Spending at least one day in Tuxtla, the capital of the state of Chiapas and often overlooked by tourists, is definitely something you won’t ever regret.
Most people merely use the city as a transportation hub (and frankly, so was I about to do, when traveling from Oaxaca to Guatemala).
Close to the city, however, you can find one of the most amazing national parks of the whole country: El Parque Nacional Cañón del Sumidero.
Discover what to see and do in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in 1 day:
I recommend staying close to the Parque de la Marimba, which is relatively central and offers good and safe accommodation options.
If you are arriving at the bus terminal, you can easily catch an uber or taxi to get anywhere at a very low cost (the fare to Parque de la Marimba was approximately 40 pesos ~ 2 USD in the late evening).
Tuxtla Gutiérrez’ very modern airport is a little farther out (approximately 24 km/15 miles) and taxis are currently the only option to get into town. The fare is about 300 pesos ~ 16 USD. You can, however, walk for about one kilometer (roughly half a mile) to get to the main road from where you can catch shared transportation into town for only a fraction of what a cab would cost you (~1 USD).
Before heading out to Sumidero Canyon National Park, you may want to visit Parque De la Marimba. It’s a beautiful park with many green trees and little gardens. It is also the perfect place to take a break from the sun by sitting on one of the many beautifully decorated park benches while sipping on your morning coffee.
In the evenings, you can enjoy listening and dancing to marimba, the emblematic instrument from Chiapas. This is also the time when the park serves as a meeting place for both locals and visitors who want to enjoy the sounds of marimba as well as the many traditional snacks and drinks this wonderful region has to offer.
Parque de la Marimba
This impressive canyon is just a short uber ride away from town and is definitely one of the most impressive canyons I have ever seen. Its walls are as high as 1000 meters (3300 feet) and the width of the canyon ranges from 1 to 2 kilometers (3300 to 6600 feet).
Most of the national park’s vegetation is (sub)tropical rain forest which allows for even more spectacular views.
Views from lookout point
You can visit the park by car driving from viewpoint to viewpoint (upper route) or by ferry along the Grijalva river.
Since I was short on time, I chose the upper route which allowed me to enjoy fantastic views over the canyon from six different lookout points. The entrance fee to the national park is approximately 3 USD per person.
While there are tours available, visiting on your own is absolutely doable. I hired an uber for approximately 4 hours and paid about 500 pesos (~28 USD) which included stopping at all the viewpoints as well as in the beautiful town of Chiapa de Corzo on my way back.
After visiting the canyon, you can make a stop at the town of Chiapa de Corzo which is where many of the ferries depart and which is also an archaeological site of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.
Should you wish to take one of the ferries along the Sumidero Canyon, expect to pay approximately 20 USD for the 2 to 3 hours tour.
Make sure to check out Plaza de Armas Angel Albino Corzo. This is where you can find the famous La Pila fountain which was built by the Spaniards back in 1562 and is considered a masterpiece of Spanish-Moorish architectural art.
La Pila Fountain
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
– gustave flaubert
Hi! I am Max and in 2022, after almost 12 years in the corporate world, I decided to fully focus on my passion for exploring new countries and cultures, hoping to inspire other fellow travelers and also to provide helpful tips and insights to those currently preparing for their next adventure.