This region’s namesake lakes—the Lagunas de Montebello —are a remarkable cluster of over 50 lakes and ponds, each unique in size, shape, and seemingly even in color, ranging from emerald green to cobalt blue. The lakes are nestled in the nooks and crannies of a hilly pine forest, boasting dramatic overlooks and a cool temperate climate.
About a dozen of the lakes are accessible by road, and tour groups from San Cristóbal  commonly visit 10 or more in a day, some to enjoy the view and snap a picture, others to swim or canoe.
But Lagunas de Montebello are not the only lakes, or water, that this region has to offer—far from it. Laguna Miramar , a huge pristine lake deep in the Lacandón rainforest, is one of Chiapas ’s most stunning natural treasures. Getting there is no less memorable: Normally reached by bus from Ocosingo , there’s a back-door approach from the Lakes Region, including a two-hour boat ride through Zapatista-controlled territory.
Las Guacamayas , an excellent eco-center, is built along the wide Río Lacantún, with hikes and boat rides in the lush Montes Azules biosphere reserve on the opposite bank. Las Nubes , another eco-center, is all about water, located where the Río Santo Domingo rages and tumbles through a series of waterfalls and narrow channels. And then there are the waterfalls of Cascada El Chiflón , one of the state’s biggest, with mist-swept trails climbing both banks.
Amid the many natural and watery wonders of this area is the incredibly underrated city of Comitán , not only a convenient base for exploring the area, but a charming and peaceful destination in itself.