MEXICOTHE AMERICAS

A Quick Guide To San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

A Beautiful Town In The South Of Mexico

After exploring Mexico City, I wanted to stay in a small town for a while in Mexico. So I chose San Cristobal de Las Casas in the South of Mexico. I took an overnight bus from Mexico City to travel to San Cristobal de Las Casas in the state of Chiapas. After an almost 24 hrs journey, I reached San Cristobal de Las Casas. In this post, I am going to give you guys a quick guide to the town of San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Onboard and ready to go!
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
On the way
Mountains :))
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Wet San Cristobal welcomed me!
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
And the next day exploring the famous “Real de Guadalupe” street


SAN CRISTOBAL de LAS CASAS

San Cristobal is a town that sits in a small valley surrounded by hills. Since I loved exploring towns in Colombia, I wanted to explore the towns of Mexico and the state of Chiapas is perfect for it. There are many towns in Chiapas and San Cristobal de las casas is one of them. San Cristobal has cold weather year-round. It is a popular tourist place with hippie vibes. It is a beautiful town with cobblestones lanes. The kind of town where you want to lose yourself by walk. San Cristobal has churches, museums, good food joints, markets, nearby indigenous towns, parks, caves, canyon!

My Indian readers can connect with these 🙂
Busy day at a market
Mexicans has sweet tooth. Well this is an understatement!
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Night Market at Plaza de la Paz
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Spices!

 San Cristobal de las casas guide


MARKETS OF SAN CRISTOBAL de LAS CASAS

Markets in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico, in general, reminds me of Indian markets in terms of their cost-effectiveness and things you can find in them. The aroma of spices, sweets, fresh fruits, vegetables will fill your nostrils. There’s a night market at Plaza de La Paz where you can find warm clothes at really good prices.

 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Amber Museum
Different items made from Amber
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Ambers
Na Bolom Musuem
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Pictures of Maya people
Mayan textiles
Mayan handicrafts
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Maya area in old times
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Mayan Jewellery

MUSUEMS OF SAN CRISTOBAL de LAS CASAS

There are several museums in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The one that you should not miss is the Na Bolom museum. It is a great place to start learning about Mayan history and culture. The second which I really like is the Museum of Amber. Amber is basically fossilized tree resin. The museum has so many diverse beautiful artefacts made of amber. Other museums in San Cristobal de Las Casas are Museo de la Medicina Maya, Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya, Museo Mesoamricano del Jade, Museo de San Cristobal etc.

 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Palacio Municipal
Santa Lucia church
Stairs to Guadalupe church

 San Cristobal de las casas guide

La merced church
San Cristobal cathedral
Santo Domingo church

 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Stairs to Church San Cristobalito

 San Cristobal de las casas guide

 

CHURCHES OF SAN CRISTOBAL de LAS CASAS

Like several museums, there are several churches in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The famous ones are the Church of Santo Domingo, Cathedral of San Cristobal, Church of Guadalupe, Church of San Francisco, Santa Lucia Church, Church of San Cristobalito etc.

Going inside Reserve Huitepec
Little knowledge on the way
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Echale Ganas! You can! reach to the top
Found a cozy hut up there 🙂
Going to Rancho Nuevo caves
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Entrance to the cave
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Entrance to El Arcotete. Though It seems like I am stopping people from entering haha
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
The head of 2 Aliens. Not really 😉
The Mermaid figure!
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
And the Encuentro park
 San Cristobal de las casas guide


PARKS & CAVES OF SAN CRISTOBAL de LAS CASAS

This is my favourite part about San Cristobal de Las Casas. There are several parks and caves in/around San Cristobal to explore. The first one I explored was Encuentro National park. A nice place to explore by bicycle. Around 5 km from the park lies the Mamut caves which I had not explored though. There are other major caves in/around San Cristobal. The first one I explored was the El Arcotete Park caves which are not so far from the town centre. It has some really interesting caves in the middle of nature. The bigger cave is at the Rancho Nuevo. You can walk inside the cave for good 15-20 minutes till the end. In the end, you can even explore deeper with a guide and the necessary gear. It is a 20-25 mins drive from the town centre. It is also the biggest park in/around San Cristobal de Las Casas and shouldn’t be missed. Another park which I really liked exploring was Reserva Huitepec which is a 10-15 minutes drive from the town centre. The interesting part about the trail in the park is you get to learn about nature through the informative planks.

 

 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Chiapa de corzo town square
At the port
And our boat tour begins!
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Can you spot the crocodile?
Inside a cave
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Beautiful formation on one such mountain
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
It ends here and time to return back

 San Cristobal de las casas guide

Would you like some sweet and spicy? 🙂
Pozol: Local drink made from Cocoa
Chiapa de Corzo town

A DAY TRIP TO SUMIDERO CANYON

I took public transport(Colectivo) to reach Chiapa de Corzo town from San Cristobal de Las Casas. It was an hour-long ride. From Chiapa de Corzo, I took a boat tour navigating through Sumidero Canyon which lasts for a couple of hours. I enjoyed it while witnessing several waterfalls, birds, caves, mountains, crocodiles! The canyon has vertical walls as high as around 1000 metres and it is surrounded by Sumidero Canyon National Park. I totally recommend taking this tour. After the boat tour, do explore the beautiful town of Chiapa de Corzo and try the local drink of Pozol.

Zinacantan town
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Local textiles

As per the priest, they change flowers here everyday
Poshe with different flavours: Local alcoholic drink 
Chamula town
More flavours of Poshe here in Chamula
Local artwork

INDIGENOUS TOWNS: CHAMULA & ZINACANTAN

A 20-25 minutes drive from San Cristobal de Las Casas will take you to the indigenous town of Zinacantan. Almost all the people in the town are Tzotzil Maya people, an indigenous group. They speak the Tzotzil language. Around 8 km from Zinacantan lies the town of Chamula. Chamula too is populated by Tzotzil Maya people. Both these towns are known for their textile arts and Poshe. Poshe is a local alcoholic beverage. It is made of corn, sugar cane and wheat. Do take permission from local people before clicking their pictures.

 

SAN CRISTOBAL LOGISTICS: THINGS TO KNOW

Here’s the guide to transportation, food, accommodation, activities and other expenses in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The white van is locally known as Colectivo

MODES OF TRANSPORTATION

The keyword here is Colectivos! These are sharing vans commonly used by locals. Cheapest and the best way to get around. I used them to visit almost all the above places. You can get these collectives near Plaza de La Paz. It starts as low as 8 pesos and as high as 60 pesos(this one is for Chiapa de Corzo from San Cristobal). San Cristobal is a great place to explore by walk. I took many walking expeditions during my stay. I used to walk for hours in the town while listening to my music playlist.

 


ACCOMMODATION

San Cristobal de Las Casas is a good and cheap place to stay for the short and long term. If you are looking for a short stay, you can easily find hostels starting from 120-130 pesos per night and if you are looking to stay for several weeks/months. I would recommend you to look for a room with a bathroom and kitchen in the Facebook marketplace. I found a place with 600 pesos rent for a week.

 

My another favourite drink from Mexico: Clerico! It is quite similar to Sangria
Tamale: A steamed food made from Masa with different fillings
Gordita: Hard outer crust with different fillings
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Chalupas: A lot of carrot and turnip!
Taco dorado: Like the name suggests, It is a hard taco
 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Champurrado: Local Hot chocolate beverage
Esquites: Mexican street corn
Ponche de frutas: Hot beverage with different fruits in it
Quesadilla
Lollipop, anyone?


FOOD

San Cristobal has several markets to find cheap food and several high-end restaurants. On a day when I don’t feel like cooking, my go-to place was Chedraui supermarket wherein a buffet you get to chose quantity as per your needs. In 60-70 pesos I used to have a good meal. My favourite restaurant has to be “Carmelita” near Amber Museum. Pocket-friendly, good service and delicious food! All the different foods, street foods, drinks can be seen above!

 San Cristobal de las casas guide
Na Bolom Musuem
Rancho Nuevo caves entrance


ACTIVITIES EXPENSES

  • Entry fee to Encuentro National park is 10 pesos
  • Entry fee to Rancho Nuevo is 10 pesos and additional 35 pesos to enter the cave. There is an extra cost to explore the cave even deeper with a guide.
  • Entry fee to El Arcotete Park is 10 pesos and additional 15 pesos to enter the cave.
  • Entry fee to Reserva Huitepec is 10 pesos.
  • Entry fee to Amber Museum is 30 pesos.
  • Entry fee to Na Bolom Museum is 60 pesos.
  • Boat tour in Sumidero Canyon is 250 pesos.
  • There is no fee to enter churches except the one in the town of Chamula. It costs 25 pesos.
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An Indian Traveler

Hello! My name is Saurabh and I am the voice behind the “An Indian Traveler” blog. I'm a cinephile, travel writer, an avid traveler with a song stuck in my head which I keep humming till ad nauseam :)

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16 Comments

  1. I love how quaint and beautiful that town is. I can very well relate to those market scenes too as our public markets here in the Philippines tend to be as busy as those. Overall, this is an unforgettable trip, I’m sure.

  2. The cuisine seems to out of this world (I love the baked goodies). San Cristobal seems to be a charming place.

  3. Thanks for the guide! Such a colorful tour! From the food options, to the various architectures around, plus the wonders that mother nature has to offer.

  4. For a small town, San Cristobal de las Casas has a lot to do! The caves and amber museum look interesting and the food looks delicious. Your photos are gorgeous.

  5. I love your pictures, nature, food, people! I wish I would brave enough to visit small cities in Mexico. I really enjoyed reading your article.

  6. I was here esrlier. I just forgot to mention that I was so surprised to learn there is cold weather year round. I also wanted to tell you that i think your pictures are fantastic.

  7. I’ve never heard of San Cristobal before but looking at those photos, it sounds like a wonderful place to visit sometime. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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