Central America

Sumidero Canyon

A few miles away from the Tuxtla Gutierrez in Mexico lies the magnificent Sumidero Canyon in the Grijalva River. This river drains in the Gulf of Mexico. The Canyon starts from the town of Chiapa de Corzo and flows into the Manuel Moreno Torres- the hydroelectric dam in the region. Geologically the Canyon is the result of a fault in the Pleistocen period. For the Chiapans the importance of the geological structure goes deeper than being just a natural wonder. They consider it as a treasure and it is seen in the Coat of Arms of the state of Chiapas.Before the dam was constructed the walls of the Canyon were much higher. Also it was impossible to navigate through the turbulent water of the river even for a very skilled boatman.

After the completion of the Manuel Moreno Torres in the river the water level rose and many boats and water taxis could navigate with ease at the placid river. The hydro lectric dam is one of the most important source of hydro electric power in Mexico.To get a full view of the Sumidero Canyon you can climb up in any of the Miradores. However the best way to take in the full view of the Canyon is by renting a boat. Chiapa de Corzo is the most popular point of embarkation. You can see that some of the walls rises to a height of 2,500 feet. The boat will also take you past a couple of caves in the region. While plying you can see a strange Christman tree like formation which is moss hanging on in the rock faces. Inside the Canyon you get to see an ecological Park that have been set up with the sole motive to preserve the endemic flora and fauna of the region. You can take a boat to the park. Eco tourism thrives here. The wildlife sanctuary here is a must see. If you are adventurous type you can also engage in many trekking and hiking activities in the Park like mountain biking, abseiling, zip-line, and swimming.

The avian population here is quite rich. Common species found here are Herons, vultures, egrets, kingfishers. If you are lucky enough you might also see a crocodile while on the boat. The ecological park was opened in 2003. Wooden bridges leads you straight to the entrance of the park. If you are thinking of swimming carry costumes with you. A pair of good trekking shoes will also stand you in good stead.