Lacandon Jungle Adventures in Chiapas
Stretching over 10,766 acres (4,357 hectares) along the Guatemalan border, the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas State is Mexico’s largest rain forest. Home to the Lacandon indigenous tribe, the jungle is known for the amazing diversity of its flora and fauna, its winding rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, as well as its impressive Maya ruins. Here are your options for adventure in the Lacandon Jungle.
One of the top ways to enjoy the Lacandon Jungle, river-rafting tours travel from Palenque or Villahermosa to the Lacanjá River. Although the river is largely calm, some intermediate rapids add excitement. Admire the jungle along the way and look out for wildlife including birds and monkeys; you probably won’t see the jaguars.
Add cultural appreciation to your jungle adventure with a visit to a local village. Combine a rafting tour with a 2-hour hike to visit Lacanjá Chansayab, a traditional Maya village deep in the jungle. Learn about their customs and hear their stories during your visit, then head to 115-foot-high (35-meter-high) Misol-Ha Waterfall for a refreshing dip.
A major highlight of a visit to the Lacandon Jungle is the Maya ruins at Bonampak and Yaxchilan. Bonampak, or “painted walls” in Mayan, is famous for its colorful and well-preserved murals, most dating from around 790 AD. Deeper in the jungle, on the banks of the Usumacinta River and reachable only by boat, is Yaxchilan. A vast and important Maya city, the site is divided into sections including the Grand Acropolis, Small Acropolis, and Great Plaza and is known for its spectacular sculpture.