With its warren of cobblestone lanes, striking cathedral and exquisitely preserved colonial architecture, San Cristobal de las Casas makes an attractive alternative to the busy city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, and with tours running to the entire region’s top attractions, many visitors to Chiapas opt to make this town their base.
San Cristobal de las Casas has long called itself the capital of the Chiapas Highlands, so what better place from which to explore the indigenous villages of the mountains and discover the unique cultures and traditions of Mexico’s Tzotzil people? You’ll not only get to witness time-honored traditions like weaving, healing rituals and prayer, but you’ll have chance to meet the locals and tuck into homemade tortillas, while soaking up the magnificent alpine scenery.
The Chiapas region is also well known for its Mayan ruins and the most famous is the Mayan city of Palenque, a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. There are hundreds of temples, pyramid tombs and buildings to explore, dramatically situated in the heart of the rainforest, after which it’s a short journey to the famous Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls.
Alternatively, outdoors enthusiasts will be in their element on a day trip to the Montebello Lakes National Park, where a vast network of hiking trails link the scenic lakelands and the El Chiflón waterfall makes an idyllic swimming spot. Equally impressive is a day tour to the colonial town of Chiapa de Corzo, the starting point for cruising along the Grijalva River, a jaw-dropping voyage beneath the towering cliffs of the Sumidero Canyon.