Mexico had more surprises for us than we could have predicted. While spending five days in San Cristobal de las Casas it became obvious that the easiest way to Guatemala would be to base ourselves there, do a few side trips then get a bus south to Ciudad Cuatemhoc.
After our time in Oaxaca and Monte Alban, we arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas. One of the side trips was a full on day out to Agua Azul, Palenque and Misol Ha. I’ll cover Agua Azul first.
How much does it cost to visit Agua Azul?
OK so there are no bus routes or easy taxi options to get here which leaves you with two main options:
1. Hire a car and drive there
2. Join a tour
We chose option 2 as the tour also included a visit to Palenque and Misol Ha waterfalls. We used Jalapeno Tours and the cost was 375 Mexican Pesos per person. We may have got it cheaper as we bargained and there were two of us. We got two of us for 750 Mexican pesos. This works out at around $30 US Dollars per person. We have heard of some companies and agents charging much more, up to $40 US. Shop around when you are in San Cristobal de las Casa and you will get it for $30 US Dollars. For this price you get your bus journey to all three places and dropped off where you wish (either back to San Cristobal or to the bus station in Palenque). You get entry to all three places (and can keep your ticket for Palenque). No meals or drinks are included. Bring a lunch and water.
Avoid Jalapeno Tours!!
As I said we went with Jalapeno Tours and while I normally recommend the companies I have used myself, I WON’T recommend Jalapeno. The reason being the driver tried to cut the visit to Misol Ha waterfall off our itinerary when we knew it was included. Basically he was trying to make money out of us as he didn’t want to pay the fee to enter with the minibus. Strangely the other people in our mini-bus (clearly not used to scams or long term travel) didn’t seem to mind him trying to skip this bit!). Glad I can write about it on here – so avoid Jalapeno Tours please 😉 That aside we were on the tour and the first stop was Agua Azul waterfalls.
San Cristobal de las Casas to Agua Azul waterfalls
We get picked up at our hostel at 5.30 am (standard for these long day tours) and are in a mini bus with other travellers, mostly other couples. It’s a drive through the darkness in the mountains, an 8am stop for breakfast/coffee which is not included. A cup of coffee here costs 15 Pesos, breakfast starts at 20 Pesos. By 10.15 am we have driven through some glorious mountains and arrive at Agua Azul waterfalls.
You can book your transportation between San Cristobal de Las Casas and Agua Azul’s waterfalls directly online advance with Guatego, to ensure your seats and compare schedules, prices and travel times.
It is reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices and schedules and make a booking online. It totally recommend Guatego for Agua Azul!
Arrival at Agua Azul Waterfalls
The first thing that hits me about Agua Azul is that it is FAR more touristy than I imagined. Stalls everywhere selling food and souvenirs on the way in and tourists everywhere.
Water Rafts at Agua Azul Waterfalls
We got a water raft from the arrival side over to the more foresty side. This is not included in the price of the tour and you need to bargain down hard with the guys. In the end we paid 40 Mexican Pesos for 2 people for a return. It’s a 3 minute ride on the raft across, and a 3 minute ride back. The reason we got the raft is that the best views and swimming locations are clearly and deliberately on the other side!
Swimming at Agua Azul Waterfalls
It’s really not too dangerous and most people go in for a dip. The waters are simply tropical and a blue turquoise colour, it’s amazing. Go in for a dip. There are changing rooms, but to save time, do your research and put your trunks or bikini on at 5am before the tour starts (as we did).
How long do you get at Agua Azul Waterfalls?
To be honest it’s not long enough – we had about an hour and a half there as out tour driver wanted to head on the road. So make the most of your time and don’t delay or dilly dally at the start.
These waterfalls are magnificent and you will want to savour your time here. After this our next stop was at another waterfall, Misol Ha, the stop the driver tried to cheat us out of, but we complained and he had to stop there! 😉
As well as the places we checked out like Agua Azul, Palenque etc. Mexico is famous for its beaches. While I stuck to the inland stuff and the Mayan ruins, you can also plan your holiday by the beach to places like Playa del Carmen and Puerto Arista which are lined with beaches, bars and restaurants. I’ll try and write about Misol Ha and Teoutihuacan next though as those were the places we hung out.
My videos from Agua Azul Waterfalls:
4 thoughts on “Visiting Agua Azul Waterfalls Near Palenque, Mexico”
I don’t know which is worse – Jalapeno Tours trying to blatantly rip you off or the other tourists in your group who were willing to allow it to happen. The only time a pre-paid tour needs to be cut out of an itinerary is if there is an inherent danger — weather, protest/act of war, etc. — that can endanger you and others in the group. I always appreciate the honesty of travel bloggers who have been (or nearly been) ripped off by tour companies, and let their readers know. Good for you for standing your ground!
Hi Ray – thanks – but sadly it’s a common trait and too many new/inexperienced travellers get “rolled over” too easily. Panny and I are too astute. It happened to me before in China, Indonesia and other places that I cannot pinpoint, to the point where I once called a Chinese tour guide a “wanker”! A bit about it here –
Also we actually got a slight discount on this tour in honesty and I’m not sure they knew I would write about it or not but I’m glad I did in case anyone else gets ripped off. Safe travels. Jonny