Mountains and Coast Explorer

Chiapas Mexico: (IT-MXCHIAP)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/southern_mexico_chiapas_horseback_adventure.aspx

Introduction
Chiapas Mexico
This trip combines: adventure, adrenaline and nature exploration with relaxation in comfortable charming hotels and historic haciendas, as well as at a unique eco resort on a private island at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Chiapas, once part of Guatemala, is the southernmost state of Mexico and the stage of our new unique riding adventure. It is an area full of historic sites of pre-Columbian Mayan civilizations. Here we explore canyons, canter across dirt roads of large hacienda estates, ride through the forests of the highlands and on hidden steep trails that lead us through tropical vegetation down to the coast - ending up on the pristine beaches of the Pacific.

Our adventure leads us through the stunning highlands of Chiapas, where we pass through magnificent pine forests and indigenous communities where we have the chance to glimpse local life. We explore the majestic Canyon “Rio La Venta”, one of the most important natural areas of the region. After a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear water of the waterfall “El Aguacero”, we spend time in a restored ancient hacienda, founded in 1902, and enjoy the hospitality of our hosts and the delicious local fare. The next day we enjoy long canters and gallops along old bridle paths until we arrive at the Tolan dam, where we can fish, take a boat trip or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Our journey then leads us through the biosphere reserve “La Sepultura”, a place of stunning natural beauty. We continue our ride on mountain trails through the “Sierra Madre de Chiapas”. Then a technical descent to the coast and a transfer horse and riders takes us to the seaside town of Puerto Arista. Here we find the perfect place for long canters on sandy beaches, always accompanied by a nice sea breeze! In order to reach the final destination of our tour, the Madresal Ecological Center, we have to take a boat transfer through the mangroves and across the lagoon. Madresal seems like a lost paradise in the Mexican Pacific and is a great location to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Here we have the opportunity to observe wildlife from a canoe through the Mangrove Forest and have time to relax on the sandy beach, before being transferred back to the Tuxtla Gutierez airport.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride where nights are spent in 5 different locations.

Description
Accommodations will be in nice 3 star hotels, hacienda and a rustic and unique beach resort on a private island on the coast.
Laundry services are available for an extra fee at Hotel Hacienda La Valdiviana and Cortijo la Casona only.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: La Ceiba Hotel in Chiapa de Corzo
Nights 2 & 3: Cortijo la Casona in San Cristobal de las Casas
Nights 4 & 5: Hacienda la Valdiviana
Nights 6 & 7: Hotel Villa Murano in Puerto Arista
Night 8: Holiday Inn Express Marimba in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

La Ceiba Hotel in Chiapa de Corzo
This hotel features a charming colonial style architecture with balconies and corridors. It offers 85 clean and spacious rooms, decorated with local artifacts. Each room has air conditioning, television, Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom with hairdryer. There is a swimming pool and beautiful gardens where guests can relax.

Cortijo la Casona in San Cristobal de las Casas
All rooms at Cortijo la Casona are spacious and simply decorated. Each has a patio, coffee maker and a private bathroom. There is also a garden with beautiful views of the surroundings. WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

Hacienda la Valdiviana
This hacienda from the 18th century is thought to be one of the oldest haciendas in Chiapas. It features a mix of colonial and neoclassic architectures and offers only 7 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. There is a garden and swimming pool and Wi-Fi access is available.

Hotel Villa Murano in Puerto Arista
This unique beach resort is located on the coast and offers simple accommodations. All rooms come with air conditioning, satellite TV and private bathroom. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a terrace as well as a hot tub, for guests’ enjoyment. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

Holiday Inn Express Marimba in Tuxtla Gutiérrez
This hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms with a modern décor and all the amenities you need including air conditioning, TV, wireless internet access and private bathroom with free toiletries and hairdryer.

Room Occupancy
For solo travelers willing to share, a single supplement fee is charged if we cannot find you any roommate.


Meals
All meals are included in this trip except for meals on the first and the last dinner (day 8).

Most meals are eaten in restaurants and some are prepared by your hosts.
The cuisine on the trip mostly features home style Mexican food, made with local produce.

Alcoholic drinks are not included on this trip but guests are welcome to bring their own bottles.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

Riding

Getting into the gaps and lanes of Chiapas, leads us to know the culture and history, with a background of natural landscapes of incomparable beauty. We enjoy native foods and exotic flavors. Know and live with people closer to their daily lives, to know customs and traditions.

Our Mexican partners are true horsemen. They  raise their own horses, treat them with love and respect, train them to be resilient, working to overcome natural obstacles like rivers and slopes. This training provides us with sociable horses, used to perform in the outdoors. The ride will be on dirt roads and trails through the natural landscapes of Chiapas - through evergreen forests, tropical forests, across beaches and an exploration of the mangroves on the Pacific with its rich wildlife.
Our mission is to promote equestrian tourism within a framework of respect, providing quality services, with safety as the most important factor for our riders.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
After arriving at the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport (there are direct flights from Houston on Wednesdays), take a shuttle transfer (approx. $25 USD per car) to Chiapa de Corzo and check into your hotel. Meals are on your own today.
Meals included: None
Overnight at La Ceiba Hotel in Chiapa de Corzo


Day 2: Sumidero Canyon & San Cristóbal de las Casas
After breakfast we meet you at the hotel around 9 am. We start with a spectacular boat ride along the Grijalva River. Our boat leaves from the Cahuaré Docks and takes us on a magnificent boat ride (approx. 3 hours) through the famous “Cañón del Sumidero”. (If the weather is rainy, it is important to have a waterproof jacket, lightweight clothing or bathing suit at hand. In any case, please make sure to bring your sunglasses and your camera!).
The canyon’s creation began around the same time as the Grand Canyon in the U.S. state of Arizona, by a crack in the area’s crust and erosion by the Grijalva River, which was named after the Spanish conquistador Juan Grijalva. With its vertical walls reaching as high as 1,000 meters and with the river turning up to ninety degrees during the narrow passage runs, the Sumidero Canyon is one of the most impressive natural spectacles of Mexico!  During the tour we will have the opportunity to observe tropical forests in their natural state as well as some animals such as monkeys, crocodiles and numerous species of birds. The boat tour ends at the Chicoasén Dam, one of the most important hydroelectric power stations in Mexico and Latin America.
After visiting the canyon, we will transfer (approx. 50 min) to San Cristóbal de las Casas. The town is located in the Central Highlands region of Chiapas. Due to its high altitude of 2,100 meters, the temperatures are lower in San Cristóbal and it is colder than in the canyon, so you may need to change your clothes. We will stay at Hotel Cortijo la Casona, a charming Mexican-style "Posada", which offers a magnificent view of the city. After we are settled in, we enjoy a delicious dinner in the city around 8 pm.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, founded in 1528 by Diego de Mazariego, has maintained its beautiful Spanish colonial layout, with narrow cobblestone streets, roofs covered in red clay tile and wrought iron balconies with flowers. The facades of the buildings vary from Baroque to Neoclassical and Moorish, painted in various colors. After dinner you have time to explore the historic city center with its interesting sites like Central Plaza, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Arc del Carmen and the indigenous craft markets. Dive into the lively and safe streets of San Cristobal and appreciate the local culture and friendly people! Taste the excellent coffee of the region and visit the best amber and jade jewelry shops in Mexico. At night, many bars and restaurants along the three main streets - Santo Domingo, Guadalupe and Del Carmen - offer live music. Here you can enjoy excellent wines and delicious Mexican food, as well as French, Italian and Argentinean cuisine.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Cortijo la Casona in San Cristóbal de las Casas


Day 3: Ride to Eco-Park "Arcotete"
After a traditional Mexican breakfast at the hotel, we are transferred to the riding center, which is located on the outskirts of San Cristobal. At the riding center we get to know our horses and equipment before heading out on ride to the protected ecological reserve called “Arcotete”.
On our journey, we will cross mountains and encounter interesting paths like narrow roads winding through magnificent pine and oak forests. We will also see several species of birds. We will ride through Tzotziles communities where we have the chance to glimpse the daily activities and work of the indigenous farmers.
Upon arrival at the Ecological Park Arcotete, we enjoy lunch and take a walk along wood paths towards a stone arch carved by the water of the river “Rio Amarillo”. Here we offer optional activities such as a canopy tour for those who are looking for an adrenaline rush. You can also take it easy and relax or walk along the river bank. Afterwards we ride back to the equestrian center and then head out to San Cristobal by car where we have the rest of the day to relax, explore and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Cortijo la Casona in San Cristóbal de las Casas


Day 4: "Sima de las Cotorras" Hike & Ride to Hacienda "La Valdiviana"
After savoring a delicious breakfast, we are transferred (approx. 1.5 hrs) to Ocozocoautla, towards the magnificent “El Aguacero” waterfall in to the Canyon La Venta where we can enjoy an energizing hike after we reach the access road to the “Sima de las Cotorras”. Here horses are already waiting for us and we start our ride of the day.
We enjoy gallops on dirt roads and ride through rural communities and cultivated agricultural landscape, getting to know the daily life of local farmers. We also bypass the rock “El Cerebro”, the so called “Brain”, which is a unique rock formation, consisting of eroded sandstone.
Finally we arrive at the famous “Sima de las Cotorras”, a gargantuan sinkhole (known as “sima”). Almost perfectly circular, the sinkhole is 160 meters across and a stomach-lurching 140 meters straight down – like a giant round hole cut into the limestone crust. At the bottom is a small forest, which seems like a lost rainforest due to its lushness in contrast to the dry surrounding environment. This place is a naturally protected summer nesting area for the sinkhole’s namesake residents: thousands of parrots, which translated means “chatterbox”. As the name indicates, the air is filled with the noises of several thousands of these restless parrots! Enjoy this natural spectacle and watch them flying gracefully in spirals out of the sinkhole to the surface. Nearly as impressive are a set of ancient cave paintings, such as painted handprints in red and black colors, as well as drawings of the moon and other figures of the cosmos.
After enjoying lunch in a restaurant nearby, we continue our ride until we are transferred to the ancient Hacienda "La Valdiviana", which was founded in 1902. The charming hacienda provides a pool and also internet access, and it is the perfect place to rest your body after a day on horseback. Enjoy the hospitality and culinary skill of the owners, who will prepare a delicious dinner us.
Riding approx. 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda "La Valdiviana"


Day 5: Ride to Tolan Dam
We start the day with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruits and local dishes before starting our ride to the Tolan dam.
We enjoy long trots and gallops on smooth, sandy and flat roads and marvel at the valley and surrounding mountains. During the ride we will pass several hacienda ruins, and we will have the chance to observe different species of birds, such as bearded vultures, magpies and many more until we reach the agricultural community of Villa Morelos. Here we take a break and we will be invited by a local family to join them for lunch. We will have the opportunity to test our ability to prepare our own hand made tortillas.
After the lunch break, we continue our journey to the village of Rosendo Salazar, where the Tolan dam is located. Enjoy this peaceful place with its beautiful view of the mountain range “Sierra Madre de Chiapas”! Here you have the opportunity to go fishing, take a boat trip or enjoy swimming in the lake with the horses. In the afternoon, you will be transferred back to the Hacienda (approx. 30 min), where we will have dinner and spend the rest of the evening.
Riding approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda "La Valdiviana"


Day 6: Tolam Dam to Reserve “La Sepultura” & Puerto Arista
Breakfast will be prepared by our hosts, whose flavors will certainly spoil your palate! Afterwards you will be transferred back to the Tolan dam, where our horses are waiting for us and ready to head towards the community of Valle de Corzo. During the ride (which is located in the coastal plain of Chiapas), we will pass the biosphere reserve “La Sepultura”, undoubtedly a place of stunning natural beauty! We will also visit the remains of an old textile factory from the 1920s, which became important in the textile industry of Central America. Afterwards we climb up a dirt road, always surrounded by beautiful pine forests, until we reach the “Corzo Valley”, where we take a break and go back in a loop crossing "Corazon del Valle" community.
The view is stunning and you will have the chance to see different kinds of birds and animals that live in the surrounding highlands and low-growing forests, on a path that was once used as the royal road to Chiapas. Later that day we will be driven (approx. 2.5 h) to the seaside village of Puerto Arista. After checking into the Hotel, which is located across from the beach, we have time to rest during sunset.
Riding approx. 4 hours (35 km)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Puerto Arista


Day 7: Beach Ride & Madresal Ecological Center
This morning we start with our ride along soft and sandy beaches, enjoying long canters and wonderful riding! With a bit of luck we may be followed by a pod of dolphins just beyond the wave line, or a flock of curious birds. We also have the opportunity to swim with our horses in the ocean and enjoy the freedom of the horses and the nice sea breeze – one of the best experiences for true horse lovers!
Later, we will have a delicious seafood brunch, before transferring to “Madresal Ecological Center” (about 1 hour drive away from Puerto Arista). In order to reach Madresal, we have to cross the estuary by boat, giving us the opportunity to see the mangroves. Madresal is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Chiapas. A lost paradise in the Mexican Pacific, it is a wonderful place surrounded by nature and full of kind respectful people. It is overseen by the community of Ponte Duro, which has built a restaurant and comfortable “palapas” (open-sided dwellings with thatched roofs made of dried palm leaves) where we sleep in a clean bed or in a hammock. Upon arrival, we have some time to relax on the beach, go for a swim, meet local fishermen and learn about the local fishing traditions, before we meet again for a delicious fresh fish dinner at the beach restaurant.
During "Turtle Season" (July - November) you can participate in the release of the “Tortugas Golfinas”, the most numerous species that spawns on the coasts of Chiapas. Participating in the release of the baby turtles is a very emotional experience. The ceremony is performed at night, facing the beach where the baby turtles are freed and wished luck at sea. Only a small percentage (less than 10%) will reach adulthood and return to the beach where they hatched, in order to spawn.
Riding approx. 2 hours (15 km)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Madresal Ecological Center


Day 8: Madresal Ecological Center & Tuxtla Gutierrez City
Today, we get up early and after a quick breakfast we take a 2+ hours canoe tour to observe birds and crocodiles through the mangrove forest with wonderful opportunities to photograph wildlife. When we return, after a breakfast we have some time to relax on the beach. We transfer back to Tuxtla by afternoon. We check into a local hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight at Hotel in Tuxtla


Day 9: Departure
If you are booked on an early flight,  the hotel includes a continental breakfast. If you are booked on a later flight, you can take your time, have breakfast at the hotel and visit some attractions of Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Meals included: Breakfast

NOTE: Turtles arrive to the beaches on Peurto Arista all year round but the majority of the activity takes place between July and November.
The horses are transported between destinations and this is not a traditional point to point ride where you ride from one overnight place to another, arriving at each one on horseback the terrain does not allow for this. There is a lot of emphasis on historical/cultural and eco points of interest. You will see and will do a lot on this trip, so the hours in the saddle are not huge each day.


Rates and Dates for Mountains and Coast Explorer

Rates include:

Accommodations, Most meals, 5 riding days with English speaking guide & Boat and canoe tours

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP (Low Season)$2670
  • B
    20208 day trip, AP (High Season)$2820

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2020 Single supplement $380
2020 Transfer from Tuxtla to Chiapa de Corzo by shuttle (per car)
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
$25

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 01/09 - 03/24 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 03/25 - 04/04 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
B 2020 04/05 - 04/21 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (High Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 04/22 - 05/12 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 05/13 - 05/26 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 05/27 - 06/02 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 06/03 - 06/16 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 06/17 - 07/14 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve
B 2020 07/15 - 08/15 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (High Season) 2 /7 Reserve
A 2020 08/16 - 12/19 9d / 8n 8 day trip, AP (Low Season) 2 /7 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Meals on Day 1 + dinner on Day 8, Drinks at hotel in Tuxtla, Transfers between Tuxtla and Chiapa de Corzo & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Mountains, Canyons & Coast Explorer of Chiapas (IT-MXCHIAP):
If your booking is affected by restrictions put into place due to the coronavirus (flight cancelled, state lockdown...), it is possible to postpone your trip to a later date.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Chiapa de Corzo
Airport: Tuxtla
Transfer: Chiapa de Corzo

Climate:
                                            Tuxtla Gutiérrez area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

86

89

93

96

96

91

90

90

89

88

87

86

Average Low Temperature (°F)

60

62

65

68

71

71

70

70

69

68

64

62

Average High Temperature (°C)

30

31

34

36

35

33

32

32

32

31

31

30

Average Low Temperature (°C)

16

17

18

20

22

21

21

21

21

20

18

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

0

1

0

1

5

12

12

12

12

6

2

2

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The climate in Chiapas varies a lot with the elevation of the location. In the highlands temperatures are fairly constant year round, with variation depending on elevation. The north is dry with little rainfall, but the southern part of the state is more humid. On the coast temperatures are usually 10 to 15% higher than in the highlands ... so you will experience many different weather patterns.
The average temperature is 20°c (68°f), but temperatures may reach as high as 40°c (104°f) on the coast and as low as 0°c (32°f) in the highlands.

What To Bring:
  • A helmet is not mandatory on the trail rides but it is always a good idea to use one.
  • A good hat or big cap can keep the shade on your face and protect it from the sun.
  • Sunscreen may be needed also to protect lips, face, neck, arms, and hands.
  • Short riding boots and half chaps can be lighter that long English or Western boots.
  • Wide boots that can get caught in the stirrup are very dangerous!
  • The boots should be comfortable for walking, especially during the visit to the butterflies.
  • Riders can bring inside the saddlebags a pair of comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.
  • An extra pair of boots can be handy if for any reason you may have problems with the first ones.
  • English riding pants, jodhpurs, or Western riding jeans, whatever you usually wear.
  • A light jacket, easy to tie to the saddle in case some cold wind blows during the day.
  • Another thick jacket or a sweater to be used early in the mornings or late at night.
  • Long sleeves in your shirt or blouse can help against the sun and the spines.
  • A bandanna or big handkerchief is very useful as towel, cleaner, and against the dust.
  • A pocket knife is always practical to have hanging from your belt.