The Best Guide San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas

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There are more things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, than you may expect.

Located in Chiapas, among the beautiful mountains of the Central Highlands region, at 2,200 meters (7,218 feet) above sea level, San Cristobal de las Casas is easily one of the prettiest, most interesting cities in Mexico.

Rich in history; with well-kept colonial architecture; and having retained its indigenous spirit, San Cristobal, as it is usually called, is significantly lesser-known than many other cities in the country.

But the few (though constantly increasing) visitors to this smaller city are easily and almost immediately captured by its charm, the laidback atmosphere, the mountain air, and the fragrance of pine trees, and obviously by the many interesting activities on offer.

I fell in love with San Cristobal the minute I set foot in the city, after a long journey from Mexico City which involved a flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez and getting stuck in traffic as soon as I drove out of the airport on my rental car. Since then, I have visited three more times – that’s how much I like it!

Curious to discover more about the prettiest city in Chiapas? Continue reading, for I have selected the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas!

things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

Table of Contents

16 Best Things To Do In San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas

Join a city walking tour

One of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas to get to grips with the beautiful city is to join a walking tour.

You could opt to simply follow your own self-made tour around the pedestrian-friendly streets, wandering the Real de Guadalupe. Make sure not to miss the Arco del Carmen, the 17th-century gateway to San Cristobal – you can’t miss it, as it is bright ochre!

Alternatively, you could join a free walking tour. These leave from Plaza de la Paz every day, in front of the cathedral. The tours usually depart twice daily and give you an overview of the city with a local guide. Having a knowledgeable guide with you means you’ll get an insight into the history and culture of the city.

things to do in san cristobal de las casas

Learn about the preservation of Chiapas rainforest at Casa Na Bolom

Casa Na Bolom is an iconic spot for visitors to stop by when they’re in San Cristobal de las Casas. The former home of Swiss archaeologist Franz Blom and his wife, Danish documentary photographer Gertrude Duby Blom, today it operates as a hotel, museum, and restaurant.

The whole building is crammed full of archaeological artifacts, photographs, and other anthropological finds. You can take a house tour to learn more about the lives of these explorers in 1950s Chiapas.

Casa Na Bolom also happens to be a research center concerned with the preservation of the Chiapas rainforest. After your tour, stop for lunch (meals are made using organic vegetables grown in the garden), or even stay the night!

You can book your stay at Casa Na Bolom here.

things to do in Chiapas

Drop by the Museo de Trajes Regionales de Sergio Castro

The Museo de Trajes Regionales de Sergio Castro is the place to go to learn all about traditional crafts in Chiapas.

The museum displays almost 1,000 pieces from the indigenous Maya population of Chiapas; it’s particularly unique in that traditional burial usually requires the possessions and clothing of the deceased to be buried with them.

Another interesting part of this museum is the local character who oversees the proceedings: Sergio Castro.

Rather than being donations to the museum, the clothes and other traditional artifacts are gifts to Castro from villagers in the surrounding area. That’s because the museum doubles up as a clinic where Castro helps burn victims, with gifts given in lieu of payment. After the clinic closes, Castro himself leads a tour of the museum.

The museum is every day. For more information, visit the museum’s site here.

Visit the Catedral de San Cristóbal de las Casas

You’ll find the pastel-colored Catedral de San Cristóbal de las Casas on the north side of the main plaza in town. Dating back to 1528, this ornate cathedral, incredibly, wasn’t completed until 1815 due to a series of natural disasters. Sadly, earthquakes struck again in 1816 and 1847, causing yet more damage.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the Catedral de San Cristóbal de las Casas was restored once more. Inside, lit by candlelight, the gold-leafed interior is drenched with incense smoke. It houses five gilded altarpieces and a number of 18th-century paintings.

Go horseback riding

San Cristobal de las Casas is surrounded by beautiful nature, with land that seems to go on for miles. Forests, caves, mountains, and local villages surround San Cristobal.

And one of the best ways to explore some of this nature is while horseback riding. Several well-known ranches and farms just outside the city center offer horseback riding tours through the stunning landscape.

Most horseback riding in San Cristobal de las Casas leaves from a local ranch outside the city and takes you to San Juan de la Chamula.

Get to grips with chocolate at Kakaw Museo del Cacao y Chocolateria Cultural

If you’re a chocolate lover, you should definitely make time in your schedule to pay a visit to the Kakaw Museo del Cacao y Chocolateria Cultural. As you might be able to tell from the name, this is a chocolate museum. But it’s also a cafe where you can sample a variety of chocolate products first-hand.

The small museum is packed full of an array of chocolate-related items, with staff who are very helpful in explaining the chocolate-making process. Here you can learn about the history of chocolate and how it was used by the Maya; there’s even a tasting session included.

Shop at the local markets

San Cristobal de las Casas is well-known for beautiful handmade crafts and high-quality textiles. At the local markets, you’ll find rows and rows of velvety soft sweaters, scarves, shawls, and other accessories (sitting beside eye-catching amber jewelry pieces).

One of my favorite markets in San Cristobal de Las Casas is the night market at La Plaza de Paz. The local vendors start setting up around sunset, making the plaza really come to life.

Remember that you may have to haggle a bit at most local markets to get a price you’d like.

San Cristobal de las Casas Market at night

Sip coffee at Cafeologia

If you’re more of a coffee lover than a chocolate lover, don’t worry: Mexico, being a coffee-producing country, is not short of places where you can get a good cup of coffee.

San Cristobal is no exception – in fact, the state of Chiapas is very well known as a center of Mexico’s coffee production, so you’re practically guaranteed great coffee here!

One of the best cafes in San Cristobal is Cafeologia. Serving up amazing coffee alongside delicious food, it’s a great place to enjoy a break when you’re exploring the city.

The staff here are super friendly, the bright interiors – complete with houseplants – are stylish, and the choice on offer is enough to satisfy any coffee aficionado.

And with accommodation, you can even stay here if you like it that much!

Visit the Museo de Ambar

This small museum is actually one of the most popular in town – adjoint to the gallery you will find a shop where you can buy beautiful jewelry.

Amber has been mined in Chiapas since before pre-Hispanic times. The extraction of the amber is through the caves, and there are many around the city and state. You’ll find amber pieces in the night markets and local shops. It’s a beautiful piece of art that represents the close connection between Chiapas’ history and the precious gem.

San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

Browse for a new book at Abuelita Books

If you’re on your Mexico vacation and you’re in need of something to read, look no further than the wonderful Abuelita Books. This centrally located bookstore boasts an array of new and used books available in English and a variety of other languages.

There’s an excellent selection on offer, so chances are you’ll find something interesting.

There’s also tea and coffee on offer, so you can make a start on your new purchase as you read in comfort. It makes for a nice place to escape the chaos of the city. On Thursdays, this bookstore also screens English-language movies for free, too!

Zocalo, San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

Take in local life at Plaza 31 de Marzo

Plaza 31 de Marzo, also known as the city’s Zocalo, is the main square in San Cristobal. This relaxed, leafy hub of local life is the place to go to for a spot of people-watching. You’ll find newspaper vendors, shoe shiners, street food stalls, families with children running around, and at its center is an old-fashioned bandstand.

Here, in the evenings, music performances take place. The area comes alive with people enjoying their free time in the square, meeting with friends, or simply hanging out. It’s the perfect place to come and soak up the atmosphere before heading out for dinner or for a casual morning walk. There’s always something going on here!

Soak up the art at Galeria MUY

Specializing in contemporary artwork by Mayan and Zoque people in the surrounding area, Galeria MUY is an interesting place to admire some colorful local art. In the Tzotzil language, “Muy” is the word for having fun or taking pleasure in something, and this gallery certainly echoes that sentiment.

Alongside being an art gallery, Galeria MUY is also a venue for multimedia exhibitions and performances. They also host collaborative exhibits between local artists and artists from all across the world.

You can take a guided tour here to learn more about the local artists and from across the Chiapas region, giving you an insight into what life is like for indigenous people here.

The gallery is closed on Mondays.

shopping in san cristobal

Dance the night away at Latino’s Cafe Restaurant Club

If you’re in the mood to hit the dancefloor and dance the night away, then you should make sure you hit up Latino’s Cafe Restaurant Club. This is San Cristobal de las Casas’ hotspot for salsa dancers and musicians, called salseros in Spanish. They gather here most nights of the week.

From 8:00 pm onwards, DJs spin a mix of Latin tracks, helping to warm things up. But from 11:00 pm is when the real action begins, and bands take to the stage playing a cocktail of salsa, merengue, and bachata music.

It’s open Wednesday through Saturday. Come expecting a great atmosphere; you can even enjoy some dinner and drinks before you start strutting your stuff as well.

things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

Visit the Templo de Santo Domingo

North of the center of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, you’ll find the 16th-century Templo de Santo Domingo. One of the most beautiful churches in the area, this Baroque-style building is elaborately etched with filigree stucco, while inside, you’ll find an ornately gilded pulpit. But it’s not just about the stunning interiors.

There’s also a regional museum situated in the former monastery (attached to the church): Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya. Here you can see a collection of over 500 handwoven textile pieces displayed across two permanent exhibitions.

Nearby, local women sell handicrafts that you can purchase for gifts or souvenirs (make sure to haggle!).

Go for cocktails at Cocoliche

Once you’ve been wandering around the city streets all day, it’s high time you refresh yourself. The best venue for this simply has to be Cocoliches. By day, this is an easygoing spot for long, lazy lunches, but as night falls, this boho establishment becomes a prime spot for cocktails.

Choose from a selection of freshly made cocktails and find a cozy spot to enjoy the nightly live jazz or swing music that’s performed here. On colder evenings (because it’s not always warm in San Cristobal!), make sure to turn up early to find a table near the fireplace and snuggle up with your favorite tipple.

Take in the views from Cerro de Guadalupe

Feel like a hike? Then you should make a beeline for Cerro de Guadalupe. Topped by the Iglesia de Guadalupe, this scenic peak is where you’ll find the best views in San Cristobal.

As lovely as the views may be, they’re not necessarily easy to reach – you’ll have to tackle a set of 79 steps to ascend. This can be more punishing than it looks because of the high altitude.

Once you’re up the top, however, you’ll be rewarded – not just with gorgeous views and a leafy natural setting but also with food vendors. So if you need a refreshing drink or a snack to refuel for the journey back down, you’re in luck.

The church itself can be visited, too. Built in 1834, it’s a single-nave church with a main altar that boasts a carved image of the Virgin of Guadalupe dating from 1850. If you’re in town on 12 December, make sure to pay a visit; this is the church’s festival day and sees a stream of devotees visiting.

11 Best Day Trips From San Cristobal De Las Casas


In the central Chiapas highlands, just a 20-minute drive from San Cristobal, you’ll find Zinacantan, one of the best places to visit on day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas. Most of the population of this area is Tzotzil, complete with their own language and culture. In fact, they have strong links to the historic Aztec civilization.

The traditional dress here is colorful: men wear bright pink tunics embroidered with flowers; women drape themselves in bright pink shawls.

While you’re in town, you can visit a female-run co-operative, where many beautiful textiles are produced and sold by local women. If you’re interested in taking pictures, make sure you ask permission first, as sometimes this can be frowned upon.

How to get to Zinacantan from San Cristobal de las Casas

The best way of getting to Zinacantan is by car – so either get a taxi or drive yourself if you have a car rental. If you prefer using public transportation, you can hop on a colectivo – there are regular departures from town.

However, to appreciate this village, its culture and history, you do need a guide.

You may want to check out this guided tour of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan that includes transportation from San Cristobal de las Casas.

San Juan Chamula

San Juan Chamula is a very unique place and one of the best day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas you could take.

Only 20 minutes by road, this highland village is proud of its culture and independent spirit, with most of the population being Tzotzil. This village stood up against the Spanish colonizers and, even after being subjugated by them, retained many Maya spiritual and religious practices.

This can be seen most prominently at the church. More of a temple than a church, don’t come in here expecting a run-of-the-mill church. Instead of pews, you’ll find floors strewn with pine needles and services, including the sacrifice of chickens and the drinking of Coca-Cola and other carbonated drinks.

No photos are allowed inside the church.

How to get to San Juan Chamula from San Cristobal de las Casas

Unless you have a car, the easiest way to get to San Juan Chamula is on a guided tour. In fact, you really do need a guide to appreciate the rituals. If you’d still prefer using public transportation, you can hop on a colectivo – there are regular departures from town.

You may want to consider this guided tour of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan that includes transportation from San Cristobal de las Casas.

Parque Ecoturístico Rancho Nuevo

When you need a breath of fresh air away from the city, and especially if you are traveling with kids, Parque Ecoturístico Rancho Nuevo is the place to go. This nature reserve boasts woodlands, trails, and a series of caves and is a fun place to explore – and also has a multitude of activities, from adrenaline-pumping ziplines to slides and horse rides.

With all these fun activities, you may be getting hungry. But don’t worry: there is a selection of Mexican eateries on offer, so you can enjoy some snacks purchased on the go; or you could pack a picnic and eat in the middle of nature in the picnic area. It’s a really family-friendly place to be.

Don’t forget to take a tour of the caves. Inside you’ll find fascinating formations, making you feel like you’ve been transported to another world. There are even slides to make it a more fun experience.

How to get to Grutas de Rancho Nuevo from San Cristobal de las Casas

To get to Rancho Nuevo from San Cristobal, you need to take a colectivo heading to Teopisca: asked to be dropped off at Rancho Nuevo. If you have your own car or if you prefer taking a taxi, you are looking into a 15 minutes drive.

Tonina archeological ruins

One of the most interesting day trips to San Cristobal de las Casas is to Tonina, a lesser-known archeological site about 8 miles (around 13 km) from Ocosingo and 59.6 miles (96 km) from San Cristobal.

The city was historically known as Po or Popo and was set in a gorgeous valley—surrounded by a lush jungle.

The site boasts pyramids as tall as 230 feet (70 meters), which you can climb for incredible views.

How to get to Tonina from San Cristobal de las Casas

Getting to Tonina from San Cristobal de las Casas is a bit of an ordeal if you don’t have your own car. It’s a good 3 hours drive – you will have to go past Ocosingo, and take a detour from there.

If you want to use public transport, you can take a bus or a colectivo to Ocosingo and from there grab a taxi – keep in mind the trip by bus is very long, and on a very windy road so it is not really feasible for a day trip.

My recommendation if you want to visit on a day trip is to join this guided tour of Tonina that includes transportation from San Cristobal de las Casas.

El Chiflon

El Chiflon Waterfall

Best visited on guided tours from San Cristobal de las Casas, Cascada El Chiflon (El Chiflon Waterfall) is actually close to Comitan, in the Tzimol Municipality on the border with Guatemala. It is a complex of 5 waterfalls, the tallest being almost 394 feet (120 meters).

You can go there to hike and then just swim in the natural pools. Make sure not to miss the view from Rainbow Waterfall!

One of the most fun things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas that you can try at El Chiflon is zip-lining. This is one of the few places in Chiapas where you will have the chance to do it, so you may as well!

There is a 500 meters (1640 feet) long zip line, and you will be provided with all the necessary equipment. Just keep in mind that there is a weight limit of 100 kg (220 pounds).

Other places for zip lining in Chiapas are the Grutas de Rancho Nuevo and El Arcotete.

How to get to El Chiflon from San Cristobal de las Casas

If you want to travel by public transportation, you should get a colectivo to Comitan – the ride lasts about 2 hours. From there, take another colectivo to the intersection to the park and then walk for about 15 minutes.

Otherwise, you may want to consider one of the many day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas to El Chiflon that include a stop at Montebello Lakes National Park.

This tour of El Chiflon in particular has an English speaking guide and also includes the admission fee to the park and stop for about two hours at the waterfall.

Lagunas de Montebello

Lagunas de Montebello

Located in Southern Chiapas on the border with Guatemala, the Lagunas de Montebello is a series of lakes surrounded by a thick oak and pine forest. It’s a great place to visit on a day trip from San Cristobal de las Casas (but if you have more time, it’s totally worth spending the night there).

Once there, you can go hiking, horseback riding, visit caves, explore on a kayak and there are even Mayan ruins scattered here and there.

Keep in mind that if you want to see the Lagunas de Montebello at their best, you should visit on a sunny day so give yourself a bit of flexibility.

How to get to Lagunas de Montebello from San Cristobal de las Casas

The best way of getting to the Lagunas de Montebello is on a guided tour.

You may want to consider this guided tour of Montebello Lakes that also goes to El Chiflon and includes transportation from San Cristobal and an English speaking guide.

If you would rather drive yourself, keep in mind it is a 3-hour drive.

If you want to travel by bus, you are looking at a 2-hour bus ride to Comitan and then a colectivo to the Lagunas de Montebello – since it takes a while, you may want to do this as an overnight trip.

Canyon del Sumidero

One of the top things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, is to take a day trip to the Canyon del Sumidero. Crossed by the Rio Grijalva, this canyon features walls as tall as 3,280 feet and is completely surrounded by forest.

The best way to experience it is on boat trips along the river which allow you to admire the canyon and the wildlife living there, as well as the dam at the end of it. Tours last about two hours and include a guide, typically in Spanish.

How to get to Sumidero Canyon from San Cristobal de las Casas

Unless you have a car, the best way of getting to Sumidero Canyon is on a guided tour. This is a good option because you will also have an English speaking guide which is otherwise not available on-site.

You may want to consider one of these all-inclusive day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas to Sumidero Canyon which will take you to the Canyon without any stress and hassle! However its highest selling point in this case is that this tour actually includes an English speaking guide.

If you still want to use public transport, it will be more of a challenge. You need to take a series of colectivos to take you from San Cristobal de las Casas to Chiapa de Corzo.

There is one leaving from the market that will drop you along the highway, where you can get another colectivo to Chiapa de Corzo. From there it is a 10 minutes walk to get to the Embarcadero to explore the canyon.

Check out A Guide To Visiting Sumidero Canyon.

Chiapa de Corzo

Chiapa de Corzo

Chiapa de Corzo is one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos, and a lovely small colonial town located along the Grijalva River between Tuxtla Gutierrez and San Cristobal. It was founded in 1523 by the Spaniards and remains a fascinating place to learn about the history of Chiapas.

The main sight is the central square, where you’ll find nice cafés and shops and La Pila, a 16th-century fountain.

How to get to Chiapa de Corzo from San Cristobal de las Casas

Chiapa de Corzo is actually the closest access point to the Canyon de Sumidero, so you can easily combine a visit of the two as one of the nicest day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas.

It takes about one hour to get there to Chiapa de Corzo from San Cristobal de las Casas, on a combination of colectivos – first take one that is Tuxla bound and asked to be dropped off at the intersection on the highway, from where you can take another colectivo to Chiapa de Corzo.

If you’d rather join a guided tour, there will be ample choice.

I recommend this guided tours San Cristobal de las Casas that include a visit to Sumidero Canyon that also includes a stop in Chiapa de Corzo.

El Arcotete

This is one of the most unique places to visit near San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Here, the Fogótico River has carved the land and the rock. The result is a beautiful arch and a tunnel that you can actually visit.

Once there, there are plenty of other things to do, which include hiking along a variety of well marked trails, as well as zip-lining, boat rides, rappelling and more.

How to get to El Arcotete from San Cristobal de las Casas

The best way to get to Arcotete is by car – so if you don’t have a car you should take a taxi. The only issue is that you will have to make sure the same taxi comes to pick you up and take you back to San Cristobal de las Casas, because you won’t find any waiting outside.

A more budget friendly option would be to take a colectivo – there are departures from the market and by the Iglesia de Guadalupe.

Finally, you can get to Arcotete by bike, though it can be quite challenging to get all the way there. The ride there is uphill so it will take you around one hour, but it will be much easier coming back. You can rent bikes in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Agua Azul and Misol Ha

Agua Azul and Misol Ha are two beautiful waterfalls located in Chiapas, a bit further away from San Cristobal – but if you are up for a long day of driving, they are totally worth visiting.

Agua Azul is a series of connecting cascades, pools, and waterfalls perfect for hiking around and swimming. You will find plenty of small cafés located along the river where you can stop for a bite and a drink. I recommend bringing your swim-suite and a pair of flip-flops or even better rock-shoes to get in and out of the water.

Misol Ha consists of just one singular cascade that drops an impressive 115 feet (35 meters) into a large pool, which is perfect for swimming. There even is a small cave you can visit behind the waterfall.

Unless you have a car, I recommend joining a guided tour to Agua Azul and Misol Ha from San Cristobal de las Casas that includes transportation and all entrances.


Let me start by saying that I don’t really recommend visiting Palenque on a day trip from San Cristobal de las Casas.

The ruins of Palenque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the state of Chiapas, are among the most impressive in Mexico. They date back to 700 and 800s AD and what’s special about them is that they are completely immersed in the jungle! You will also find pyramids and temples you can climb to get stunning views of the area.

How to get to Palenque from San Cristobal de las Casas

Driving to Palenque from San Cristobal de las Casas takes about 5 hours (one way) on a very windy road, so this is not the ideal place for day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas.

If you decide to visit, you are better off factoring in a night or two in the nearby city – which is also a good access point to visit Agua Azul and Misol Ha.

If you would rather travel by public transport, you can opt for one of the ADO buses that depart from San Cristobal but keep in mind the ride lasts around 9 hours.

If you don’t have that much time, you can consider joining a guided tour instead.

I recommend this guided tour from San Cristobal that also stops at Agua Azul and Misol Ha. Be prepared for a full day – you will be leaving at 3:30 am, and the tour lasts 20 full hours!

San Cristobal

Practical Guide

Where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas

There is no shortage of excellent places to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas. Over my trips, I have tried a few and can make the following recommendations:

  • BOUTIQUE – HOTEL BO: Fabulous boutique hotel is a few blocks from the Real de Guadalupe, where all the action is. Rooms are cozy and spacious, set around a well-kept internal garden. The overall atmosphere is incredibly cozy. A fabulous breakfast is served every morning.
  • MID-RANGE – CASA NA BOLOM: One of the best hotels in town, it’s set in what is also the best-known museum in San Cristobal. Considering what’s at stake, it is incredibly budget-friendly!
  • BUDGET – POSADA DEL ABUELITO: This nice hostel in the heart of San Cristobal de las Casas offers modest but comfortable private rooms and well-equipped dorms. It’s clean, safe, and has nice social spaces.

Where to eat and drink in San Cristobal de las Casas

There are plenty of good restaurants and budget eateries in San Cristobal, so you will easily find a place that suits your tastes and budget. Here is a selection of places I have tried:

LA CASA DEL PAN – Nice restaurant with a focus on vegetarian and vegan options (but not only), it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s located inside a large art gallery in Real de Guadalupe, where you’ll also find a lovely souvenir shop and an organic food store.

LA VINA DE BACCO – Small winery on Real de Guadalupe with an extensive wine list. Go there for a fun night out to listen to live music and meet other travelers and locals too.

PIZZERIA DEL PUNTO – On Real de Guadalupe, this is a lovely pizzeria that serves wood-oven baked (huge) pizza and freshly prepared salads. It’s good value for money and has a great variety of pizzas (including a chocolate pizza for dessert).

EL CALDERO – One of the best local restaurants serving a variety of soups. Go there for a delicious pozole!

San Cristobal de las Casas

How to get to San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas is about one hour drive from Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas, and around a 5-hour drive from Palenque.

Tuxtla to San Cristobal

Tuxtla to San Cristobal is only 59 km (37 miles) and about a one-hour drive.

The easiest way to get from Tuxtla International Airport to San Cristobal is by car. If you’d rather use public transportation, you can book your bus ride here.

Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas

BY COLECTIVO – Colectivos regularly go by Road 199, connecting Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas. It’s a very scenic road, but not the best if you have a tendency to get motion sick – in which case you are better off taking motion sickness tablets, to begin with. I drove that road several times myself, and it is completely doable – if only a bit long. Remember, there are occasional protests in Ocosingo, with road blockades that may further delay the trip. By all means, avoid driving that route at night.

BY ADO ADO is the primary private bus company in Mexico and connects most major cities and towns (especially in the south of Mexico). You can take an ADO from Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casa, but they take a separate route, so the bus will likely be much longer (8-9 hours). Because of past events, ADO doesn’t take Road 199 through the local villages and instead goes the other way around to cut through Tuxtla first.

BY TOUR – You can actually take a guided tour from Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas because the most popular waterfalls are along the road from Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas. These are transfers from Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas that generally include a stop at Misol Ha and Agua Azul and end in San Cristobal.

Is San Cristobal de las Casas safe?

San Cristobal is generally a safe city – there are occasional clashes on the road to Ocosingo, but they hardly affect San Cristobal. As with other cities in Latin America, a few safety rules apply here, too: avoid walking around by yourself at night, and don’t flash your valuables. Always keep your wits about and try to stay on the main tourist path.

What to pack for San Cristobal

San Cristobal is set at an altitude to which you will have to acclimatize. Make sure to pack along some warmer clothes – especially if you are visiting in the winter months when temperatures can drop as low as 40° F (4°C) at night. Summer temperatures are nicer, with chilly nights around 50°C (10°F), though it’s a pleasant 70°F (around 21°F) or so during the day.

Keep in mind that the weather is much warmer in other parts of Chiapas at lower altitudes, such as Palenque, Agua Azul, and even the Sumidero Canyon!

Further Readings

Make sure to read my other posts about Mexico:

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