If you fancy a little taste of the Mexican jungle, you can’t go too far wrong with a quick trip to the beautiful Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas. Just outside of Palenque, a powerful plunge drops thunderously into a clear blue pool below, inviting the adventurous for a quick dip. But the adventure doesn’t end there. That’s because you can also walk behind Cascada Misol-Ha, and admire the waterfall from within a huge cavern. Tempted for a visit? Thought so.
In this travel guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting Misol-Ha, Chiapas. This includes taking a tour and combining the visit with seeing Cascadas Agua Azul, which is another stellar set of waterfalls outside of Palenque.
Table of Contents
About Misol-Ha Waterfall
Misol-Ha is a spectacular single-drop cascade set in the luscious Chiapas jungle in Mexico. The tumbling water thunders into a clear blue pool below, which is also perfect for a swim. A true highlight of a visit to Misol-Ha, Chiapas is the chance to venture behind the dramatic cascade. Prepare to get more than a little spray to the face as you wander into the cave beyond.
Misol-Ha Waterfall is also one of the easiest to photograph. Visitors often flock to a perfectly placed boulder at the edge of the pool. But, there are plenty of spectacular lookout points for the waterfall, all of which we’ll cover in this travel guide. We’ll also cover all the logistics of getting to Misol-Ha, Chiapas, including transport, tour options, what to pack and where to stay.
But first, where in Mexico is Misol-Ha Waterfall?
FYI – Misol-Ha Waterfall is also known as Cascada de Misol-Há and Misol-Ha Cascade.
Where Is Misol-Ha, Chiapas?
Misol-Ha is located in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Its closest town is Palenque, just 21km away. Indeed, the easiest way to visit Misol-Ha, Chiapas is by basing yourself in Palenque. Nearby are a handful of other splendid Chiapas waterfalls, including Cascadas Agua Azul and Cascadas Roberto Barrios. Certainly, one of the best ways to see all of the Palenque waterfalls is by taking a day tour which visits all of them.
Feel free to click on the interactive map below to see exactly where Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas is found.
Highlights of Misol-Ha Waterfall
Below, we’ll touch on some of the highlights of a visit to Palenque’s Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas, including the best photograph locations, walking behind Misol-Ha and swimming in the pool below.
Once you arrive at Misol-Ha, Chiapas, you can take the stone steps down to the pool below. At the base, you’ll see a large boulder in the water. This is where most visitors will flock to have their picture taken. Depending on the time of day you arrive, you may need to join a small queue and wait your turn.
Of course, this is a wonderful place to enjoy snapping away the delights of the epic cascade. But, don’t overlook some of the little viewpoints along the trail down to the pool. Nestled within the trees, and just to the side of the stone path, are plenty of little hidden lookout spots.
Indeed, many visitors overlook how picturesque the views of Misol-Ha Waterfall are from these vantage points, as they make a bee-line for the boulder. Make sure you stop to take a look. Dan and I found the views from here to be quite lovely, showing off the waterfall’s jungle setting and really capturing the magnitude of the cascade’s drop.
Walk Behind Misol-Ha Waterfall
As you head back up the trail from viewing the waterfall, take the path to the right which leads you closer to Misol-Ha. This trail eventually leads behind the waterfall. The trail gets wet and slippery, so take care. In addition, expect to get more than a little wet as you experience the powerful spray emitted by the waterfall. If you’re lucky, you might just get a little rainbow down there.
Retrace your steps the same way you entered to return.
Swimming at Misol-Ha Waterfall
If you’ve time during your visit to Misol-Ha, Chiapas, you might consider a quick dip in the beautiful blue pool the waterfall tumbles into. The pool is near circular in shape and the lush jungle surrounds make it quite a special place to swim. Don’t expect the water to be super warm. But, the jungle is humid, so it’s refreshing nevertheless. It’s possible to hire life jackets if you like, and there’s often a lifeguard on duty.
Given the powerful plunge of Misol-Ha, it’s recommended not to swim too close to the waterfall itself.
Tours at Misol-Ha Waterfall
In addition to exploring by yourself, there are also a few tour options you can arrange on arrival. The Cabañas Misol-Ha offers guided tours to the top of the falls and also further into the cave to explore fossils.
Useful Things to Know Before You Go
So, now you know a little about the highlights of Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas, let’s take a look at some useful things to know about visiting.
Misol-Ha Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to visit Misol-Ha, Chiapas is $30MXN ($1.75USD) per person. If you choose to visit with a tour from Palenque or San Cristobal, the entrance fee is generally included in the tour price.
Misol-Ha Opening Hours
Misol-Ha Waterfall is open from 8am to 5pm, seven days a week.
Best Time to Visit Misol-Ha
The best time to visit Misol-Ha, Chiapas is from November to February. The weather is most pleasant during these months, although you’ll find the jungles of Chiapas to be hot and humid year-round. June to October is the rainy season.
Although tempting to think visiting Misol-Ha in the rainy season is a good idea, to witness a much more powerful waterfall, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, it’s not permitted to swim in the pool during the rainy season. Secondly, the heavy rain causes the beautiful blue pool to turn a brown colour due to sediment washing in. So, Misol-Ha does in fact look better outside of the rainy season.
Of course, because November to February are the better months in which to visit the waterfall, they’re also the busiest. So, don’t expect to have the waterfall completely to yourself.
How to Get to Misol-Ha, Chiapas
So, now you know some practical information about visiting Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas, let’s look at how to get there from Palenque town.
Given how close Misol-Ha Waterfall is to Palenque, Chiapas, public transport is very quick and cheap as well as a fairly reliable option. From outside of the ADO bus terminal (located here) in Palenque, you can take a colectivo for around $40MXN ($2.30USD). The journey takes around 45 minutes and will drop you off along the main Ocosingo-Palenque highway, at the turnoff for the road to the waterfall. You’ll need to walk down this final road yourself, taking around 15 minutes.
To return via colectivo, head back to the main road and simply flag down a passing colectivo as it heads back to Palenque.
By Rental Car
Of course, renting a car and driving yourself to Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas, Mexico is one of the easiest ways to visit. But, there are a few things to be mindful of.
- The road from Palenque to Misol-Ha is windy and unpaved in parts.
- There is little to no signal, so be sure to download your GPS directions beforehand.
- The road between Palenque-Ocosingo-San Cristobal is notorious for blockades and robberies. You should carefully consider driving yourself and certainly avoid driving after dark. Often, the locals who ‘patrol’ the roads are looking for payment. We’ve read to simply travel with pesos in case you’re pulled over for payment. This doesn’t sound wonderful to us but we’ll let you weigh up the risks. The simplest, and safest route, is to take a group tour.
If you do want to hire a car in Chiapas, Mexico, then we recommend using DiscoverCars.com. You’ll find a variety of cars on Discover Cars, which are very easy to book online, with a great cancellation fee if needed.
Misol-Ha Waterfall Tours
By far, the easiest way to visit Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas is with a tour. You’ll find plenty of tour operators in downtown Palenque offering trips. Often they’re combined with a visit to Cascadas Agua Azul, which makes for a fantastic full-day trip! Below, we’ll look at some tour options from Palenque, as well as taking a tour to Misol-Ha from San Cristobal.
Misol-Ha Waterfall Tour From Palenque
Dan and I booked a combined tour to Cascada Misol-Ha with nearby Cascadas Agua Azul. This is one of the most popular tour options in Palenque and is a great way to visit some of Palenque’s best waterfalls in a day. Simply for convenience, we chose Tulum Transportadora Turistica to take us, as their tour office is located immediately outside of the ADO bus terminal in Palenque.
The tour runs from 12–7pm. During the early afternoon, you’ll visit Misol-Ha Waterfall first, before arriving at Cascadas Agua Azul to enjoy the rest of the day. In truth, you’ll have more time to spend at Cascadas Agua Azul, so you’ll likely do your swimming at this second waterfall of the day.
The price is around $350MXN ($20USD) per person and includes entrance to the waterfalls. Additionally, if you’re heading to San Cristobal de las Casas after Palenque, you can book this tour to take you there, as a transfer. For $500MXN ($29USD) per person, you’ll visit both waterfalls before continuing on to San Cristobal. So, remember to take all your luggage with you.
You can also book tours to Misol-Ha and Agua Azul online. GetYourGuide offers some excellent tour options from Palenque, that commonly combine a visit to the outstanding Palenque Ruins, Misol-Ha Waterfall and Cascadas Agua Azul.
Viator also offers similar tours to see all three attractions from Palenque. They also offer ‘From Palenque Misol Ha, Agua Azul and Transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas’ tour, as mentioned above, to transfer you between Palenque and San Cristobal, visiting the attractions along the way.
Misol-Ha Waterfall Tour From San Cristóbal de las Casas
Although a little further away, it’s possible to visit Misol-Ha Waterfall from San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Due to the longer drive time, these tours generally span a full day. Again, GetYourGuide and Viator both offer some awesome tours from San Cristobal to Misol-Ha Waterfall, also visiting the Palenque Ruins and Cascadas Agua Azul.
How to Get to Palenque Town
Palenque is a fairly straightforward town to reach as you explore Mexico. Dan and I actually travelled down from Merida via a 9 hour bus. Travelling from the town of Campeche is closer still. But, given the length of the bus journey, you’ll want to travel in relative comfort. So, we recommend using the ADO buses.
ADO has routes throughout Mexico that conveniently link up many of the tourist hotspots. You can purchase tickets directly on the ADO website, using Busbud or by booking directly at the ADO bus terminal in whichever town you’re travelling from.
Alternatively, if you’re travelling from the opposite direction, the ADO bus journey from San Cristobal de la Casas to Palenque is 10.5 hours. But, this is the long version of the journey. As previously mentioned, the road between Palenque and San Cristobal, via Ocosingo, is notorious for blockades and robberies. So, the ADO bus takes the longer route, on less winding roads I might add too.
If you’re travelling from further afield in Mexico, it’s possible to take a domestic flight to Palenque Airport.
What to Pack For Misol-Ha, Chiapas
These are our travel essentials for visiting Cascada Misol-Ha in Chiapas.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: you’ll benefit from a sturdy pair of hiking boots to access behind the waterfall.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for day tripping, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a waterproof jacket is handy to keep you dry from the waterfall spray. Unless you need the refreshing cool down of course.
- Swimmers: if you wanna take a dip, you’ll be needing these. A microfibre towel is also great to have on hand.
- Insect repellant: this is the jungle after all!
- Camera: you’ll definitely want to document a visit to this wonderful waterfall.
- Sunscreen: be sun safe!
You should also pack water, lunch and snacks. For a longer gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. And, for a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions in regard to visiting Misol-Ha Waterfall in Chiapas.
What Does Misol-Ha Mean?
Misol-Ha comes from the Mayan Ch’ol language and means water falls.
How Tall Is Misol Ha?
It’s 35 metres tall.
Can You Swim at Misol-Ha Waterfall, Chiapas
Yes. Please read the Swimming at Misol-Ha Waterfall section for more information.
Where to Stay Near Misol-Ha, Chiapas
It makes sense to stay in Palenque town if you plan on visiting Misol-Ha. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the best budget, mid-range and luxury options.
- Budget – Hotel Naj Kin: Dan and I stayed at Hotel Naj Kin and enjoyed the location and the private room, which is equipped with a bathroom.
- Mid-range – Hotel Maya Rue: the very reasonably priced Hotel Maya Rue offers simple yet comfortable decor and a great breakfast to start the day.
- Luxury – Casa 5 Bed & Breakfast: luxury doesn’t break the bank balance in Palenque, with a stay at Casa 5 Bed & Breakfast providing guests with a garden, air-conditioned rooms and a private bathroom.
Alternatively, it’s possible to stay at Cabañas Misol-Ha, located at the waterfall. This might be a great option to beat the crowds, as well as to experience sleeping in the jungle. The cabins are comfortable and you can buy food from neighbouring Resturante Misol-Ha.
Travel insurance is a real necessity, especially when travelling through Central America and getting a little off the beaten track.
SafetyWing is an excellent budget-friendly travel insurance provider. Personally, Dan and I have used SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance many times to insure our trips. The Nomad Insurance is fantastic value for money with a smaller additional cost to add a partner. Unlike most other insurance companies, there’s an option to pay on a monthly basis, similar to having a prepaid phone plan. Better yet, there’s no lock-in contract. In addition, you can cancel at any time, which will take effect the month after.
For shorter trips, it’s also possible to use Nomad Insurance for trips lasting just days or just 2–3 weeks. Indeed, SafetyWing is cheaper than almost all other travel insurance policies and covers just as much and sometimes more.
SafetyWing is a modern travel insurance company that is certainly leading the way in terms of how travel insurance should work in the future.
- Avoiding the crowds: Cascada Misol-Ha is a very popular waterfall. But, for your best chance of a quieter visit, try to go during the week and outside of public holidays.
- Carry cash: it’s always good to have some pesos handy when exploring Mexico.
- El Chiflon Waterfall: another incredible set of waterfalls in this part of Mexico.
- Make the most of Palenque: check out our Top Things to Do in Palenque guide for more incredible natural attractions in the area such as Palenque Ruins. Alternatively, GetYourGuide offers some pretty cool tours around Palenque which might be worth checking out too.
More Mexico Travel Guides
Feel free to explore more of our Mexico travel guides below.
Tell us about your experience visiting Cascada Misol-Ha, Chiapas in the comments below.