The Crocs of Sumidero Canyon

Birds and Monkeys and Crocs, Oh My!

Having spent three years in Suriname where I took long rides up and down beautiful jungle rivers in 10-person dugout canoes, I thought that the river trip through Sumidero Canyon would be rather ho-hum.  Not so! This is a must adventure…

Massive cliffs rise 100-1,000 meters, made more dramatic by the twists and turns and narrow passageways.  The canyon lies on a geological fault line that 35 million years ago experienced one or more earthquakes  causing this massive fissure.  Earthquakes plus eons of water erosion have carved the canyon that’s as old as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Herons and fresh water pelicans and comorants skim across the water or sit in trees.  Spider monkeys swing from branches.  American crocodiles laze in the sun.  In the spring you can see baby crocs on rocks while mothers lie low in the water and stand watch.

There’s a seahorse stalactite rock formation high on one cliff. A statue of the Virgin de Guadalupe sits in a cave of rose colored rock, tinted over time by various minerals. A natural Christmas tree made of layers of calcium with clinging moss begins its display as the rainy season approaches and rivulets of water cascade over its “branches.”

Sit on either side of the boat, but make sure that you sit on the outside. You might just get within petting distance of a croc or be able to watch the ole reptile slip under the boat to escape prying eyes!

Take a taxi or take a 6-hour tour that includes transportation to the boat dock, a stop in the pretty and historic town of Chiapa de Corzo, and a return trip to San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

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