This was an amazing site but a very physical journey. There are no roads to the falls so canoeing three hours total with the falls in the middle is the only way to get there, to my knowledge.
When to Go
Our visit was on Saturday, June 30, during the wet season of June-October. The weather was sunny for us, but going during this time means a 35% chance of rain for any given day.
Going at a busier time or weekend is good for this particular attraction. If you don’t have enough people (about 16) you’ll be waiting for others to come to complete your boat.
What to See
The falls are gorgeous but I think I enjoyed the sites of all the colourful boats on the river in the rainforest even more.
What to do
The canoe ride was tiring but well worth it. We had parrots flying overhead and saw dozens of butterflies, with many landing on us.
At the falls, everyone gets out of the boat to stand on a rock and get a picture with the falls behind you.
On the way back you stop for more pools and a large cave that you can swim in. The water was temperate. We loved watching the bats on the cave roof with us in the water below.
Where to Eat
The place where you get in the canoe, there are a few vendors. We got fruit with tajin (chili powder) and lime juice. There are more places to get a snack at the stop on the trip back. There were many options — I saw elote, hotdogs, Dorilocos, tamales, tortas and more — but we got another cup of fruit and tajin (I’m mildly addicted).
I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant we went for lunch. My suggestion would be to drive a little farther and find a place that looks busy.
What to Wear
You will get wet. The other boats splash you while passing. Everyone on our boat was drenched. I would suggest wearing your bathing suit under clothing that dries quickly. Water shoes are important. You don’t want to be navigating a large boulder at the base of a waterfall in flip flops.
You will be out in the sun for three hours so bring a small container of sunscreen to reapply during the trip. Clothing to cover your knees and a hat also protect against the sun.
A ticket for a canoe to the falls is $10. We hired a guide for the day because we didn’t want to rent a car so it was included in our tour for Saturday.
The actual canoe trip is reasonable but getting to the start is the tricky part. Even with our Mexican phone plans, we didn’t get any signal in the area.
Although three hours felt like too much time to be rowing, I would highly recommend this trip for the experience.
For more information on a trip to Xilitla, including how to get there and what else you need to see and eat, click on the post below for links to all of the articles.