Less than an hour’s drive from Comitan, on the border of Guatemala, lies the lakes of Montebello.
This area comprises of 59 multicolored lakes burrowed in between pine and oak forests and two Mayan ruins. The cluster of lakes was deemed the first national park in Chiapas, and in 2009 was categorized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
The lakes are famous for the color of their waters, as a result of their different mineral contents, the type of soil found at the bottom, vegetation and the refraction of light. The colors vary from emerald and turquoise to dark green, and even purple and reddish black. This natural and unparalleled beauty makes the Montebello lakes some of the most beautiful lakes in Mexico.
There are many cultural tours of the lakes and its surroundings that start from Comitan and San Cristobal de las Casas, although if you have a rental car, you can explore this area more effectively by taking your time in the areas you want to see more of and move at your preferred pace. However, hiking is arguably the best way to soak up the magnificent scenery and wildlife. There is also plenty of outdoor activities to be enjoyed; horseback riding and canoeing tours are increasingly popular, but swimming, rafting and even scuba diving is possible.
So the next time you travel to Mexico, and if by chance you plan to visit Chiapas, the Montebello lakes – just like the sandbar beaches and colonial architecture – should reside at the top of your to-do list.