Agua Azul and Misol-Ha, Chiapas, Mexico
Waterfalls From Heaven
The Cataratas de Agua Azul (Spanish for “Blue-water Falls”) or Agua Azul waterfalls as foreigners refer to them are in the heart of the Lacandon Jungle in the Chiapas State of Mexico. They cascade down a series of falls and rapids, ending with a stunning short but wide drop into shallow lagoons. The waterfalls consist of many cataracts following one after another as can be seen in the first photo in the picture gallery, taken from near the top of the sequence of cascades. The larger cataracts may be as high as 6 meters (20 feet) or so.
The waterfalls are named due to the coluor of the water which is a turquoise blue. The water is as blue as it looks in the pictures, as it has a high mineral content. Where it falls on rocks or fallen trees it encases them in a thick shell-like coating of limestone.
The waterfalls are on Zapatista land (EZLN region), and a fee must be paid to drive the road to the falls and then enter the site they are on. There is a trail which can be followed up from the car parking area to the top of the waterfalls and off into the jungle. There are plenty of local vendors along this pathway selling different food items, drinks and souvenirs… I even purchased a coconut full of rum 🙂
The falls are located in the Municipality of Tumbalá, just off the main connecting road between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque. At about 69 kilometers away, day trips from Palenque will bring you here, with some nice scenery along the way.
One of the things you will see along the way is the other waterfall in this series, Misol-Ha. Located 12.5 kilometers from Palenque, the landscape of the site is much different from Aqua Azul, and only one waterfall is here. But it does not disappoint! At 35m, it’s by far the biggest cascade of the bunch. The falls were breathtakingly beautiful, and there was a feeling of great peace and tranquility here. There are cabins you can rent very close to the falls, if / when I come back, i think it would be nice to stay here! Its actually possible to walk behind the falls on a slippery and very misty / wet pathway. When I was back there, I kept thinking “wow, they must have filmed some movie scenes here…” For some reason Romancing The Stone kept coming to mind, but so far all I’ve been able to confirm is that the movie Predator was indeed filmed here. I was told that when Arnold is falling down the bigger waterfall, its Misol-Ha. But when he’s coming out of the water, its Agua Azul.