A Natural World Wonder: Canon del Sumidero
In the Middle of Mexico there is a Canon. And through this canon runs a River. And on this River glides a boat. A boat which I sat perched on, mouth agape, letting my eyes feast of the natural beauty surrounding me. I was in Canon Del Sumidero – I was in a Natural World Wonder.
I read one line in the Lonely Planet Mexico guide that inevitably changed the course of my Mexico trip. Instead of heading South after San Cristobal, I headed North to Tuxtla Gutiérrez. North to the giant gap in the mountains otherwise known as Canon del Sumidero.
There is nothing I love more than researching my next trip and realizing that my plan needs to be expanded to include such an incredible destination or sight. Canon del Sumidero took my breath away before I visited. I collected bugs in my open mouth while I was actually there.
I didn’t want to leave my cozy Iguana Hostel in San Cristobal de Colon, so I booked a day trip via boat to the Canon through them. At 07:30 sharp I had my backpack packed, my shoelaces tied, and my camera at the ready – I was giddy as a child.
The ride was an hour long and the weather changed my fog laden Mountain city to clear blue river side. Attached to a long tether, the little boats bobbed casually to the rhythm of the waves. Bright orange life jackets were dispensed from the wall and the lot of us filed onto our boat and took a seat. I snagged a “window” seat and sat perched, camera in my tightly grasped hands, elbows bent into my sides, smiling over the top waiting for the action to start.
We drifted to the middle of the brown-tinged water and sped our way around the bends. We stopped frequently to stare at the alligators lounging on the sandy shores. Alligators! I was NOT expecting to encounter my first alligator in the middle of Mexico on a River. I swiftly pulled my trailing fingers out of the water and made a mental note to keep all appendages within the limits of the boat. I have an unnecessary fear of being attacked by alligators – I watch too many movies for certain.
Birds were aplenty, stork’s most prevalent, stoic creatures alighted on rocks and turning their necks, showing us their profiles. Birds in every tree cozied into feathery balls. Birds soaring past in flocks, wings flapping freely. This was their territory and their home is a protected National Park.
And then we entered the Canon. Vertical rock faces jut up sharply reaching as high as 1000 metres. Shrubbery slings to the base of the mountains then disappears into the grey shades of jagged rock edge. For 30km the boat cruised down the Grijalva River, staying in the centre of the river, taking turns of almost 90 degrees at times, following the Rivers path.
It felt as it my camera was on Burst Mood with the number of photos I was taking but the landscape and the canon was so breathtaking. I knew it would be incredible, but being there was something special, even huddled on a boat with 20 other tourists.
Canon del Sumidero needs to be on your Mexico Itinerary
(Just look at how HAPPY I am here!)