Incredible Waterfalls at Cascadas El Chiflón, Chiapas (Travel Guide)

Cascadas El Chiflón, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, is home to one of the most dazzling waterfalls I’ve ever experienced!

In total, the park has 5 large and stunning waterfalls that can be viewed from a variety of angles. As well as zip lines, swimming areas and more for a fantastic day out.

Luckily, the park can be easily reached from the cities of San Cristobal de las Casas and Comitan de Dominguez. As such, it’s the perfect place for a DIY day trip on public transport.

So, if this sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll want to keep reading about how to get to El Chiflón Chiapas, entrance fees, top tips and – importantly – how to not miss the last two waterfalls like so many people do!

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Where is El Chiflón Waterfall?
How to Get There
Essential Information

Entrance | Opening Times | Entry Fee | On-site Facilities
The 5 El Chiflón Waterfalls
Cascadas El Suspiro | Cascada Ala de Angel | Cascada Velo de Novia | Cascada Arcoiris | Cascada Quinceañera
Zip Lining
Travel Tips + What to Bring With You

Cascadas El Chiflón Mexico: Overview

In rural Chiapas – Mexico’s most southern state – lies the El Chiflón waterfall park. The site has 5 large waterfalls – of which, at least one will leave you absolutely speechless!

But, it’s not just the waterfalls, visiting the park is a full-day activity in itself. There’s something for everyone with zip lines, swimming areas, refreshment stands, cabanas and viewing platforms.

What’s more, the cost of getting to and into the waterfalls is low, making this a great day out on a budget. Perfect for families, backpackers, couples and more!

Where is Cascadas El Chiflón Chiapas Mexico?

The waterfalls are located in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

From the popular backpacker town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, El Chiflón is approximately 100 km southeast, near the city of Comitan de Dominguez. A city that’s more commonly known as just Comitan.

In fact, the site is only 50 km or so from the Guatemalan border. See the exact location of the waterfalls on Google Maps here.

The jewel of Cascadas el Chiflon in Chiapas, Mexico. An incredible place to visit. Zoe is pictured on the small viewing platform beneath the huge waterfall!

How to get to El Chiflón from San Cristóbal de las Casas

The waterfalls are easily reachable from San Cristóbal despite the relatively large distance.

By Car

One option is to rent a car in San Cristóbal and drive to the waterfalls.

This is a good option if you’re comfortable driving on the roads in Chiapas, have an international driving licence (or are Mexican), and understand the risk of charges from damage to the car. And, it’s also a good option if you’re wanting to visit a few of the great Chiapas waterfalls.

By Bus

However, the falls are ridiculously easy to get to using public transport from San Cristóbal de las Casas. Just one bus and one colectivo! Here’s how…

From the OCC San Cristóbal bus station, take a bus going to Comitan de Dominguez.

The journey takes around 2 hours but you’ll want to set off early for this whole-day trip. Tickets cost around 5 USD and can be booked online or in person at the bus station.

Once you arrive at the OCC Comitan bus station, exit onto the main road and turn left. Walk 2 and a half blocks along the road until you find many colectivos on the left side of the road.

You’ll recognise the van by it having El Chiflón written on or you can ask. The colectivo costs 35 pesos per person one-way and they leave once full to make the 40-minute journey.

You’ll be dropped off outside the gates of the waterfall park and all you have to do now is walk up to the entrance!

To get back to San Cristóbal, simply wait for a colectivo on the opposite side of the road to where you were dropped off. The colectivos will drop you off in the centre of Comitan just a short walk from the bus station.

> > > If you prefer to book in advance, tickets for the OCC bus between San Cristóbal and Comitan can be booked online. Check prices and availability for your travel date and book ahead of time.

Tours to Cascadas El Chiflón from San Cristóbal

There are plenty of tours going from San Cristóbal to El Chiflón each day. However, generally speaking, these also continue on the Parque Nacional Lagunas de Montebello (Montebello Lakes National Park), on the Guatemala border.

If you’re not interested in visiting the lakes, then a DIY day trip to the waterfalls is a great option.

But, if you want to combine the two, a tour is great value for money. Especially since you wouldn’t be able to visit both places in one day by public transport.

There’s a lot of time on the road when travelling from San Cristóbal but it’s worth it, I promise! As well as the beautiful waterfalls, you’ll get to experience the best of nature at Montebello Lakes, which is just stunning.

Like on this full-day, 12-hour tour from San Cristóbal that costs just 45 USD including transport and entrance fees.

The waterfalls start small near the entrance but get larger and larger as you progress through the site.

El Chiflón Waterfalls: Essential Information

Two Entrances – Choose Carefully!

When you arrive at the entrance to the El Chiflón waterfalls, you’ll find that there’s an entrance on the road on either side of the river. Simply put, there’s one entrance on the left and one on the right.

However, each side is run by a different company and each has different offerings.

My recommendation: choose the entrance on the right-hand side, Centro Ecoturistico Cascadas el Chiflón. All the information below relates to this entrance and side of the river.

The entrance on the left-hand side has slightly worse views – in my opinion. And doesn’t have facilities like the zip line and cabanas.

Opening hours

The site is open from 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

Entry fee

As of 2024, the entrance fee is 80 Mexican Pesos per person for Centro Ecoturistico.

If you enter through the left-hand side entrance, you’ll pay 50 pesos. But there’s an additional charge of 20 pesos per person to access the last two waterfalls.

On-site facilities

Use of the bathrooms and riverside huts are included in the entrance fee, as well as the museum and iguana observation point. To note, the only bathrooms are located by the entrance, there are no more further along the waterfalls.

Additionally, all along the river, there’s lots of refreshment stands selling snacks and drinks at reasonable prices. Parking is available onsite too.

At an additional cost, there’s also a series of zip lines (tirolesa in Spanish) as well as cabanas where you can spend the night. I cover both of these in more detail later in this post.

A map of the whole complex including 5 waterfalls, multiple zip lines, swimming areas and cabanas, restaurants and camping areas

The 5 El Chiflón Waterfalls

Cascadas El Chiflón Chiapas is home to 5 absolutely incredible and stunning waterfalls. Plus, in addition to the 5 main waterfalls, there are lots of smaller falls nearer the entrance too.

From the entrance to the highest waterfall is pretty much all uphill. To see all of the waterfalls, take pictures, have rests and walk at a comfortable pace, you’ll probably spend 3 to 4 hours in the park.

If you want to go swimming, add more time. But, if you want to take the zip line back down, you’ll save some time!

The fast flowing water of Cascada El Suspiro at El Chiflon in Chiapas, Mexico

Cascadas El Suspiro

The first of the five waterfalls, Cascadas El Suspiro – which means ‘the sigh waterfalls’ has a viewing area on the bank directly across. You’ll need to climb down some stairs to reach this from the main pathway.

Outside of the rainy season, the plunge pool can have a vivid blue colour. Much like the Agua Azul waterfalls – which I definitely recommend visiting on the journey between San Cristóbal and Palenque.

With the waterfall across from the viewing point, it’s a great place to get photos with no one in the background. But, don’t spend too long, there’s still 4 more waterfalls to see and a long uphill climb to go!

The magnificent Cascada Ala de Angel, the second of five waterfalls at El Chiflon.

Cascada Ala de Angel

Next up is the beautiful Cascada Ala de Angel (‘Angel Wing Waterfall’ in English).

Again, you’ll have to climb down from the path to the water’s edge. Although, at this waterfall, you’ll be to one side of the waterfall rather than directly in front of it.

Plus, depending on the water levels you might need to do some jumping between rocks and dry areas to get a good photo!

The dazzling Cascada Velo de Novia with Zoe stood on the viewing platform below looking very small in comparison

Cascada Velo de Novia

Folks, welcome to the main event of the day! Cascada Velo de Novia – meaning Bridal Veil Waterfall in English – is the main waterfall at El Chiflón Mexico.

When this waterfall first came into sight, I was astounded, the size and force were utterly mesmerising. This is easily the most impressive waterfall in Chiapas, if not the best waterfall in the whole of Mexico!

There’s three good spots to view Cascada Velo de Novia from.

The first is by the zipline tower and refreshment stands.

The second is on the lower ground towards the bottom of the waterfall.

And, the third, is the viewing platform right in front of the waterfall.

But, be warned, the spray is quite intense at the lower viewing area. And very intense on the viewing platform – you will get soaked!

I’d highly recommend spending some time here enjoying the spectacular view, because, from this point, the climb gets steep! You see, the next two waterfalls are above Cascada Velo de Novia – and, that’s a long way up!

FIND OUT MORE: Cascada Velo de Novia is so epic, I’ve a whole blog post dedicated to the waterfall!

Cascada Arcoiris

When you’re at Cascada Velo de Novia it’s important to remember that this isn’t the end of the waterfalls.

However, the path to continue on to the fourth and fifth waterfalls isn’t well sign-posted and many people just turn back unknowingly. If you can’t find the path, simply ask someone working at either the zip-lining tower or refreshment to point you in the right direction.

It’s a steep climb uphill along a dirt path to Cascada Arcoiris (‘Rainbow Waterfall’), but you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view and a sense of achievement too. The view looking back towards the park entrance is also pretty special.

Cascada Quinceñera

The final El Chiflón waterfall is Cascada Quinceñera.

The viewing area for which is almost level with the top of the waterfall and is directly in front of it, so great for photos! You’ll want to take a rest here as the next part of your day is to walk all the way back down!

Swimming is allowed at El Chiflon, but not during rainy season

Swimming at El Chiflón

Near the entrance, there’s a designated swimming section in the river. On the riverbank, there’s small huts with tables and seats, suitable for picnics or for friends and family to wait at.

Unfortunately, during the rainy season, the swimming area is closed.

This is because the water levels are higher, the water isn’t as clear and the current is stronger. I visited in mid-July and the area was closed then but I’m not sure when the exact dates are that the swimming area opens/closes.

Nevertheless, I’d recommend wearing your swimming items (bikini or swimming shorts) under your clothes and packing a lightweight towel and water shoes.

El Chiflón Zip Lines

There are 4 zip lines in the park. One is specifically for children but the other 3 can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Of the three larger El Chiflón zip lines, one is 300 metres, one is 400 metres and the other is 600 metres long.

If you want to experience the zip lines you need to buy a ticket near the entrance to the park. If you want to do just one zipline the costs are:

  • 200 pesos for the 300-metre option
  • 250 pesos for the 400-metre option and
  • 300 pesos for the 600-metre zip line.
  • Or, all three for 600 pesos.

I saw plenty of people enjoying the zip lines and they certainly seemed safe enough. Unlike certain other zip lines in Chiapas (*cough* El Arcotete!) that filled me with fear just at the sight of them!

Cabanas at El Chiflón Mexico

There are 12 cabanas located inside the park. The price varies by cabana size and season, as follows (price per night, not including entry to the park):

  • One queen-size double bed (low season: 700 pesos/high season: 800 pesos)
  • Two double beds (low: 900 pesos/high: 1000 pesos)
  • Two double beds in a duplex (low: 11000 pesos/high: 1200 pesos)
  • Three double beds (low: 1400 pesos/high: 1500 pesos)

In 2023/2024 high season is:

  • 1 to 8 January (New Year)
  • 1 to 16 April (Easter)
  • 29 July to 20 August (Summer)
  • 16 December to 7 January 2024 (Christmas and New Year)

All cabanas have private bathrooms, hot water and internet. Information on how to book the cabanas can be found on the website.

Travel Tips & What to Bring to El Chiflón Waterfalls

A visit to these waterfalls makes for a great day out. And, to keep your day as low-stress as possible, here are my top tips and recommended packing list for El Chiflón.

Top Tips

If possible, visit during the week. Weekends are particularly busy, even more so during holidays and summer.

Additionally, try to visit as early as possible. Tour buses tend to start arriving from 10.30-11am onwards. Alternatively, arrive later in the day (still giving yourself enough time to complete the route) once the tours have moved on.

Bring breakfast, snacks and lunch. While refreshments are available to purchase at the park, these are more snacks than full meals.

If you’re travelling from San Cristobal, you’ll be out all day. And the small village outside of El Chiflón Chiapas doesn’t have much to offer in the way of restaurants or food stalls.

Don’t stress even if it’s busy!

Our bus got delayed on the way to Comitan and by the time we arrived, the park was very busy. But, it’s still possible to find places to yourself and get great photos without crowds in.

Packing List

  • Fully charged camera and enough space on your SD card
  • Battery pack and lead for your phone
  • Sun cream and sunglasses
  • Breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Swimwear, light-weight towel and water shoes (plus a carrier bag to put wet items in afterwards)
  • Cash, for the colectivo, entrance, snacks etc.
  • Suitable footwear (i.e. trainers) for an uphill hike as well as comfortable clothing. This is especially important for the steep climb to the last two waterfalls
  • Passport! This one isn’t ideal, but there are immigration checkpoints all across Chiapas. At these, officials board the buses and colectivos asking for ID. If you don’t have it and you’re unlucky, you can be detained and held in immigration centres until someone can produce your passport or the embassy intervenes. Keep your documents somewhere safe (and ideally waterproof), take a photo of the ID page on your phone and share it with family back home.

Do you have any questions or want any more information? If so, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Information is correct as of August 2023 but is subject to change in future.

Looking for more Mexico Inspiration?

SAN CRISTOBAL: Visit El Arcotete Eco Park in San Cristobal, Chiapas [Complete Guide]

PALENQUE: Misol-Ha Waterfall, Chiapas: Guide to Palenque’s Best Waterfall

PALENQUE: Palenque Waterfalls: 6 Beautiful Cascadas You’ll Want to Visit

CENTRAL OAXACA: San José del Pacifico, Oaxaca (Complete Travel Guide)

QUINTANA ROO: Punta Mosquito, Holbox: Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

QUINTANA ROO: Getting from Cancun to Tulum and Tulum to Cancun (Travel Guide)

And much more, check out all Mexico Travel Guides here!


6 thoughts on “Incredible Waterfalls at Cascadas El Chiflón, Chiapas (Travel Guide)”

  1. Thanks for the great article.
    As of January 2022 I was able to buy tickets for the ziplines directly at the desired station 😉

  2. Thanks so much for this post! The directions were so helpful. It totally helped us get there and back to San Cristobal without a tour. El Chiflon is amazing!

  3. On the right side about 1/3 of the way through there is a restaurant, they also have bathrooms I believe.
    Nice write up. Great details. We have planned on staying overnight and have never asked about the cabins.

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