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San Cristobal Holidays

San Cristobal holidays

The rural state of Chiapas is a real gem, located in the southernmost corner of Mexico. It is blessed with lush jungles that surround stunning Mayan ruins and waterfalls, and is host to some of the best sites in the whole of the country including Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak and Toniná. The indigenous residents of the state shun modern fashion in favour of woollen ponchos and traditional dress.

At the heart of Chiapas lies the beautiful colonial highland town of San Cristóbal de las Casas which is 2,100 m above sea level. The city is charming, and an ideal spot to cool off after the steamy lowlands. It is a pleasure to explore its cobbled streets and markets. The main square, or Zócalo, is the hub of the city, where shoe shiners and newspaper sellers ply their trade. The Baroque cathedral, built in the 16th century, is located on the north side of the square. The area has a temperate climate although evenings can become chilly between November and February.

Baroque Cathedral in San Cristobal de Las Casas

Holidays In San Cristobal

Located 11 km northwest of San Cristóbal is San Juan Chamula. The Chamulans are a fiercely independent group with some unique religious practices. The spiritual centre of this town is its enchanting church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, which is certainly an interesting experience: full of flickering candles and clouds of incense. Local people worship and chant whilst sitting on a pine-needle-carpeted floor.

The steep-walled Sumidero Canyon is an impressive sight, positioned just east of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where the principal airport is located (flights from Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Mérida). In 1981, a hydro-electric dam was completed at its northern end, damming the wild River Grijalva which flows through the 800m deep canyon. The best way to enjoy Sumidero is by boat, travelling between the towering rock walls. Along the way it is possible to observe a variety of birds – herons, vultures, kingfishers – and also crocodiles. 

The striking waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha can be visited en route to Palenque. Both offer thundering cascades that plunge into turquoise rocky pools surrounded by lush tropical jungle.

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