While visitingTuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas, I was told I absolutely had to experience a boat trip through the nearby Cañon del Sumidero, whose vertical walls tower up to 1,000 meters above the rather narrow Grijalva River.
Trips up the river are organized from several docks alongside the little town of Chiapa de Corso, which, I was surprised to learn, had for a brief time been the state capital. The word chiapa, by the way, appears to be a short form of the word tepechiapan, which means “water below the hill,” a fitting description of the Grijalva river flowing through kilometer-high walls of rock.
“It’s better to take that boat ride in the morning, rather than later in the day,” a local taxi driver told us. “The boat men won’t leave until they have enough customers to fill every single seat, so people who go to Chiapa de Corso late in the afternoon may find themselves sitting around forever waiting for their tour to start.”
As for us, we only had to wait half an hour. Then life jackets were assigned to each of us. Although it looked like it was going to rain, we learned that umbrellas were forbidden. Since these boats are uncovered – to allow for a good upward view of the canyon walls – I would suggest you bring along a waterproof poncho if rain seems likely.