Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas,
is the Southern Mexico surprise. It is a prosper
city, surprising because of its unexpected modernism, in this
The construction of the hydroelectric central on the Rio Grivalja
made the population exponentially increase. There were 71,000
inhabitants in 1970, then 296,000 in 1990 and 568,000 in 2007.
There is no special interest on an architectural plan besides
the Cathedral San Marco. The 48 bell tower plays a different melody
to accompany the figures of the 12 Apostles that parade on a pedestal.
picture : Zoque Carnival
You can visit the regional Museum and the Zoo. The museum has
three rooms. The first one is consecrated to the Pre-Hispanic
People of Chiapas. The second
one shows the historic, artistic and ethnographic aspects from
the sixteenth century to nowadays. The third one displays temporary
shows. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday (9 AM-5 PM, $33). The
next door botanic garden Faustino Miranda houses 98% endemic species
of Chiapas ( each of them is labeled).
The Zoo of Tuxtla, named after Miguel Alvárez del Toro,
considerate as one of the best zoos in the world, has more than
100 animal species of the region, including jaguars, ocelots and
tapirs. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday (9 AM-5 PM, $20). There
are also a small museum, a restaurant and a store on the premises.
Since you will probably stay one night there, you can dance to
marimba music at the central kiosk in La Marimba Park, west of
the Zócalo. There is music every evening from 7 to 9 PM.
The nearby surroundings
Tuxtla is a departure point for the visit of the Cañon
del Sumidero, 23 km (14 miles) north via the panoramic road. There
are five viewpoints on the road and the fifth one, the observation
tower "Los Chiapas", is the most impressive. If you
are in a rush, just look at the canyon from one of these viewpoints
set along the 24 km (15 miles) road.
The grey mountain reveals spectacular gorges made by years of
wind and rains. The multicolor rock faces stand 1000 m (3280 ft)
above Rio Grivalja. A hydroelectric dam was built on this Rio.
It was finished in 1981 and called Chicoasén. As the rock
faces of the Cañon del Sumidero rise up, one can see hundreds
of birds along the bank. There are many caves and falls along
this canyon. An ecotourism park was set there in 2003 : it offers
activities such as climbing, kayak, hiking in the jungle to observe
butterflies, birds, monkeys and other wild animals. The cruise in the canyon and access
to the ecotourism park costs $350 per adult and $270 per child
(open 9 AM-4:30 PM).
A panoramic bus rides the road over the canyon every day at 9
AM and 1 PM - ($70).
picture : Cañon del Sumidero
por la geografía chiapaneca.
Atravesando el Cañón del Sumidero, las cascadas
de Agua Azul, Misol-Ha o El Chiflón, el Cañón
Rio La Venta, las coloridas lagunas de Montebello, la laguna
Miramar, los lagos de Colón, las zonas arqueológicas
de Palenque, Bonampak, Tenam Puente, Chinkultic, Yaxchilan.
Recorriendo las ciudades coloniales como Comitán,
San Cristóbal de las
Casas o Chiapa de Corzo, o bien la capital del Estado
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, entre muchos otros lugares como
Tapachula, San Juan Chamula, Amatenango del Valle.
"Chiapas... es para vivirlo"
Nice video produced by Chiapas
State about the points of interest in the State.
The precipice of the parakeets
This site is called "Sima de las Cotorras" or "Sima
del Copal" (abyss of the copal tree) because of the abundance
of copal trees in this place. It is located 4 km (2.5 miles) from
Tuxtla. The precipice of the parakeets is a 160 m (525 ft) diameter
and 140m (460 ft) depth natural pit. The rock faces are quasi-vertical
and one can observe remains of rock paintings from the ancestors
of the Zoque ethnic group on the steep walls. The site was named
after the many parakeets that nest offering a fairy show at dawn
or dusk when they get in or out of the abyss.