How to Visit Cascada El Aguacero: The Wildest Waterfall in Chiapas, Mexico

Last updated Jul 8, 2021 | Mexico | 0 comments

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Cascada El Aguacero Waterfall is one of the wildest and most virgin of all the waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico! Also, while it may not feature turquoise blue pools like that of Agua Azul or El Chiflón, it is arguably one of the most beautiful, too.

That said, I was so surprised by El Aguacero. I found that many of the pictures of it online just don’t do it justice to actually being there (like most places). You can actually explore all over the mossy rocks, lounge in its natural pools, and experience the power of the water as you stand underneath its gushing cascades.

Plus, to get there, you need to hike down 749-ish stone steps down to the Cañón Río La Venta (La Venta River Canyon), where you then must trek through ankle to knee-high water to reach the falls (or skirt it via the jungly path). All of it makes for a day full of adventure.

If that sounds like your kind of fun, read on!

Here is the ultimate visitor’s guide to the Cascada El Aguacero in Chiapas!

Ultimate Guide to Cascada El Aguacero in Chiapas, Mexico

el aguacero waterfall inside cañón rio la venta, chiapas mexico

How to Get to Cascada El Aguacero

El Aguacero is located approximately 1 hour (35 mi, 56 km) outside the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and about 2.5 hours from San Cristóbal de Las Casas. It is set inside the jungly Selva Ocote Biosphere Reserve and perched cliffside in the Cañón Río La Venta, the same river and canyon where you can find the Arco del Tiempo (just further away).

The easiest way to reach the El Aguacero Waterfall is by car. If you can, hitch a ride with friends or locals (check Facebook groups for carpooling opportunities), or rent a car in Tuxtla and drive there on your own.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Driving to El Aguacero is fairly easy. From either San Cristobal or Tuxtla, take the Carretera Internacional/México 190 and follow that all the way until you need to exit off the paved road and continue onto a dirt/gravel road.

You will be able to see this on the GPS. There will be a large blue pipe running parallel to this road, indicating you are on the right path. From what I remember, there is also a sign further down the dirt road indicating El Aguacero. There is a decent parking area for cars and vans. Click here to open directions in Google Maps.

Be careful as you drive down this road as you are right beside the cliff edge!

BY BUS

From San Cris, hop on a public bus to Tuxtla or book online through Busbud for $3.

From Tuxtla, grab a local bus to Coita for $35 pesos and then a colectivo to Galivanes ($12 pesos). Ask for El Aguacero.

Note: you will only be dropped off beside the highway on the dirt road leading to the spectacular waterfall and not at the tourist center. Walking from the highway down the dirt/gravel road to the entrance to El Aguacero will take around 30-40 minutes by foot.

There are tuk-tuks that can take you down there from the highway but only if you get lucky and there’s already one there waiting.

El Aguacero Entrance Fee + Map

  • Entrance Fee: $50 pesos per person, children under 7 enter free
  • Camping + Overlanding: $100 pesos for DIY tent camping (including for van lifers + big rigs in the parking lot)
  • Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM, but they tell you it closes at 4:30 PM so you have time to hike back up the stairs

Hiking Down to Cascada El Aguacero

woman sitting on rock at cascada el aguacero chiapas

When you arrive at the Centro Turístico El Aguacero and pay the entrance fee of $50 pesos per person, you will begin your descent down the 750 steps to reach the river and canyon below.

It seems near the top there is a restaurant and a few lookout points, but the real reward awaits you at the bottom. Note: the only bathrooms are at the top of the stairs and cost $5 pesos – make sure to go before you start your hike!

Hiking down the 750 steps to reach Aguacero only took us 25 minutes, at a brisk pace. If you have weak knees, you may want to take it a bit slower as it does get a little repetitive on the joints!

Once you arrive at the sandy shores of the riverbank, you have two options:

  1. Hike to the waterfall via the river
  2. Hike to the waterfall via the jungly trail on the left

You can only hike the jungle path during the rainy season when the water of the river is too powerful to wade in. Otherwise, and during the dry winter/spring months, the best and most fun way to get to El Aguacero Waterfall is by walking up the river!

The walk to reach the falls will add about 10 minutes to your journey. Once there, you can camp, hike some more, rest, swim, and of course, explore underneath the cascading falls.

Pro Tip: There are spiky rocks you must climb over to reach the falls. I was able to do it barefoot, but if you have sensitive feet I’d recommend packing and wearing waterproof river shoes.

Tips for Exploring El Aguacero Waterfall “The Downpour”

couple underneath waterfall el aguacero the downpour in chiapas mexico

El Aguacero, meaning “downpour” is a stunning series of cascades that tumble out of the cliffside in the canyon.

There are both wispy trickles and roaring, splashing falls. If you have ever gone on a boat tour in the Sumidero Canyon near Chiapa de Corzo, then you will recognize the mossy formations that jut out from the canyon wall, forming the familiar Christmas-tree-like shape that you see there as well.

There are many ways to explore El Aguacero and you’ll see several people climbing up the rocks to stand under the strongest falls for a fun shower out in nature.

If you have a waterproof action camera or phone pouch, make sure to take it because there are several awesome viewpoints underneath the falls. You will feel the mist and splash from the water as soon as you get a little closer! Surprisingly, the water isn’t that cold and lingers around a refreshing 77°F or 25°C.

After your shower, there is another fall just ahead around the corner that features a calm and teal blue swimming hole. There are also several sandy inlets and beaches where you can lay down a towel or blanket and just enjoy a picnic with the sound of the falls rushing and echoing around you.

Psst! Don’t forget to look up for magnificent views of the sheer cliffs of the canyon towering overhead! The landscape and the whole area and atmosphere around you feel simply magical.

Things to Do at Cascada El Aguacero

Camp

Lots of people go on a multi-day trip to El Aguacero and camping only costs $70-100 pesos per person (it said $70 on the sign but I think it depends on who is working that day!).

We saw many locals lugging large plastic bags full of thick blankets, tents, and sleeping bags, along with coolers overloaded with huge Coca-Cola bottles and XL chip bags.

You can camp anywhere on the sandy beaches nearby El Aguacero as long as the river is low enough to expose the riverbed in some parts. You won’t be able to camp here during the summer months when there are heavy rains.

If you are overland travelers in Mexico, El Aguacero is a popular spot to chill out for a few days.

There are toilets with running water and an on-site restaurant, but there is no cell service. Note that the road can be rough in some parts and isn’t super ideal for oversized rigs, although many iOverlanders have been able to manage.

El Encanto Cave

The La Venta River is said to be born out of the El Encanto Cave, which you can actually explore either on your own or via a tour. If you plan on doing a bit of caving at El Aguacero, make sure to plan and prepare ahead and pack the essentials such as a flashlight, spare batteries, boots, gloves, and a spare change of clothes.

Swim

Of course, don’t forget to bring and wear your bathing suit to El Aguacero because you WILL get wet!

I would recommend wearing light hiking shoes, plus sturdy shorts and a t-shirt for hiking that is easy to remove once you reach the river. If you plan on staying the night or for a couple of days, pack two swimsuits so one can have time to dry. It’s not fun to live in a wet bathing suit for more than a few hours!

Hike

Hiking is a must when visiting El Aguacero! Of course, hiking beyond El Aguacero is welcome if you are experienced and are well-prepared. The river goes for miles and you can either walk downstream or upstream.

If you continue downstream, you would eventually reach another beautiful waterfall called Cascada La Conchuda. That hike will take approx. 2 hours to do one-way and is a 4.3-mile (7 km) trip.

Climb

Rock climbing is one such adventurous thing you can do inside the Cañón Río La Venta! In fact, nearby is an enormous sinkhole called Sima de las Cotorras that you can rappel into to explore the caves, see ancient paintings, and observe parakeets in the wild.

Rafting

In high season, you can go rafting on the La Venta River. There are even tours that take you to the Arco del Tiempo, further down the river from Aguacero, where you can witness the largest natural stone arch in the world!

Responsible Tips for Visiting El Aguacero

El Aguacero remains very virgin – so far. It wasn’t even hardly accessible just ten years ago. Compared to other waterfalls in Chiapas, it’s one of the wildest and underdeveloped.

If we want to keep this destination wild and preserve it for years to come, then please consider reading up on these 25 eco-friendly travel tips.

Here’s also a few tips for responsibly visiting El Aguacero:

  • Follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles.
  • Pack out all trash you pack in!
  • Reduce your plastic consumption and secure down any loose plastic bottles or wrappers so they don’t end up in the river.
  • If you need to pee or poop in the wild, do so away from trails or water sources and make sure to dig a proper cathole or pack it out.
  • Avoid trampling on plants and soil and refrain from building rock dams or stone piles.

Where to Stay Nearby El Aguacero

If you don’t want to camp at Cascada El Aguacero, but instead want to stay nearby, then the most convenient places to stay would either be in the city of Tuxtla or in the pueblo mágico of Chiapa de Corzo.

I personally would recommend you to stay in Chiapa de Corzo, since it’s a little smaller, a little more charming, and that way you can also check off the Sumidero Canyon and the town off your bucket list.

Pro Tip: To beat the crowds at Aguacero, try to visit and camp on a weekday instead of the weekend.

What to Pack for El Aguacero

Finally, here’s a quick packing list for El Aguacero. If you will be traveling in Chiapas or Mexico for a while, make sure to check out my in-depth packing list for Mexico too (includes a free printable)!

If you’re camping, also plan to pack:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • REI Backpack
  • Natural (unscented, eco) toilet paper
  • Flashlight
  • Water
  • Food
  • Air-tight container

Cascada El Aguacero – Best Waterfall in Chiapas?

cascada el aguacero inside canon rio la venta ocote reserve in chiapas

Is Cascada El Aguacero one of Chiapas best? Absolutely!

It’s pretty hard to say it beats the other waterfalls in the state since those have mesmerizing blue water and equally incredible natural landscapes. Also, there are literally dozens of waterfalls to explore across Chiapas and I certainly haven’t seen them all!

However, I do know this: You won’t regret adventuring to Cascada El Aguacero! It has since become one of my favorite places and things to do in Chiapas.

I hope this guide helps plan your visit! Since we only were able to visit during the day, the next time we come back we hope to camp overnight here while there’s still the chance to have this gorgeous place all to ourselves.

Thanks for reading and please do drop your questions and comments about Cascada El Aguacero in Chiapas below!

Ready to explore more of Chiapas?
Having lived in Mexico for going on three years now, I’ve been able to put together quite a few travel guides and itineraries! Start with my Ultimate Mexico Travel Guide or feel free to check out the articles below:

Also, don’t forget to protect your trip! SafetyWing is the digital nomad insurance I’ve been using since I began living and traveling around Mexico.

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Hi, I’m Bri! I’ve been slow traveling around the world in search of new adventures since 2013. I have lived in 8 countries on 4 continents including Nepal, Mexico, Colombia, and parts of Europe! I created this blog to inspire others to live a life of adventure, seek out meaningful experiences, and to travel slowly and mindfully. Join me on this journey and let’s tick off our bucket lists! Read my story here.

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