Unlike many other backpackers, after visiting the ruins of Palenque we were staying in the city for a night and we scheduled to leave on the evening of the day after but we didn’t have much plan for out extra day in town.

Lacking any ideas on what to do on the next day, we went for a walk in Palenque. I was looking to buy a cheap but cool cap and ultimately we wanted to find a place to have dinner. On this very stroll through the city, we found a local travel agency just near the ADO bus station and we stopped to ask what tours they were offering. The only option that fitted our schedule was the tour to Roberto Barrios waterfalls, it was a cheap one so we immediately booked it for the day after.

Among all the waterfalls in the area, Agua Azul holds the fame but, although often unfamiliar to tourists in Palenque, the waterfalls of Roberto Barrios are a wonderful place to visit, characterized by crystal clear turquoise waters which form natural pools that are perfect for swimming.

The tour’s minivan picked us up from our hotel the morning after and, after picking up some other people, we were off to the waterfalls. The road to Roberto Barrios was curved back and forth, as a lot of roads in Chiapas. The drive out was wonderful.  The Chiapan landscape of vivacious green tropics climbing their way up and spilling over rocky, slate-grey mountain ranges. Small indigenous towns enveloped by the nature like little islands in the ocean. Mesmerized as we drove through them I couldn’t stop staring out the window.

About 25 minutes later we turned into a small road leading to Roberto Barrios.

If you take a colectivo, this would be where they drop you off. 13km in, we reached the check point. Again if you’re not on a tour there’s a small ticket booth where you have to pay 20 pesos per person.

Down the road there’s some parking space and we got off the van there. The driver, that was also our guide, leaded us in a short hike through the jungle. We could hear the water flowing almost right away. It got louder with every turn through the trees until we came out on a damp, open expanse by a beautiful teal blue pool. I was ready to swim right there but the guide wanted us to follow him further. We walked about 50 meters through the jungle, and there they were, the other waterfalls. This time it was occupied by some locals and visitors swimming. Going down further there was another pool and the guide advised us to bathe there. It was, as a matter of fact, the best of them all with a view on the underlying teal blue lake.

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Locals and tourists relaxing and bathing

Sometimes, good things come when least expected.

We spent hours climbing up and down the waterfall. We climbed almost every rock all the way to the pool we’d found first. It was an awesome experience made possible by the driver watching over our belongings while we were off to explore the waterfalls.

We left the waterfalls at about 4pm; they close at 5pm. In the end I’d recommend this place to anyone that fancies a dip or wants to relax a little bit as it isn’t swarming with tourists either which is always nice. If you go there by yourself know that the locals here are super nice and will show you around the waterfalls.