human settlement in Mexico

El Castaño is a small fishing village on the Southern Pacific Coast of Chiapas, Mexico, in the La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve. It is on the estuary of the Rio San Nicolas. This village is home to approximately 50 people and tourism is operated by a community-based cooperative Grupo Turistico Costa Verde.


Get inEdit

El Castaño is 23 km from the city of Mapastepec, Chiapas, by a dirt road that passes through the small communities of Ibarra and Roberto Barrios. Direct public transportation to El Castaño does not exist but transportation can be arranged through Grupo Turistico Costa Verde. You can also get there by a 50-minute, 25-km boat ride through the estuary from Acapetahua.

Get aroundEdit


In the heart of the La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve, El Castaño is a place to relax and enjoy the natural wonders of the coastal mangroves of Chiapas. The La Encrucijada mangrove is a highly dynamic ecosystem, where land meets sea, freshwater meets salt water, and where land and water dwelling creatures share the same place. Being such a unique ecosystem, this area is habitat to several threatened and endangered bird and mammal species including agami heron, jaibaru, rufus kingfisher, green parrots, jaguar, and spider monkeys and is a stopover for migratory birds. This is also home to crocodiles, caimans and green and black iguanas. These animals can be seen from a kayak on one of our aquatic trails.


Guided canoe tours of the La Encrucijada Biosphere with chances to view crocodiles, caymans, rare birds including Agami herons, pigmy kingfishers, pelicans, parrots, and green iguanas.

Night crocodile spotting tours—observe crocodiles in their natural habitat

Sunset beach trips to the San Nicholas Sand bar where the estuary meets the Pacific Ocean. Have a beer by the bonfire and watch the sunset over the Pacific

Photography tours on the water.

Sport fishing with an experienced guide

Locally built Environmental Interpretation center

Kayak, paddleboat and canoe rentals

Hammocks and cool breezes for relaxing



Two local restaurants serve fresh fish, shrimp, and crab served in traditional style.



  • Ecohostal Costa Verde, +52 918 1005630, . A community group composed of men and women with a common vision. Noticing the high level of marginalization and lack of employment in the southern Pacific region of Chiapas they decided to form an ecotourism cooperative with the goal of self employment while protecting local natural resources. In the heart of the La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve on the Pacific coast of Chiapas. Surrounded by the tallest mangroves in North America, lakes and endless beaches.


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