Sima de las Cotorras

Sima de las Cotorras

Sima de las Cotorras (in English: Sinkhole of the Parrots/Parakeets) is a sinkhole located in the El Ocote Biosphere Reserve in western Chiapas, southern Mexico. It is one of a number of sinkholes in the area, all produced by tectonic and erosive processes on the region's limestone. Although not the largest and deepest of the area's sinkholes, it is best known because of a tourism project which focuses on the thousands of Mexican green parakeets who live there most of the year, flying in and out in circular patterns.

Sima de Cotorras Ecotourism Center was established in 1985 to give local Zoque families an alternate means of generating income, preserve the local environment and give younger generations a reason to not migrate from the area. The project has built a road, a restaurant and cabins for visitors, and offers rappelling into the sinkhole as well as guided tours to see the cave paintings, the tropical vegetation at the bottom of the formation and the areas around the sinkhole rim. However, most visitors are local and visit for a day only to see the parakeets. The Center has had its problems balancing ecological concerns with keeping it economically viable.

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