Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal De Las Casas at Least Once!

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

In this post, you will find out what makes San Cristobal De Las Casas the most magical town in Mexico, why you need to visit at least once and what to do once you have arrived. Let’s begin!

San Cristobal de las Casas, the most magical of all pueblos magicos in Mexico, is one of my favourite towns ever! I was stunned that a town with no access to any body of water, where you need to wear a jacket after the sun goes down, would steal my heart. But it did!

I heard legends about San Cristobal de las Casas when I was still in Guatemala.

You will love it! You will not want to leave!

I cannot put my finger on what it is exactly. I have seen many colourful traditional pueblos. But this one is just different.

Why Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Is it the charming colonial architecture and cobbled streets full of wonderful eateries and bars? Or maybe the mountains and natural wonders surrounding San Cristobal De Las Casas? Perhaps the people that are kind and open-hearted or ever-present sense of discovery? Maybe it is its rich culture, authentic vibe or the type of travellers this town attracts? Probably all those things and so much more!

Every day I walked down San Cristobal De Las Casas streets, I found something new, something different and even when I walked the same street, I always loved it the same, or even more.

I met amazing people in San Cris (this is how many visitors and locals call it) – the town tends to attract a very special type of travellers. The friendships, conversations, mezcal and posh tastings, and incredible food shared with friends – this enchanted town sustains within its walls magic that opens people’s hearts and sucks them in.

And yes, I didn’t want to leave. I stayed in San Cristobal De Las Casa for 10 days, and never before was I this sad to leave any other town.

San Cristobal De Las Casas is mainly known for its amber production and being home to the largest native population in Mexico. It is also located in the poorest state of Mexico, however, one of the most culturally rich and affluent in interesting history.

Its heritage and history are clearly reflected in the architecture, including numerous churches and plazas, the indigenous people selling their works on the street and wearing their colourful traditional dresses, and several murals found all over the town. 

San Cristobal De Las Casas is a traditional Mexican pueblo magico located in the Central Highlands region of the beautiful Mexican state of Chiapas. Set in a valley among mountains, at 2,200 m above sea level, it enjoys a very specific climate and is a gateway to exploring this lush Mexican state. It is considered the cultural and spiritual capital of the region. 

Much of San Cristobal De Las Casas lies at the core of one of Mexico’s most deeply rooted indigenous areas, and its culture is associated with the region’s large indigenous population consisting mainly of Tzotzil and Tzeltal people. Town’s popular festivities, ceremonies and processions originate back to the beginning of the year 1500. 

It is said that the San Cristobal De Las Casas’s attraction for tourists has led to a number of them making it their permanent home, which has had an effect on the local culture, particularly around the historic centre. It is now a melting pot of traditional Mexican, indigenous and international influences. Maybe that’s the secret sauce to its magic. 

So let me tell you about all the wonderful things you can do in and around San Cristobal de las Casas, about the fantastic food and magic surrounding this indigenous valley. And maybe you will go, and just like me, fall in love forever.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Why you need to visit San Cristobal De Las Casas!

San Cristobal De Las Casas is rich in culture.

San Cristobal De Las Casas is much more than just a pretty face. It is known as the cultural and spiritual centre of Chiapas but also a cultural and political centre for the Maya and other indigenous peoples of this region. To top it up, the town’s attraction for foreign tourists and its Boheme aura created a unique cultural vibe of the town. It is a perfect blend of old and new, living in peace and harmony.

The town is exploding with a variety of artistic expressions starting from ever-present local arts and crafts, street artists, and several workshops all the way to fantastic museums and art galleries.

The most popular event in San Cristóbal de las Casas must be the annual Fair of Spring and Peace held in April. “Feria de la Primavera y de la Paz” or “Fiesta Grande” is a festival taking place around Easter time featuring diverse cultural events, gastronomic fares, shows and exhibitions involving all artists of the city. There is, of course, a parade of floats and the nomination of the Queen of Spring and of Peace.

A blend of Maya traditions with Catholic and Spanish influences is very visible (even more so in San Juan Chamula) during festivities and religious events like Easter or Christmas.
I would claim that San Cristóbal de las Casas is one of the best towns to be in during both holidays.
San Cristóbal de las Casas is also home to numerous art galleries that display works of both indigenous and Latin American artists.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

People are friendly and food is to die for

I found San Cristóbal de las Casas very welcoming! Not only because Mexican people are generally very friendly but also because a big part of its non-indigenous population includes ex-pats and digital nomads from all over the world. It was probably one of the most European (when it comes to foreign influence) towns in Mexico – so it made me feel slightly at home 🙂

Because of the town’s diversity, its food scene is equally eclectic and absolutely amazing. You will find great local restaurants serving traditional Mexican and Chiapas typical dishes and a plethora of restaurants serving Italian, Asian and vegan food but also plenty of places to have a good burger.

Just walk down the Calle Real de Guadalupe, and you will be spoiled for choice! There are also a few tapas places where you can get a glass of wine for MXN25 and a free tapa to go with it! For real!

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

San Cristóbal de las Casas is very affordable

San Cristóbal de las Casas is very affordable, especially compared to places like Tulum or Cancun. Many hostels will include breakfast and coffee in their rates, and you will be able to find a dorm bed for as little as €5/$6 per night in a really cool hostel.

Eating out is also very affordable with a variety of choices of restaurants, local eateries and street food catering to all tastes and budgets.

If you like a glass of nice wine, just like me, you will find many places where you can order a glass for MXN25 and receive a small tapas with it or look for restaurants offering menu del dia for lunch. Often for around 80MXN (or even less), you will get a soup, main dish and drink. You can also get a Tamale from a local market for less than $1!

The day trips and experiences can be most budget-busting, but even those are pretty affordable in San Cristóbal de las Casas. As San Cristóbal de las Casas is perfectly walkable, you won’t have to spend any money on local transportation. So if you travel on a budget. San Cristóbal de las Casas is for you!

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

San Cristóbal de las Casas is great digital nomad base

I read so many stories about travellers visiting San Cristóbal de las Casas for a few days and staying for a few months! And I completely understand. 

San Cris offers a cooler climate compared to the Caribbean or Pacific coast that many seek; nevertheless, the town sucks you in, and you will not want to live. And if you are a digital nomad, you will find everything you need in San Cristóbal de las Casas. 

Excellent infrastructure, tonnes of things to do, a large variety of bars, restaurants and cafes and of course pretty good internet! I never had issues with internet speed while in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Still, in case there would be a problem, there are plenty of cafes offering good fast wifi (and fantastic coffee!) as well as a couple of great coworking spaces – Co.404 Coliving & Coworking and Centralita Cowork

So many things make this town attractive for digital nomads, but one of the main attributes is its low cost of living. You can easily stay in San Cristóbal de las Casas for well under $1k per month and live quite comfortably. Add to it its magical and bohemian vibe and spectacular nature, and you found your perfect place. After a few months, I would probably start missing a beach or warmer climate, but I could easily stay in San Cristóbal de las Casas for 2 or 3 months.

San Cristóbal de las Casas is surrounded by incredible nature

Many argue that the natural beauty of the Chiapas region is incomparable to any another in Mexico. Stunning mountainous views, lush valleys, waterfalls and deep canyons, its flora and fauna make this area of Mexico a nature lovers paradise. San Cristóbal de las Casas is a great base to start exploring Chiapas incredible natural wonders.

There are so many incredible natural sights to visit in a region that you will be truly spoiled for choice. Read on to find out about the most popular and breathtaking day trips you can take from San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

There are tones of things to do

You can spend your days in San Cristóbal de las Casas just walking around the town and taking in the vibe, and you won’t get bored. Of course, this is probably the best thing to do in San Cris – just browse around the town and let yourself discover something new every day. But if you are after some great activities, San Cristóbal de las Casas has loads to offer.

Things To Do In San Cristobal De Las Casas 

Take a famous San Cristóbal de las Casas walking tour

Taking San Cristóbal de las Casas walking tour should be the first thing you do after arriving in the town and is one of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas.

This is one of the best walking tours I have ever taken part in, and it is truly one of the best things to do in San Cris if you want to learn about the town’s history and culture and get to know the stories behind its vibrant street art.

It is a pretty famous tour, and I heard about it the first day I have arrived in town. And you won’t have to book it in advance. The tour runs every day come rain or shine and there is always plenty of people attending, so it’s a great way to make friends too.

You will not only have a chance to discover lesser-known barrios, learn about the town’s dramatic history and visit the most important landmarks. You will also stop at a great art-house, one of my favourite coffee shops, for some coffee tasting and get the chance to taste the Pox (iconic distilled spirit), learn about its production and significance and get some tips on great places to eat and have some fun. I highly recommend you take this tour.

It starts every day at 10 am and 5 pm with a meeting point at the wooden cross on Plaza de la Paz. The tour lasts around 3 hours and is run in both Spanish and English. You will recognize your guide easily as they wear orange Free walking Tour T-shirts.

Although it is a free walking tour, it is customary to tip your guide as this is how they sustain the business and often their living. Usually, it would be between 100 and 200 MNX, but of course, you can tip more if you feel like you got a lot of value from the tour.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Visit San Cristóbal de las Casas markets

San Cristóbal de las Casas has plenty of food and artisan markets and probably one day wouldn’t be enough to see it all. Visiting local markets is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture and observe how locals live, shop, and often socialize.

If you decide to take a free walking tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the Mercado Municipal and Mercado de Artesanias. I have, however, returned quite a few times as I felt that a brief visit just wasn’t enough.

Mercado Viejo is probably one of the most authentic and least tourist-infested places in town. Also, a fantastic place to get some cheap fruit, vegetables, spices, candles or anything you fancy. It is an excellent place to get a very affordable lunch or snack.

It has an outdoor and indoor part, with the indoor hall featuring some sort of an altar. Yep, you heard it right. Please be mindful when taking photos around the market.

A lot of local indigenous people believe that taking a photo steals their souls and generally will hide their faces or show you their disapproval. Be respectful and ask for permission, or just don’t shove your camera in people’s faces.

Not far from Mercado Municipal, you will find an artisan market with a decent part of it dedicated to amber. Amber is symbolic of the region, and it’s worth stopping by and learning about its origins and maybe even buying one for yourself. Be careful, though, as sometimes they sell fake amber, so learn how to distinguish one from another (it is pretty easy) or take a local expert with you.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Tour all the most important landmarks of San Cristobal de las Casas 

San Cristobal de las Casas is very walkable, and you can easily see its most important landmarks in a day which would make a lovely day tour. Start at Plaza 31 de Marzo (so-called Zocalo), which is one of the main squares in San Cristobal – this is where I was dropped off after arriving in San Cristobal de las Casas from Guatemala.

From there, you can make your way to Plaza de la Paz, which is the most notable plaza in San Cristobal de las Casas. This is where the daily walking tour starts, it is also the main meeting point with the famous Catedral de San Cristóbal de las Casas at the front. In the evening, the plaza transforms into a bustling marketplace.

After that, you can take a walk towards town markets stopping by Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, located near the Artisan Market – a spectacular church and one of the most ornate churches in the city. Its facade features intricately carved designs that were handcrafted on the orders of the Dominican friars who once lived here, and it is one of the most beautiful buildings in San Cristobal de las Casas.

You can grab lunch at the market or stop for a coffee and cinnamon bun at Kukulpan (I love this place!). Not far from this coffee shop, you’ll find Casa Na Bolom (House of the Jaguar) – a Maya museum that features a hotel and restaurant and functions as a Mayan library and cultural centre. Really worth a visit!

Later take a walk towards Arco del Carmen (a Moorish-style arch) standing at the top of an unofficial bar street of San Cristobal de las Casas – Via Eclesiatico. Here you will find quite a few bars but also restaurants, taco joints and really nice coffee shops. This street was a bit too touristy and pricy for my liking, but I liked strolling it nevertheless.

As you walk those streets and pass its landmarks, you will really get the feel of the city. You’ll walk past different parts of the town, some full of bars, shops and restaurants, some dotted with small artisan jewellery shops until you finally arrive at Real Guadelupe – the most charming and important pedestrian-friendly street of San Cristobal de las Casas.

This is where all the most popular bars and restaurants are located as well as cool bakeries, Kinoki cinema and many artisan ad souvenir stores. It is lively all day until late evening with street artists and vendors, and even though it is the most touristy part of the town, I just loved this street! It will take you all the way to the Guadelupe church on the hill – the best viewpoint in the city.

On the other side of the town, you will find another great viewpoint – Iglesia San Cristobalito. You can make it an excellent viewpoint to viewpoint walk if you’d like 🙂

Those are just a few San Cristobal de las Casas landmarks but trust me if you dedicate a bit of time every day for town walking, you will find numerous squares, churches, coffee shops and cute alleys painted in incredible murals.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Learn about the culture and history of San Cristóbal de las Casas

San Cristóbal de las Casas has a fascinating history, but it also offers a sad contrast against the backdrop of magic, colonial architecture, and tourism. 

The state of Chiapas has the largest proportion of indigenous people in the whole of Mexico, but it is also one of the poorest states in the country. Local indigenous communities suffer from a lack of employment, education, investment, opportunities and systemic exclusion from society. Chiapas is an important state to visit if you’d like to understand indigenous history in Mexico. While there, I believe it is appropriate to learn about those problems, support local communities and participate in workshops or events run by locals. 

In Chiapas, 81.7 per cent of children live below the poverty line, which means most of those kids go to bed hungry. I am not saying it to influence you to give money to every begging kid or buy every scarf or blanket being sold on the street. Yet when visiting a region like this, we should be aware of their struggles and contribute to the region’s growth as much as we can.

So pick a locally owned restaurant instead of Burger King. Buy street food (delicious marquesitas!!!) instead of Taco Bell. And treat street vendors with respect; they are trying to do what they can, to make ends meet. 

San Cristobal, as the cultural capital of Chiapas, offers numerous workshops and events you can participate in and immerse yourself in local culture and support local communities – and you won’t have to look far! On Calle Ejercito Nacional you will find ‘Steps’ where daily cultural events are held, including cooking workshops and community storytime where local legends and ceremonies history are being told by locals. It is a great welcoming place, and I highly recommend stepping in. 

Why not support local artists and businesses, like independent cinema Kinoki (offering independent movies and cultural events), Pulqueria La Mayahuel, a family-owned restaurant hosting poetry nights and live music or famous Taniperla, a restaurant that hosts gatherings, music and features Indigenous art. 

And of course, a visit to San Cris wouldn’t be complete without learning about the Zapatistas – movement for Indigenous rights that eventually resulted in an uprising against the Mexican government. This group of primarily indigenous guerilla fighters briefly took over the city in the late ’90s to demand justice and democracy for indigenous people in southern Mexico. Zapatista-inspired murals, restaurants, souvenir shops, and events can be found all over the city. 

Many travellers interested in this part of Mexican history come by San Cristobal to encounter the remnants and learn first-hand about this turbulent history. Visiting the Zapatista village of Oventic just outside of San Cristobal de las Casas is a great way to learn some more. It is a show village run by the Zapatistas for their semi-independent communities. They do welcome tourists, and you will be able to visit museums dedicated to Zapatista history.

But be aware that they will open only when they want to, and there’s no way of knowing until you get there! In fact, my friend went there just to find out it was closed – so it’s the risk you need to take. 

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Don’t forget about the coffee and cacao!

Did you know that southern Mexico is the birthplace of chocolate? Now you know, so drinking hot cacao in San Cristobal de las Casas is an experience you cannot miss!! The same goes for coffee. Chiapas is one of the largest exporters of organic coffee, and there are many fantastic coffee shops in town. It was the first time in San Cris when I tried a pure cacao drink (no milk!). It was delicious, and I will never have cacao as we know it in Europe ever again.

You can also visit Kakaw Museum – a chocolate museum that documents and shows the historical and cultural heritage of cacao where you can also experience cacao tasting. 

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Visit San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan

Even if you don’t do anything else in San Cristobal, you must visit the indigenous village of San Juan Chamula. In fact, this is one of those things to do in San Cristobal de la Casas that you simply cannot skip!

Visiting San Juan Chamula was probably one of the most surreal events during my travels. San Juan Chamula is an indigenous town near San Cristobal, and its inhabitants have largely preserved pre-Hispanic cultures and customs. The town also appreciates its unique autonomous status within Mexico. But what is the most curious thing about Chamula is its church, more precisely – what is happening inside of the church. 

What is happening inside of Iglesia San Juan Batista is unlike any other religious ceremony you have seen (I would assume). Worshipers engage in unique rituals involving activities not seen in any Christian temple, including chicken sacrifice. Inside, you will find floors covered in pine needles for people to sit on, candles spread across the floor and randomly put on tables. All lit. People chant prayers in their dialect, drink soft drinks and pox (traditional spirit) and occasionally sacrifice a chicken. I was so taken aback by this experience that I dedicated a separate article to it. 

If you take an organized tour, you will most likely visit another village of Zinacantan, which is known for its textiles and women weaving cooperatives. It is a completely different village, and I suggest to do on a separate trip (as you will need a break after visiting Chamula!), but if you are short on time – you can take a day trip to see both. Zinacantan is definitely worth a visit as it is known as the flower village, and greenhouses of flowers dot the area. 

San Juan Chamula - The Strangest Village in Mexico

Explore San Cristobal de las Casas food  and party scene 

San Cristobal de las Casas, the cultural capital of Chiapas, has a lot to offer when it comes to the food scene. You will find tons of restaurants and eateries suitable for every taste and budget. What’s more, San Cristobal is one of the most affordable places in Mexico to indulge in eating and drinking out. 

Plenty of great restaurants serving traditional food as well as international cuisine, coffee shops and bars with life music – you will be truly entertained!

Pachamama is one of the most popular restaurants on Real Guadalupe. It serves a variety of foods like pizzas and pasta, and it is always packed. Not the cheapest, but definitely worth giving it a go. For tacos, I highly recommend El Mesón del Taco, and for the traditional menu del dia, you need to try El Mercadito. For lunch, pop into La Espirituosa or Frontera – lovely set in the hidden garden where you can have great food and try some pox or craft beer at the same time 🙂

But for proper pox tasting, pop into Posheria. You could not say you were in San Cristobal de las Casas if you didn’t visit La Viña de Bacco. For 25MXN, you will get a very decent glass of wine, salted popcorn and free tapas.  

Veganos La Taceria has incredible vegan meat tacos and runs daily offers on either tacos or burritos!

I also really enjoyed spending afternoons at El Cau. It is a charming little wine bar offering happy hour on cocktails in the afternoon, some free tapas and featuring salsa lessons every Thursday.  

You also have to visit Roots bakery! They have not only the most incredible pastries, bread and french baguettes but also pizza slices (really delicious) and great savoury pastries you could grab for a quick breakfast or lunch. 

And if you like a lively local bar with live music and a great vibe – you have to visit El Naufragio. It is a hidden gem that not many tourists know about. I had one of the best nights there. Their atmosphere is incredible, the live music very interesting, and it feels very local but welcoming. You will not regret it!

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

Take part in temazcal ceremony san Cristóbal de las Casas

Temazcal is a house of sweat and is a traditional Mexican ceremony worth taking part in.

Temazcal is an ancient tradition of indigenous people of Mexico and it is an allegory to the womb of mother earth, where those who enter are born again. It is meant to be a cleansing ritual. A dome-like small structure made of blocks of cement, stone or mud. Once everyone has gathered inside, steaming volcanic rocks are placed in the middle of the circle and water is then poured over these stones to produce steam for the sweat lodge. 

Ceremonies usually last for two or more hours and are typically led by a spiritual leader called a shaman or temazcalero. It is often accompanied by shaman-led series of thanksgiving or chanting. I was considering taking part in it, but I wasn’t sure if it would be something I’d feel comfortable doing – too much heat and sweat! Yet it is said that ‘Temazcals are meant to purify not just the body but the mind and soul—healing you from the inside out.’

Best Day Trips from San Cristobal de las Casas

If you are a nature lover and would like to explore the incredible surroundings of San Cristobal there is also plenty to choose from. 

Day trip to Cañon del Sumidero / Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

Cañon del Sumidero is the most popular day trip from San Cristobal de las Casas. It is famous for its beauty, magnificent size, and abundant wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and crocodiles that live around the canyon.

The Sumidero Canyon Tour is a full-day activity, and I recommend taking an organized tour. You can take a bus to Chiapa de Corzo and take a boat from there, but it won’t be much cheaper. With the organized tour, you will be picked up at 9 am at your hotel in San Cristobal, and you will return at around 3 pm. The tour consists of a boat ride along the incredible canyon, a visit to a panoramic viewpoint and a tour of Chiapa de Corzo.

Many tour operators in San Cristobal offer Sumidero Canyon Tour, yet it can be a hit and miss. With some, you don’t get to see the viewpoint or spend more time driving than enjoying the sights. Do your research and seek recommendations, or you can book it online here.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Photo by Zoe Goes Places
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Photo by Zoe Goes Places

Cañon del Sumidero Photo Credit / Zoe from Zoe Goes Places

Visit El Arcotete Park

Located only around one hour walk from the centre of San Cristobal, El Arcotete Park boasts some of the best outdoor activities. This hidden gem is more popular with travelling Mexicans than with backpackers.

It is a beautiful park featuring an incredible cave system, a photogenic natural limestone arch alongside well-maintained hiking trails along the river and a series of zip lines. You will also be able to stroll over suspension bridges and under impressive natural rock formations. Great active day out in nature!

There entrance fee to the park is 10 MXN and an additional 15 MXN if you want to enter the caves. The zip line costs 100 MXN per person.

El Chiflon Waterfalls / Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

Visiting El Chiflon waterfalls is another incredible way to spend a day discovering Chiapas natural wonders. Those 5 powerful waterfalls located 3 hour drive from San Cristobal de as Casas offers not only mesmerizing views but also the opportunity to take a great hike and to swim in turquoise natural water pools. 

Visiting El Chiflon Waterfalls will make you fall in love with the region and might just be one of the most beautiful waterfalls you have seen! You can get there by public bus or driving, but most travellers choose to take an organized tour from San Cristobal de las Casas.  

The tour includes a hotel pick-up in San Cristobal, a visit to Chiffon waterfalls including a boat tour, and a swim at Montebello Lakes National Park, followed by a hotel drop-off.

Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide
Why You Need to Visit Magical San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico at Least Once! Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas / complete guide

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They claim this insurance is a ‘A fully-equipped health insurance made for remote workers and nomads who spend as much time abroad as they please. Full coverage in your home country, and no exclusions for pandemics.’

How Many days do I need for a stay in San Cristobal de as Casas

Probably a month wouldn’t be enough. But even 2 days is better than nothing.

You could probably visit San Cristobal de as Casas for a couple of days, but you will indeed regret you haven’t reserved more time.

I recommend staying in San Cristobal de as Casas for at least 5 days to truly experience its magic and have some time for a day trip or two. This town is full of surprises and tonnes of things to do and nearly everyone I met, extended their stay. 

The optimal time for San Cristobal de as Casas to stay would be anything from a week to a couple of months. I’m not kidding.

Where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas 

San Cristobal de las Casas has many great accommodation options, but some are just a bit better or even more iconic than other. 

Puerta Vieja Hostel has been recommended to me numerous times mainly due to its social vibe as well as excellent free breakfast and free evening social meals. 

My friend stayed in Posada del Abuelito, and she loved it! I wanted to book a dorm there as well, but it was fully booked back then so make sure you book it well in advance. It is a great cosy hostel with a fireplace and delicious complimentary breakfast. La Abuelita Hostal & Terraza is also a great choice if you are looking for a safe hostel with great living space and a fireplace. 

I stayed in La Chulada hotel mostly because I loved their dorms. I really like big dorms with loads of privacy and curtains. Their kitchen is also amazing! I loved cooking there. I also made loads of great friends, and they have the most beautiful dog! I loved it there and made great memories!

For a private room with a desk (in case you want to get some work done), I recommend Casa Azabache. And if you are after a little bit of luxury and looking for a great boutique hotel, I recommend  Sereno Art Hotel or Casa Santa Lucia for a more authentic vibe. 

essential solo travel tips and hacks for solo travel and backpacking/guide to solo travel

Useful Information About San Cristobal de las Casas

 

Pack accordingly. San Cristobal de las Casas enjoys strange mountainous weather. Days can be pretty warm, and you can often get away with wearing shorts and vest tops. The moment the sun goes down, it gets cold. But really cold, the jacket kind of cold. The nights are cold too, and although many hostels offer extra blankets, I recommend you pack some warm pj’s and socks. You’ll thank me later!

Take a rain jacket or poncho. If you don’t have a warm jacket, don’t worry, there are plenty of shops around the town where you can get really cool warm sweaters and ponchos!

San Cristobal de las Casas is safe. I walked around during the day and in the evening, sometimes alone, and never felt unsafe. Of course, use common sense and don’t venture alone at night into darl unknown streets. But generally, I felt very safe in San Cris.

San Cristobal de las Casas is a popular getaway to Central America and the perfect place to end or start your Mexican travels. In fact, it’s very common for travellers to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border at La Mesilla, which is what I did, and you can read about it in this post. You can travel from Panajachel, Xela, or Flores in Guatemala all the way to San Cristobal.

You cannot drink the water in San Cristobal de las Casas which is also true for the rest of Mexico. Luckily all hostels offer a free water refill, so bring your own bottle and save the planet and some pesos.

How to get to San Cristobal de las Casas? It s very easy to get to San Cristobal de las Casas from Palenque, Merida or Cancun on an overnight bus (although the latter takes ages, and I recommend a stop in Palenque or Merida). To get to San Cristobal de las Casas from Oaxaca, Mexico City, or other further parts of the country, you will have to take the flight to Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport. From there, you can either hop on a bus or a taxi.

That’s it, folks! This is my guide to San Cristobal de las Casas – hopefully, it will be of good help on your trip. 

I hope… what am I talking about – I know you will love this town as much as I did! let me know what you think and if I missed something please let me know as well! Have a lovely trip!

This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you purchase the product or make a booking via one of my links, I will receive a small commission. Please know that I will never recommend or promote a product I don’t believe in or haven’t used. This way, you are supporting this blog at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

If you are wondering if Merida is worth visiting, click here to find out! And if you are looking for a complete guide to Valladolid, you will find it here!

Considering a trip to the yellow town of Izamal? Check out this guide for a perfect day trip guide. And if you are planning to enter Mexico from Guatemala via land border head over to my guide here!

While in San Cristobal you should definitely visit Chamula, the strangest town in Mexico. If you are heading towards Palenque don’t miss my comprehensive guide here!

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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I have caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and try to spend as much time and effort to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 

 

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