The Wildlife Refuge and Forest Protection Area of the Cascadas de Agua Azul, were established by a presidential decree on April 26, 1980, and extends over an area of 2,580 hectares.
Located 99 miles northeast of the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, the indigo blue water, green vegetation, constant breeze and the soothing sound of the waterfalls help to make the Agua Azul Waterfalls one of the most spectacular and unforgettable places in Mexico.
The Agua Azul River descends the limestone bed in steps forming a series of impressive waterfalls that create natural pools contained by limestone levees called Rimstone in geological terminology. At the entrance of the site there are craft shops, small food stands and local guides who take bolder visitors to other even more dramatic waterfalls, as the descending river continues downstream until it plunges into the Tulijá River, forming one of the most beautiful sheets of water.
The Tulijá River, a tributary of the Grijalva, is one of the major rivers in northern Chiapas. It is marked by its intense turquoise color and the presence of beautiful natural pools and picturesque waterfalls, making the way over uneven terrain on the way to the sea. The intricate hydrological network of Chiapas, combined with a highly rugged topography, gives the state the privilege of having more waterfalls than any other. Although the Agua Azul Waterfalls are the most popular and accessible, nature loving travelers will find wonderful water scenery throughout the entire state.
Activities: Camping and swimming on the banks of the Tulija River, bird watching, river rafting, and white water rafting with the help of expert guides.
Nature: The wildlife of the region consists of many specimens like the jaguar, scarlet macaw, toucan, northern tapir and others.
Indigenous Communities: The region is inhabited by Mayan ethnic group the Chol. Their pre-Hispanic ancestors are credited with the construction of major archaeological sites in the area. Farmers and artisans, the Choles worship caves as the dwellings of the spirit of nature.
It is recommended to visit the falls during the dry season, from December to early July, because their distinctive color is visible only during this time. Near this area is the archaeological site of Palenque, the representative of the great Maya civilization.
To get to Agua Azul from San Cristobal de Las Casas: tours are available through numerous travel agencies located in the heart of the city, offering one-day tours that include visits to Misol-Ha Waterall(or Misoljá), Agua Azul Watefalls, and the Palenque Archaeological Zone.
(Photographs: provided by the State of Chiapas Secretary of Tourism for the promotion of the entity).