EL Cañon del Sumidero

Despite the direct route being only 140 miles, the bus we took from Palenque to San Cristobal took us on an impressive route 300 miles and 9 hours long.

Arriving late in the afternoon, the first thing we noticed was the temperature. A far cry from the heat and the humidity of the Yucatan, the air here was cool, dry and refreshing and for the first time since arriving in Mexico we were able to check-in at a hostel not soaked in sweat, but dare I say, looking almost presentable.

The one and only shot of Mezcal Nick and I had in San Cristobal
A colonial town set high in the Chiapas' mountains, San Cristobal de las Casas has a rustic charm I find really quite appealing and neither Nick nor I had any problems in staying there the three days and four nights we had originally planned.

The first two of those nights Nick and I did what we seem able to do so effortlessly well... drink.

Despite having always claimed to hate tequila, Nick on the first night had somewhat of an awakening. Unlike any tequila you might ordinarily find at home - you know, the stuff you've no choice but to down quickly in fear before chomping down on half a lemon to rid your mouth of the awful taste - the tequila in Mexico is actually a nice drink... like one can sip and savour and enoy.
Round after round after round, that first night in particular was a heavy one
Whilst a lot of fun, the highlight of the trip to San Cristobal was not had from a bar, but was out on an excursion we took to the relatively nearby Sumidero canyon (El Cañon del Sumidero).

Like Palenque before it, el cañon del sumidero was a place I've long wanted to visit. However, keen not to make the same mistake we made in Palenque of arriving hot, dirty and tired, we decided to make the trip down to the canyon on our final day where we could arrive well rested and in newly cleaned clothes.

The canyon did not disappoint.

Upon boarding our boat we were taken on a two hour round tour through what must have been some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen. At its peak, the canyon sides reached up more than a thousand meters. It was breathtaking.

EL Cañon del Sumidero

At its base, the river canyon was home to an array of wildlife, including most notably crocodiles and monkeys, neither of which I had before seen in the wild and in itself was cool to see.

The only disappointment was the rubbish.
It was impossible not to notice how the banks of the river were strewn in plastic
Whilst for the most part the pollution was limited to the river's banks, there was a small stretch - perhaps 100m or so - where the pollutants stretched from one bank to another. Tightly compacted and intertwined, the rubbish forced us to little more than a snail's pace and as we dodged our way through the swamp-like mess you couldn't help but feel just a little sad.
It seemed wrong, almost criminal, that a place of such natural beauty could be allowed to become polluted in such a way 
Besides this - and the infuriating middle-aged man sat in front of us who took more selfies in two hours than Nick or I have taken in a lifetime - it was truly incredible. Genuinely, it was.

After the canyon, the trip concluded with an hour's stop in the town of Chiapa de Corzo, which despite being about 430C in the Sun was a nice little stop.

So... all of this... how much? A 90km roundtrip in a comfortable minibus, the park entrance fee, a 2 hour boat ride down the majestic canyon and a 1 hour stop off in a nearby town. Go on... guess.

Three hundred Mexican pesos. Or just over thirteen pounds sterling.

Suffice to say I think it was worth it!