20-26 November 2016
Hotel Rincón del Arco, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
Mexico/General timezone

We can suggest the following places near San Cristobal to visit during the free day (please be sure of being back for the Medal Ceremony):

Cañón del Sumidero

It can be visited in a two-hour trip amid walls formed of limestone that reach altitudes of up to 1,200 meters, lush vegetation and animals, high geological value, abundant runoff that adorn them and at the same time feed the Grijalva, one of the largest rivers in the country. Those are some of the elements that make up one of the most impressive landscapes in Mexico: the Sumidero Canyon, declared a National Park since 1980.
Impressive geological fault of more than 30 million years, which meets unique conditions for its variety of vegetation, which allows to be the habitat and refuge of species in imminent danger of extinction as: Hocofaisan, spider monkey and river crocodile, as well as threatened species such as: jaguarundi, ocelot, tepezcuintle, white-tailed deer, anteater and Zopilote king. Here one can also find some manifestations of the hand of man, among them, undoubtedly, the most outstanding is the hydroelectric dam Chicoasen, one of the largest works of hydraulic engineering in the country, with a reservoir of 32 Kilometers long and covering the entire canyon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumidero_Canyon

Chiapa de Corzo

Chiapa de Corzo, a colonial site of tradition and culture, framed by the warmth of its people, is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Chiapas; Located just 15 minutes from the capital city; Its value lies in its history, because it was the first city founded by the Spanish during the sixteenth century. Chiapa de Corzo has the Mudejar set formed by La Pila, fountain of refined Moorish inspiration made in brick, unique in Latin America. The temple of Santo Domingo and the convent building annexed to it, now home to the Lacquer Museum, as well as the ruins of the San Sebastian temple, are other interesting places to visit. The main square is surrounded by portals, the building of the Municipal Town Hall and the house of Don Angel Albino Corzo, Liberal branch of the First Constituent Congress. The square also houses the secular ceiba or pochota, a sacred tree, which tradition links to the founding of the city, is also located in it, the clock tower, imitating the architecture of the fountain itself. More points of interest are the chapels of San Jacinto or El Calvario, that keeps a magnificent Renaissance altarpiece carved in wood with the subject of the Crucifixion, the ruins of the colonial temple of San Sebastián or the pre-Hispanic ruins of the preclassic and classical eras,  as well as the Marimba Museum, belonging to the Nandayapa Vargas family, who follow the family tradition of elaborating marimbas, step by step, Artistic instrument of international stature that vibrates the emotions and joy of Chiapas. Also, Chiapa de corzo is distinguished by its exquisite gastronomy, highlighting: baked cochito, typical sweets (sighs, chimbos, nuegados) and its traditional drink called "Pozol", all with very peculiar flavors that will delight your palate. In its rich craftsmanship, lacquer, wood carving and embroidery are detailed in the colorful regional costumes of Chiapaneca and Parachico, the latter recently designated Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiapa_de_Corzo,_Chiapas


Parque Nacional –Miradores

At the first point "La Ceiba" in National Park Miradores, you can see Chiapa de Corzo to the right, and in a closer plane you can clearly see how the walls of Sumidero Canyon gradually rise and the Grijalva river is barely a moving surface, through of which the boats go into the defiles with their visitors.
From the second viewpoint, "La Coyota", you can see the proportions of the immense walls, so high they turn out to be that they are only illuminated when the sun is in the zenith, because outside of these moments one another obstructs the passage of light and this, of course, determines the amount and type of vegetation that they harbor, it varies according to the existing humidity conditions, exposure to the sun and the soil types where they hold their roots. In the viewpoint of the "Roblar" it is necessary to walk along a long paved path between trees and shrubs, which lends itself to contemplate the birds and other species of fauna, that normally wander through the low and medium forest that arrives until the cliffs. From the terrace, the views of the walls are still breathtaking and the vegetation, which is steeped in order not to fall,  highlights the huge vertical rocks. The viewpoint "El Tepehuaje", the fourth of the route, allows to see large number of birds that sway, barely extending their wings, by the air currents that pass through the top of the canyon. You will probably be able to observe the two most common vulture species, the gray-headed (Coragyps atratus) and the red-headed (Cathartes aura), which are some of the most conspicuous birds, especially in the highlands, as they nest in the hollows that the walls of the canyon offers, without having the annoyances that other predators cause to their chicks in other circumstances.
The viewpoint "Los Chiapa" is the last to be located in one of the steepest corners form by the walls, practically allows to observe the river bed at about ninety degrees, disappearing to the left, on a confined surface hundreds of meters Below the viewpoint. http://www.turismochiapas.gob.mx/sectur/parque-nacional-can-del-sumidero-miradores