The blue water that runs through Agua Azul, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, looks like it belongs somewhere in the Caribbean and has long drawn tourists from all over the world. But that's not what pro kayakers Rafa Ortiz, Aniol Serrasolses, Casper Van Kalmthout and Martina Wegmen came for. It was the whitewater to be found on the Rio Tulijá.
"Five years ago, it used to be pretty risky," Rafa tells us, who grew up in Mexico City. "You really couldn't stop on the river and the photographers would be hiking through Zapatista territory." The descent involved a series of five waterfalls that range from 8m to 24m. The approach wasn't easy. "The river is about 300m wide, so it's tough to paddle out into the middle, see the horizon, and pick the right line."
For Rafa, who has paddled these falls before, the trip was about sharing his country with fellow kayakers. "These guys are used to the slick, sharp rocks of America's Pacific Northwest. This scene is totally different."
Check out the Teva clip of the expedition here.