Our guide Arthur, who took us around Palenque suggested we go to the Roberto Barrios Cascadas, where most of the visitors are locals rather than tourists. At about 11 am after visiting the ruins and museum we headed into the town of Palenque for rolls and a hot BBQ chicken. The Mexican BBQ chicken is a whole new experience. Instead of whole rotisserie chicken they cut their chickens, lay them flat and cook them over charcoal flame. When they package them up for you its cut into pieces and served with tortillas, spaghetti, onions and sauce. Unfortunately we had already bought rolls, so we had double the carbohydrate. We called by our hotel to collect both our swimmers and Willie before undertaking the 45 minute drive to the falls.
As we are discovering in Mexico or at least in Chiapas, the villages, towns and individuals all come up with ways to make additional money. So far we have had kids and in one case a mother overseeing the operation, pull a piece of string across the road to stop vehicles and then try to sell their produce. We just went around it, but did see a child throw a rock in a rear vision mirror. We are not encouraging extortion. We have come to villages with a chain across the road and have had to pay a fee for ‘town works’ prior to being allowed to driver through it in order to reach our actual destination. Finally when you want to park your car in either a parking lot or even on vacant lot you are required to pay a fee to a person to mind your car. Needless to say, today we encompassed all three money raising schemes in order to visit the falls.
A short walk and we found ourselves a picnic spot near a waterfall. We were all starving after our early morning breakfast and so feasted on chicken tortillas. While enjoying lunch, we had several locals approach and tell us we needed to walk further down the path to where the waterfalls were much better. So we packed up our gear and headed down.
We lunched next to this waterfall, which was a lovely spot.
After passing numerous waterfalls we found the spot. The kids eagerly stripped off and headed for the water, with Willie in tow.
Max, Ava and Sally decided that they would imitate the locals and slide down the waterfall. What they hadn’t anticipated was that the rocks weren’t slippery and didn’t really slide, but they had fun anyway. I stayed ashore for awhile to get some photographs.
Eventually a security guard/life saver approached and told us Willie was not allowed to swim, so he had to get out. Lucky he was tired and ready to. Eventually I went in and had a swim too.
On our way back to the car-park we past many stalls and children selling souvenir trinkets. Heidi in an effort to be very fair and equitable, bought a bracelet from each of the three girls that were walking around together. It was a very cute process.
Agua Azul Waterfalls or Roberto Barrios Waterfalls?
Which one is better? Well I guess it depends on what your looking for but here is a quick break down.
- Roberto Barrios Waterfall is a little bit closer to Palenque
- Agua Azul Waterfalls is definitely prettier.
- Agua Azul Waterfalls is far more crowded with tourists, there are a lot of food and souvenir vendors.
- We found that the water was much cooler in Agua Azul Waterfalls.
- We seemed to be able to take Willie with us to Agua Azul Waterfalls but not Roberto Barrios Waterfall and yet there were a lot more strays wandering around the latter.