Crocodiles and Vultures
San Cristobal de Las Casas Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
This morning we visit the spectacular Sumidero Canyon, a unique rift 41km long and 1000ft deep, cut by the Rio Grijalva. This is the spot where, in the 16th century, some 1000 Chiapa Indians committed suicide rather than submit to Spanish rule. We take a boat trip to fully appreciate the towering gorge. Before the completion of the dam here, the canyon's walls were even higher than they are now. Before the dam, the waters running through it were not navigable.Once the river was dammed, the water levels rose dramatically, creating an extremely deep and serene river which tour boats and taxi boats navigate with ease. The Chicoasen hydroelectric dam, opened in 1981, is today one of Mexico's most important sources of electric power
There's plenty of wildlife, both flora and fauna, to admire during the trip. Herons, vultures, egrets, kingfishers and crocodiles which also live on the river!
The river opens out at the end of the journey, just before the dam. The boat will take up you to the closest point allowed by the floating barriers and turn around. It is here where the river is deepest: the water underneath you reaches a depths of over 860 feet.
After our boat trip we drive up a scenic mountain road to San CristÃ³bal de las Casas. At 2210m above sea level, it can get quite cold at night but is not too bad this time of year. After checking in we head out for dinner and a cultural dance show.