(x3)  | By: gussuk | 16,128 Views | 11 Replies

holiday in chiapas


Anyone have any San Cristobal or Chiapas experiences, good or bad that you want to share?  I have a very open itinerary, and will be there in Feb.  Thanks.

holiday in chiapas

holiday in chiapas

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Bronze Traveler1   Points

Posts: 1

Hi GussUk,
Whats up Man  Grin

I have been to Chiapas a year ago, I can tell you that Chiapas is enormously rich culturally, it
was very interesting to be there for a month and live its culture  travel forum
Chiapas's thickly wooded jungles, mountains and valleys, together with its traditional cultures and indigenous roots have kept its look, feel and style very distinct from the rest of Mexico, it offers a wealth of interesting cultural experiences spanning ancient civilizations and modern indigenous culture. Thirty-two percent of the population is indigenous, and the state became notorious during the 1994 Zapatista uprising. Predominantly rural, Chiapas? most important products include coffee, corn and sugar. The capital Tuztla Guti?rrez has one of Mexico?s best zoos.

As I was discovering Chiapas, I found that Chiapas has a huge diversity of sceneries, like natural reserves, jungles, colonial places and most important of all, the people there where very nice to me.

The places I have visited, which I urge you to visit are the following

holiday in chiapas Palenque
Nestled in the lower foothills of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, which fringe the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, amidst a high tropical forest abounding in surface water.
You can see in Palenque architecture, ceramics, inscriptions and a lot of interesting tempels.

Sights and Activities

    * Palenque Ruin are an amazing set of ruins that during the high season can see over 2,000 visitors a day!

Near to Palenque

    * Yaxchilan these more remote ruins are located on the river separating Mexico and Guatemala. These ruins have a very remote feel to them with howler monkey's screaming and bats dominating the inwards of the ruins.

    * Bonampak usually tagged onto a Yaxchilan trip is home to some of the best preserved  Mayan murals in the world.

    * Lacandon Rain Forest is an amazing bio-preserve with stunning wildlife, waterfalls and undiscovered ruins.

Cascadas en Agua Azul
Favorite spot for Mexican families, These beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul are located 56 km from Palenque in Chiapas.
They have deep blue waters.
Nearby you can admire the 40 meters-high Misol-Ha cascade.

When planning your day you might want to consider an early start and perhaps ask the hotel where you are staying to pack you a lunch and plan to have picnic here (there are also many open-air restaurants available if you are the adventuresome type). If the weather is warm, you might want to bring your swimsuit for a dip in the river. Although the distance is only about 60 kilometers, it takes over an hour to get there since the road is winding and there is usually a lot of traffic.
If you are into ?local color,? this is it! A river rushes through the rich foliage, forming rapids and waterfalls that drop into tranquil pools of turquoise water. On holidays and weekends the place is positively packed with people: children splashing in the crystal-clear water; babies napping in the shade, women preparing tables laden with food, grandmothers asleep in hammocks stretched between the trees, men chatting while enjoying cold beers, lovers strolling hand in hand, youngsters climbing steep paths to the top of the waterfalls. Note: Don?t even think about visiting Agua Azul during the rainy season, which turns the clear turquoise waters into a muddy river.
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To reach Agua Azul, from Palenque go south on highway 199. After 9 kilometers the road splits. At the junction, keep to the right on 199 toward Ocosingo and San Crist?bal de Las Casas. As the road climbs into the lush mountains, you need to watch the road markers?at about marker 87, turn to the right at a sign to Cascadas de Agua Azul

Sierra Madre del Sur
Leads through deep tropical lowland jungle to a crashing waterfall and swimming hole.
It Runs from northwest to southeast along the Pacific Ocean coast. It is extremely volcanic, resulting in high peaks, occasional eruptions and earthquakes, and rich soils.
Its highest peak is the Cerro Nube Flan (3,750 metres).
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Sierra Madre del Sur seemed to me as a maze of the highest volcanic peaks in Mexico. The Sierra Madre del Sur leads into the Istmo de Tehuantepec. This narrow isthmus lies between the Bahia  de Campeche and the Golfo de Tehuantepec. Two large valleys form notable depressions in the plateau: the Bolson de Mapimi in the north and the Valle de Mexico in central Mexico, the site of Mexico City.

travel forum San Cristobal de las Casas
Lovely Colonial town situated in the highlands of the state of Chiapas, is the ideal place to remain two or three days visiting its main interesting sites such as the San Cristobal Martyr Cathedral or the Na-Bolom Museum, cultural center of the region, and later on depart towards one of the most interesting archaeological zones, Palenque, cradle of the mythical and ancestral Pakal King.

The thing I liked most about San Cristobal is its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an artistic and bohemian flair which attracts many European visitors, especially.
The colonial streets and alleyways lined with red-roof tiles and white-washed walls beg wanderers to explore and discover the nooks and crannies; alleyways open up into picturesque arcades and plazas showing off their authentic colonial architecture and hosting churches, museums, caf?s, restaurants and artisan workshops, among other delights.
travel forum The city is situated at 7,000 feet above sea level, in a lush green valley where the air is fresh and you can experience that unique clarity of highland light.

Although San Cristobal is the principal market town and commercial center in this area, it's also the best hub from which to explore the surrounding indigenous villages and the magnificent natural beauty for which Chiapas is known.

The attractions I recommend you to do once youa are there:

1. The Cathedral, the Santo Domingo Temple an Ex-Convent, where embroideries and beautiful handicrafts are made

2. The La Caridad and San Nicolas Temples

3. The Del Carmen Church 

4. The Municipal Palace

5. The Na-Bolom Center created for attracting scientific and students from all over the world,  interested in learning about the Mayan culture

6. The San Cristobal Market

Ca?on del Sumidero
Ca?on del Sumidero (sumidero canyon) created by the mighty Rio Grijalva which runs north-wards through it. The Sumidero Canyon covers an area of 21,789 hectares.

If you really want to experience the view of the Canyon, take a boat ride. The 2-3 hour round trip on the boat will take you on an spectacular journey through the canyon, with some of the walls towering 2,500 feet above you. The wildlife on display is spectacular, and your boat may take you on a tour past one or two caves in the area.
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One of the most exciting developments in this area is the Canyon Sumidero Ecological Park,. The only way to get to the Park is to take a boat there, as you arrive at the Ecological Park, you cross a wooden bridge that leads you through the Park?s entrance way to the registration are. holiday in chiapas

The Park offers a range of activity-based Eco-attractions including the opportunity to visit the wildlife sanctuary, see local flora and fauna as well as a number of physical and sporting activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, abseiling, zip-line, swimming and more. The Park has an excellent Restaurant, a gift shop and areas to just sit, relax and enjoy the natural environment.

If you are an animal lover, you will enjoy seeing different kinds of birds, monkeys and even crocodiles. Some of these animals can be seen from the boat and others may be seen only on foot.

The Sumidero Canyon is a truly spectacular experience which should not be missed when you are traveling in this area.
travel forum

travel forum La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve
One of the most diverse forest reserves in Mexico and the world. The reserve covers 413,253 acres and protects 10 of the 19 vegetation types in Chiapas, including cloud forest, tropical forest, and pine-oak forest.

travel forum Ocozocoautla De Espinosa
Small town near Tuxtla Guti?rrez, capital city of Chiapas state in Mexico.
Located in the west of the capital Chiapaneca, in this city you can find the airport of Francisco Saravia.
The name comes from the Nahoa language and means ?forest of ocozote trees?. ?De Espinosa? was added in 1928 to honor Raymundo Enr?quez Espinosa who was the first governor of the state of Chiapas. Ocozocoautla gained city status in 1926. The climate is warm and humid and the vegetation is mostly high and medium rainforest.

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Hey Guys,
I have been in Chiapas, And I want to share with you our experience.  ?

When we got to the Palenque ruins, apparently because it?s the start of the peak season. Many structures were still not excavated in the ruin complex but what?s different about this ruin is that some of the original artefacts remain in situ, for example, the sarcophagus and the mural in the foliated temple. Salvador was our guide. Again I don?t remember much other than the Mayan calendar. King Pakal lived to 80 years old and died in 683 AD, quite unheard of in those days. I wondered how he got up those steep steps in his old age?

The first set of 4 buildings as we came in was the Las Inscripciones Group. The last in line is Templo de las Inscripciones and has Paka?s tomb. His skeletal remains and jade mask were moved to a museum in Mexico City but the giant sarcophagus lid remains. El Palacio (The Palace) has a tower,
Palenque an observatory that was re-built in 1955. It also has some stone beds where the royals slept. The Las Cruces Group was dedicated to Pakal?s son, Kan Balam. It has templo de la Cruz Foliada which you can climb, the largest of the 3 to the north called templo de la Cruz, and templo de la Sol to the west. After the visit we took a trail that led to the museum. Along the way were additional structures yet to be uncovered and there was a small waterfall.

We then drove to Miso Ha, a spectacular waterfall with 35m drop. It was simply magnificent as we could walk behind it. More swimming and diving took place here without any injuries.
Agua Azul was the next . We had to pay an extra fee to get pass a checkpoint set up by the Zapatistas. They briefly took over San Cristobal on Jan 1 1994 and made a name for themselves to fight for indigenous rights. I thought about taking a picture but decided it was in my best interest not to. The US government considers the group communists;

Agua Azul is a series of waterfall cascades with crystal clear turquoise blue colour, although when it rains it looks quite different with a chocolaty colour. It was much wider but nowhere near as high as Miso Ha. I waded in and sat in a shallow pool of flowing, refreshingly cold clear water. For lunch most of us had empanadas similar to the argentinian one  Grin. They are dumpling with various fillings: chicken, beef, potatoes and cheese.

What followed was a long drive to San Cristobal de las Cas as, including finding the answer to ?why did the chicken cross the road?. As we went up in elevation, it was interesting to see a change in the flora, with places where both banana and pine trees co-existed. I rode shot gun in the front although I had to do some work to keep my seat. :-)

It was a little bit over 19:00 when we got to our hotel Museo Na Bolom, the 19th century colonial museum and former residence of Swiss anthropologist-photographer Trudy Budy-Blom, who fought to preserve the culture of indigenous people in Chiapas. It was a neat King Pakal's sarcophagus hotel, complete with a fireplace, but the downside is that it?s a bit far from the main plaza.

Some of us walked to the main plaza and found a little restaurant with a selection of set menus, including a drink, soup, entr?e and dessert for 50 pesos! It was good for the most part but my mushroom lasagne was certainly not anyone?s finest work.

We took a roundabout way to get back to the hotel, making a detour to see Santo Domingo church at night. It was quite pretty.

That is all I remember, a pretty nice experience.

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Bronze Traveler0   Points

Posts: 2

Hola Muchachos !

Here is My Chiapas Area Story,

My Intro to Chiapas
For anyone that doesn't know, Chiapas is the south westerly state of Mexico that has been fighting for independance or at least human rights for the native Mayans, since 1994 when the EZLN, The Zapatista Army for National Liberation was formed and came to light rather violently. Since then the Mexican goverment has sent armies to try wipe out all the natives, but failed due to most of the territory being in high mountains and a good defence by the EZLN. In more recent years, the Mexican people joined forces with the EZLN and the native indios in marches and demonstrations in the city and the Mexican goverment finally agreed to talk to these people and try to resolve the situation peacefully. Of course all agreements made have been silently swept under the rug and the situation has remained the same.
Nowadays, the EZLN has set up their own government in this region, where the governers are all locals and elected by locals. The EZLN now takes nothing to do with the political and democratical matters, and leaves it completely to their elected governers. Over the years the Zapatista movement has grown rapidly and now has wide spread support, not only in Chiapas but in most of Mexico.

There are also a lot of similarities with Guatemala as Chiapas was formerly goverened by Guatemala. The native people are also of Mayan decent and speak various dialogues of the Mayan language, as in Guatemala. A lot of their artesanias and materials are very similar to Guatemala. The main difference is the quality of life from what I can see, although I never made it out to any of the smaller villages here so I can't be 100% sure of that.

I spent most of the first night in a reggae bar called
Mama Africa as it was the first bar I came to walking down our street. It was quiet, almost empty except for two Mexican guys on stage doing reggae and rock covers. I later found out they called themselves Timone and Pumba. They have to be the most original cover band I have ever seen, every song had their own little twist or mix to it. My favourite had to be their cover of Tracey Chapman/Jimi Hendrix.

We later spent most of the next day walking about the town and checking out their various markets and seven churhes. We had planned to head on up to Oaxaca the same day, but I decided I hadn't seen enough of San Cristobal and said I would meet up with him in two days time in Oaxaca. So that night I went back to Mama Africa where Timone and Pumba were set to play again. I had a great night and would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

The next day while walking through the town I met Mauricio, one of the barstaff from Mama Africa, who was sat waiting on a girl that had just stood him up. I told him I was trying to get up the hill to a big church I had seen and he told me I was going the wrong way, so he kindly took me the right way and climbed the steps to the church with me. He's a really good guy and we got on great. We ended up spending most of the day together and he took me on a guided tour of the town. He was a local who was born and raised here so not only did he know everywhere, he also knew everyone and must have introduced me to at least 1000 people. We went round a few of the Zapatista shops, where I picked up a copy of the EZLN sixth declaration, and then had lunch in a Zapatista caf?. All very interesting.

We later picked up a stray Japanese guy called Mitch who tagged along with us for a couple of hours. Mauricio brought us to a few churches and explained that they were all connected underground by a network of tunnels.
He then took us to a bar of a friend of his, where we went in and sat talking to three old local men, one of whom had just been attacked by a pitbull and had his hand in bits. It was very intersting talking to them about how Chiapas used to be and their roles in the armed struggle. After a drink or two we headed back out into the town and decided it was time for dinner. On the way up the street however our new friend Mitch dissapeared. We turned and started back down the straight only to see him walk out of a shop with his head in a guidebook pretending he couldn't see us. I had to laugh, he must have thought we were going to rob him or something. So on we went for dinner anyway and had another walk around the town later.

On the way through the square where we tried some local delicacies, we saw a group of young people in balaclavas blasting anti-govermental rap tunes out of a huge stereo. On the way back through the square about half an hour later the youths were gone and the placed was filled with armed police.

After that we went for a couple of beers in a locals bar called Malquerida that had a two for one offer on the beers. We sat there until it was time for me to catch my bus, listening to a suprisingly very European selection of music, strange compared to Guatemala which could almost pass as another American state. The bar was great, and we met some more of Mauricios friends there, including the girl that had stood him up that morning..

?Hasta luego Amigos!

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I'm reading about Chiapas & come across this thread. This is really informative and interesting too. Thanks for sharing.

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Haven't made it down to Chiapas...yet...on the list.  Thanks for all the information though!

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Hi there!

It's great to hear that someone is going to that magnificent land. I have family there so I go visiting there every other year. And I just can't get enough.

The departure point is Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital city, you have the bus station or the airport relatively close to the centre town. It's so quiet and relax to live... Average temprerature is 35°C winter doesn't exist there!

From here you can choose any destination you want, going to the beach, to the colonial villages, the Mayan Ruins, the forest&Lakes zone, or just go everywere, you can't miss it.

The second stop, a must do is, Chiapa de Corzo, there's a "combi" or bus almost for free that gets you there. Right there you have the brick fountain, make a wish and go directly to the Muelle get a boat through el Cañon del Sumidero, with chance you'll be seeing some crocodiles swiming or just taking the sun!!! About the park, I've never gone there, it's your turn to go and then tell me what is like? =)

Then you can go to San Cristobal de las Casas, "SanCris" the Amber City!!! just find it out...

From there you can go to Puerto Arista, Palenque, Magos de Montebello, cascadas de Agua Azul... Go to every place you can...


What I recommend you is a place called "Las Nubes" is a paradise lost in the middle of the jungle, it is now being exploted for tourism, you can find some châtelets or you can just camp in there... It is called like this "the clouds" because the rocks with salt formations have this shape... Besides, there are some falls you know when water get oxygenated forms some bubbles in the water and in the air... This place is close to the border with Guatemala... In some point of the travel you can go there... Right at Lagos de Montebello...

Just go and discover that beautiful piece of heaven called Chiapas!!!


Cheers and gLuck!!!!

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Those images are amazing Wayne! Especialy the one of the water. It makes me want to go there!

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My best experience going down to Chiapas... It was a weekend trip 7 years ago.

The new motorway Tuxtla SanCristobal wasnt finished yet, so it was about 5 hours by car to get there!!

We went into every lil town in Chiapas, asking for directions, looking for food, drinks, everything!!!

We passed the Lagos de Montebello area, this is just beautiful!

Then we made a little stope in Guatemala.

Then after hours and hours of driving... we finally got to our destination, a "Mayan route" lost point in the map... a piece of paradise called "Las Nubes"

In the middle of the jungle.

this experience was great, we stayed ther 2 days... just climbing, hiking, walking trough the mountains, the rivers, the falls... there was a kind of a beach (with sand and everything) by the coast of the river, it was just amazing...

This place was still hidden, no infrastructure in the place, they were building some cattles... So by the night... after being informed that there was a curfew in the town... and there where still no cattles... We just camped. In the truck we had or now we call it the "thousand star Hotel" just lying in the ground with the perfect weather to do it.


It was best experience ever. i love that part of the world... Chiapas!!!!

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John Dennis

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It will be a trumendous experience to visit Chiapas and San Cristobal. I am almost amused to read huge interesting inforamtion. Thanks all for sharing...

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Diamond1   Points

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Chipas is amazing place for having trip where we can visit Aguas Azul and Montebello Lakes and explore yaxchilan jungle. Also, we can enjoy the trip , by visiting it's popular attractions such as Sumidero Canyon,Agua Azul Cascades waterfall.

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United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hero Member40   Points

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 I am ashamed that this is one place I never heard about so I will be very keen to hear your stories about it and pictures bigtup



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