas is best known for coffee production and Mayan Ruins, but this part of Mexico is also covered with many natural wonders, especially these incredible waterfalls. After a morning/afternoon of hiking around temples and ruins in the jungle humidity, it’s time to take a dip in water. The waterfalls are perfect for this; there are some great swimming areas at the waterfalls. Both of us have visited Chiapas on separate trips, and together we have seen these 3 waterfalls located just south of Palenque.
The three waterfalls that we visited – Misol Ha, Agua Azul, and Roberto Barrios – were all located just south of Palenque. If you’re visiting Chiapas, you need to include these waterfalls on your itinerary.
What makes the three waterfalls in Chiapas so amazing?
Who doesn’t love waterfalls? Especially three as beautiful as these, which you can visit in the same day?
Agua Azul is the most famous of all the waterfalls, but it had recently received a lot of rainfall, which meant that the falls were muddy and not as picturesque or blue as usual. Fortunately, Norma visited Chiapas for a week in 2016 and was able to visit Agua Azul and Misol Ha, so combined, we think we have seen the three best falls in the area. She also got to see more Mayan Ruins (Bonampak and Yackxillan) as well as Sumidero Canyon and San Cristobal. More on those later.
Misol Ha was the tallest of the three waterfalls we visited, and underneath is a deep pool of water for swimming. These were very beautiful, a very skinny and high falling waterfall that looked beautiful in the cool morning light. What we enjoyed the most about this one, was that you could walk behind (underneath) the falls for a really unique viewpoint. It was at Misol Ha that we started chatting with a local tour guide, who confirmed that the Agua Azul falls were a bit muddy, and he directed us towards Roberto Barrios instead.
Agua Azul and Roberto Barrios are similar in many ways, with the latter being a bit further off the beaten track. There are many levels to these falls, and each part has a crystal blue lake which is perfect for swimming. While none of the falls here are particularly tall, there are so many to discover that you will certainly be entertained.
Off the beaten track to the Roberto Barrios waterfalls
The falls of Roberto Barrios were waaayyyyy off the beaten track, and we saw no more than 10 other people in the 2 hours we were there. The road wound off towards a small village, where many tourists never see. It was worth it. These falls were showing off the most incredible colours.
There were many crystal blue pools full of water, and hundreds of different falls scattered throughout the park. It was like a staircase of waterfalls, with 4 or 5 different levels to view them from. We were able to swim in the water and walk around the ledges of the falls.
These were recommended to us by a tour guide we met in the parking lot at Misol Ha, who confirmed our information that the Agua Azul waterfalls (because of a recent storm) weren’t as nice as they usually were. He was quite enthusiastic about the falls at Roberto Barrios, so we took a chance. We were so happy we took his advice!
Where is Palenque and how do you get there?
Palenque is in Chiapas, near the point where the Yucatan Peninsula breaks away from the rest of Mexico. It is close to where the lowlands meet the hills for the first time.
There are many great places in Mexico to explore, especially once you step away from the famous beaches that draw most tourists to the country. There are many great natural wonders waiting to be experienced, and a visit to some of the waterfalls in Chiapas is definately worth the trip. We came for the Mayan ruins and stayed for the refreshing water these waterfalls provided.
Agua Azul is about an hour drive south of Palenque. Misol-Ha and Roberto Barrios were both located about 30-40 minutes south of Palenque (in different directions). There is a fork in the main highway, with one heading towards Mayan Ruins of Bonampak and the second towards Agua Azul and San Cristobal.
These beautiful falls are easy to visit if you have a car, and there are many tours that will take you to multiple stops in the same day. Without a doubt, the waterfalls in Chiapas will blow you away.
Agua Azul Waterfalls
Roberto Barrios Waterfalls
Chasing Waterfalls in Chiapas
During a cross-country trip across Mexico – we were driving from Playa del Carmen to Monterrey – so in order to break up the journey, we decided to spend a day and a half in Chiapas, exploring the Mayan Ruins and the Waterfalls nearby.
We set our sights on two waterfalls, Misol Ha and Roberto Barrios. These amazing waterfalls are less than an hour south of Palenque, so it’s easy to see two or three different falls on the same day. We had originally planned to see the famous waterfalls of Agua Azul, but the recent rainfall had made them less blue and brown due to the mud, so we had to skip them, choosing these other two instead. It was an incredible experience.