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Published: November 13th 2010
We woke up early ready for our boat trip into the Sumidero Canyon. We were not sure what to expect as an Israeli couple that we had met the previous evening had told us it wasn't worth doing. We decided to make our own way to the port by collectivo, as opposed to taking an organised trip as we thought it would be cheaper. When we arrived at the collectivo rank our driver was very excited to have 'Inglesa' on the bus. He was loudly advertising this fact to Mexican people who were getting on other buses, trying to use it to get their custom. We started driving through the mountains; our destination was completely in the hands of the driver as we hadn't any idea where the port was. After a while the air outside the bus became completely white and it was impossible to see anything. We realised it was because we were in the clouds; it was quite cool being on a minibus on the terrifying roads up in the mountains.
The collectivo driver dropped us on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. He pointed to a road and we were ushered out
of the bus. There were surprisingly no signs or street sellers around the area, which was strange for a tourist attraction in Mexico. Well never mind we had no choice other than to walk down the quiet road and head towards the water. We arrived at the port and quickly realised that we should have booked a trip prior to arrival, as there was only one tour company operating from the port which we were at, meaning they held the monopoly. As usual there were no prices advertised. We ended up paying quite a lot for the trip (175 pesos each) but we had no other option. However, we were fortunate in that it was completely worth it as we had the most amazing time.
The trip consisted of around 30 people boarding a small but extremely fast motor boat in the river at the foot of the canyon. Soon we were speeding towards stunning scenery, shadowed between huge cliffs on either side. At one point the guide informed us that the cliffs topped 1km from the surface of the water, and the water was over 100m deep. The sky was blue and the colours were really beautiful, the
views were completely staggering. The photos really don't do the experience justice. Every so often the boat would stop so that we could look at different formations in the rocks such as a stalagmite/cite?? seahorse, and a Jesus on the cross. We thought we also saw the face of the elephant man.
At one point we stopped to look at the Christmas tree waterfall which was a really cool formation where the rocks had become shaped like a Christmas tree, and the water dripped from the ends of the branches. Further along the way we stopped to see a tree that was completely overflowing with pelicans, and as we approached the finale of a hydro-electric dam we saw there were many more.
On the way back to the port was the real grand finale though. The guide sidled our boat right up close to the banks of the river to see a giant brown crocodile. Everyone was really shocked; this hadn't been mentioned on the itinerary. We were all on top of each other trying to get the best photo- not to miss the opportunity- but there was no need. As we carried on along the river we
counted 18 crocs in total; luckily the ones we saw were all resting lazily on the river banks not in the water. It was strange that nobody was at all scared or even wary of the animals, despite them being about 3-4 metres long nose to tail. It did really finish the trip for us, we had an amazing time.We headed back to our hostel to wait around for our 8.30 night bus to Oaxaca, ready for Day of the Dead celebrations.
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