Cascadas El Chiflón- Chiapas, Mexico

December 2022

If I had a top ten list of places to see, Chiflon Waterfalls would be on it. These waterfalls were the whole reason we decided to explore the state of Chiapas and stay in Comitan.

The past couple of days have been cold and ugly and when we woke to gray skies, we were rethinking our decision to visit the Cascadas El Chiflón.  We dressed in warm clothes, packed our backpacks, a lunch and decided if the sun came out before 10:30, we would go for it. At 10:10, the sun started to shine and we were off.

Our host explained we could find a colectivo right behind the house on the main street. Hmmmm. As we stand there deciding which one to take, Jim makes friends with Jose and I make friends with Jorge.  In exchange for colectivo information Jim buys his new friend a beer and I buy some goods from Jorge. 

Three blocks away and a few slug bugs later, we found a colectivo for 80 pesos ($4.00). We hopped in a half full van and we were off. On the outskirts of town, the van comes to a stop for what I assume is to let someone off, but instead a policeman opens the door, looks around and asks us for our passports.  In all of our travels we’ve never been asked for our passports so we leave them at home where they are safe. Instead we carry our Global Entry cards.  As I stare at the officer holding an AR 15 my first thought, I sure hope Global Entry cards work in lieu of passports.  My second thought, oh shit I sure hope Jim has my Global Entry card. He briefly glanced at the cards, returned them and waved the driver on.  After that scare I just sat back and enjoyed the beauty of our slow ride up the mountain and smiled while I watched Jim help old ladies on and off the bus….that man!!!

An hour later we were dropped off in the small town of El Andariego. We started following the signs to the waterfall. It was a little over a half mile walk to the entrance gate where we paid a total of 160 pesos ($8.00) and got a wristband.  It was another half mile to the entrance to the waterfalls. (There was a constant flow of Tuk-Tuk's that would allow you to skip the mile walk, but you have to remember who I travel with!) They scanned our bracelets and we were ready.  

We started walking with a crowd of people carrying ice chests, B.B.Q. grills and bags of food; they left us along the way for the day use picnic areas, next to the beautiful San Vicente River. There were small huts selling beer, water, soda, snacks, food and souvenirs. There were also huts to rent and camping available within the park. However there was no internet service.

The sun was shining and after shedding a few clothes we arrived at Cascadas El Susprio, the first waterfall.  It was a nice easy walk and I was wondering why we didn’t bring an ice chest full of beer and just sit at this gorgeous waterfall all day. 

First Waterfall: Cascadas El Susprio

The second waterfall, Ala De Angel, was a fairly easy hike up. As Jim snapped pictures I admired how this was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I had seen.  

Second Waterfall: Ala De Angel

We worked up a sweat as we made it to the third waterfall, Cascada Velo De Novia.  We both stood and stared in amazement at this colossal waterfall.  WOW!  

As I stood there admiring the amazing view, I saw a sign that said 810 meters to the last two waterfalls. I am sure this is why we both lingered at this spot for a while, thinking what to do we continue up or just hang out here and enjoy the day by the river?  I know in the morning I’ll be paying the price but is another 810 meters, worth the pain?  I secretly hoped Jim would say he was good, no need to continue.  I made the comment that I was fine hanging out here, what could be more beautiful? He replied, but what if it is more beautiful….and up we went. 

Up and up we went, stair after stair; taking breaks along the way.  We passed a few people coming down and only one group of guys behind us going up.  We played a game of leap frog with them.....they would go up so far, take a break and we would pass.  Then we would go up so far, take a break and they would pass.  They arrived at the Cascada Arcoiris, the fourth waterfall before us..... so we decided to stop at the Palapa off to the side and have a rest. We split a banana, a Snickers and drank some water while we caught our breaths and wiped the sweat dripping off of us.  

Just as we finished they were leaving and Jim took off with his camera, which kudos to him for making it up this bitch with a 5 lbs. camera in his hand. I was a little slower at getting up.  As Jim approached the waterfall I watched him put away his camera. Seeing this I figured the view wasn't worth the hike. But as the waterfall came into view there was a cool welcoming mist and a magnificent waterfall.  We sat on the bench agreeing that it was worth every muscle ache we will have tomorrow. Then a double rainbow appeared and that added Cascada Arcoiris to my make-believe top ten places to see. 

Fourth Waterfall: Cascada Arcoiris

It was only another 180 meters to the final waterfall. The beautiful thing about the fifth waterfall, Cascada Quincenera, was who I was with and that it was the last one! 

Fifth waterfall, Cascada Quincenera

With weak knees and shaky legs we made our way down and stopped to relax in one of the gorgeous blue green colored pools. As Jim was changing into his suit, I assured him I had him covered with my sarong from the trail on the right side.  Unfortunately it was too late before I realized there was also a trail on the left side across the river.  Whoops. 

The bottom of the river felt like fine silt and your feet would sink deep into the softness with every step. We each found a rock to hold on to and that's when I learned from Jim, it is always best to be the one up river when hanging out next to a waterfall.  We dipped quickly because the water was cold and our throats were dry.

We bought a beer and plopped down at an awesome spot overlooking the river, exhausted.  Out of the blue Jim asks, do my legs look messy? I had no clue why he would say that or what he meant by his legs being messy, so I said no….he repeated it again. WTF? I realized the minute I saw the smirk on his face, he was making a joke……Argentina…and my comment on Messi’s legs…….Oh NO!..... I am going to need more beer. 

As we got up to leave, I immediately got a sinking feeling in my stomach.  Hey Jim, do you know the time schedule of the colectivos or where we are going?  Nope!  As we walked the mile back a white van pulled in right where we were dropped off earlier today.  We were a few yards out and worried it could be the last one of the day, I gave Jim a look to run. He returned a look…..I am not running. RUN JIM RUN. 

The front of the van was crammed with people so I assumed the seat options would be limited. As I jumped in there was… seat next to a baby (Nope)… next to an open mouth sleeper (Nope)….two in the back next to a closed mouth sleeper (BINGO).  I scooted in and immediately leaned my head against the window, unable to move. I took a deep breath ready for a short siesta ride. 

I am not sure if it was the speed bumps that are randomly placed throughout Mexico, jarring your back and neck or the fact that the driver was going way too fast. I was unable to relax as he was passing semis and cars on curves with oncoming traffic.  Jim winced as I dug my nails into his leg with every close call. I finally looked at him for reassurance that we will be fine and he said in a serious voice, did you check the tires? This is the second time in less than an hour that I have asked myself WTF?  Was he serious, should I be checking the tires?  I told him NO, but when we get off you'll have to check my pants.  

Luckily we got off shit free and close to home. We grabbed some beers and birrias and made the short walk, wincing with every step.  As I pulled myself up the last flight of stairs to the house, I was greeted with a beautiful poinsettia from our host. It was the perfect ending to our day.

The five beautiful Chiflon Waterfalls were worth the $17.00, the sore muscles and dirt laundry for the next few days!

First Waterfall: Cascadas El Susprio

Second Waterfall: Ala De Angel

Third Waterfall: Cascada Velo De Novia

Fourth Waterfall: Cascada Arcoiris

Fifth waterfall, Cascada Quincenera


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