Water plunges off of a high cliff and crashes onto a boulder below. The ricocheting splash ends up in a large pool at the base of the falls, where you can find people swimming around, enjoying the cool waters.
The mist from the giant waterfall covers a small hiking trail that snakes underneath the falls. The pathway leads into a cave, which has a small river flowing out of it and another waterfall hidden within.
Cascada Misol-Ha is a great place to spend a quick afternoon just outside of Palenque, Mexico.
Plunging Waterfall at Cascada Misol-Ha
Misol-Ha is a relatively small water feature based on the standards of Chiapas. These aren’t as massive as El Chiflon Waterfalls nor are they are impressive as the turquoise water at Lagos de Colon. But if you’re near Palenque and want to hop in for a quick dip, this is a good spot to go.
How to Get to Misol-Ha
By Colectivo: Our adventure, as usual, started off with a colectivo. We grabbed one from Palenque near the roundabout at 199 & Benito Juarez for $40 pesos per person. Its final destination is past the falls, so it dropped us off at the highway intersection. A 15-minute walk through a very heavily forested area and we were at the gates to the entrance area.
We paid the small entrance fee of $20 pesos ($1 USD) and walked past the large parking lot and restaurant. As we approached, we could hear the sound of water crashing down. It was incredibly loud and our anticipation grew. But first we saw people smiling wide and staring up into the trees. What were they looking at?
Spider monkeys! The area around Palenque is incredible. Full of all sorts of wildlife: birds, monkeys, insects, and even jaguars. This was a family of monkeys high up in the trees. There was even an adorable baby. A great way to start our visit.
As we walked a bit past those trees, the falls came into view. Wow! The water flies off of a cliff, sails through the air 115 ft (35 m), then crashes down into a large pool below. Half of the water crashes down onto a giant boulder, which has been somewhat eroded away from the constant pressure.
The cliffside wrapped half-way around the pool, and a walking path snakes under the cliff and behind the falls, disappearing into a cave.
Walkway and Cave Under the Cascada Misol-Ha
We really wanted to go swimming after our walk, but decided to check out the cave first. So we walked around and found ourselves underneath the waterfall. The water and mist enveloped the air, getting everything wet. It was a beautiful sight. Water seeped out of rocks behind us as well, causing all sorts of small waterways and waterfalls along the hiking path.
Once we walked another 5 minutes, we found ourselves at the entrance to the cave. Had to pay another $15 pesos per person, but it ended up being worth it. As we started into the cave, we had to take out our headlamps as the sunlight was quickly squashed by the darkness.
A small river flows out of the cave, so we had to be careful with our steps to stay balanced on the narrow, rocky pathway. And then we came to a small waterfall inside of the cave. It was about 10 feet high, but the water was flowing rapidly and echoed against the enclosed area. You could feel the power vibrating against your chest. Almost hard to believe the cave isn’t crashing down around us.
As we walked back out, we got an unbelievable view of Cascada Misol-Ha. The cliff was above us and the main waterfall was between the trail to our right and the pool on our left. We hung out taking in the view for a little bit then made our way back to the top of the trail.
Swimming in the Beautiful Pool
It was time for a swim. We changed into our suits at the side of the pool using our towel as cover, then climbed over some large boulders and into the chilly water. I was a bit more hesitant than Kristina, as usual, but eventually we both made out way out into the deep pool.
A nice boulder sitting about 30 feet off the shoreline made from a great sitting area. We hung out on top there for a little while, then swam around in the pool, edging close to the Cascada Misol Ha. But then a whistle blew. A lifeguard! Enforcing rules! In Mexico! Crazy…
Ends up you can’t get too close to the waterfall, which makes sense because the water crashes down quite hard. We weren’t going to go fully under it, but we would have loved to get a bit closer to feel the power for ourselves.
Our swim came to an end, then we dried off and started walking back toward the highway. At that point, a bit of traveler’s luck came our way. Another traveling couple stopped their car and asked if we wanted a ride. We were thrilled! They drove us all the way back to Palenque.
It was great to make some friends along the way and we were very happy that they were kind enough to extend the offer for a ride. Something we’re certain to give back to the world down the line. (Thanks for everything, Alex and Ana!) We ended up hanging out with them that night and the next day to visit Palenque ruins and Aluxes EcoPark.
Summary of Cascada Misol-Ha
Cascada Misol-Ha is a great waterfall in an ideal setting. You don’t need a lot of time to visit it nor a lot of money. If you can make your way out from Palenque, we recommend doing so. You can see the falls, go for a swim, grab a bite at the onsite restaurant and even venture into a small cave.
Have you been to any waterfalls which you could walk behind? Where at? We’d love for you to share the knowledge by posting a comment below!