The Magical Mountain City of San Cristobal de las Casas

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San Cristobal de las Casas is a truly magical city, nestled in a valley deep in the colorful region of Chiapas. Named as one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos, it is a city bursting with cultural riches, pre-Hispanic traditions and surrounded by mountainous views.

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Approximately 2,200 meters above sea level with incredible views and a delightfully cool climate, San Cristobal de las Casas is within an area largely inhabited by indigenous people who have been here for hundreds of years; the Tzotzil people live both in the city itself and the surrounding towns and villages and are famous for their unique practices of Syncretism. Now, there is much more cultural diversity in the city as people come from all over the world to soak up the romantic atmosphere. It’s a popular destination for travelers and backpackers who are discovering the mysteries of Chiapas or starting or finishing a trip through Southern Mexico, where many come to explore the Mayan ruins.

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To discover the beating heart of San Cristobal de las Casas, take a walk through the center of town. The square is perfect for people-watching and enjoying daily city life. Sit on benches in the shade of the trees or on the steps of the cathedral, painted in a deep golden yellow, and watch the vendors selling handicrafts from all over the region.

Continue your walk through the other central neighbourhoods lined with cobbled streets, brightly painted houses and many shops and markets. Take a stroll up the Real de Guadalupe which is a vibrant and busy pedestrianized avenue with many street performers, market stalls and cafes and bars. Intricately decorated wood carvings, beautiful and unique embroidery and jewelry and much more line shop windows and adorn the small street stalls. For the best views of the city, climb up to one of the churches and temples from which you can see the tiled rooves, winding streets of the city and surrounding misty mountains.

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Don’t forget to try the coffee! The region of Chiapas is a well-known for its production of organic coffee so make sure to try some while you’re here. With many varieties ranging in flavor from sweet and chocolatey to bitter and strong, there’s something for all coffee lovers! If you’re visiting during the winter months, sit in a café window enjoying a coffee and the passersby. In the evening, try pox, a locally produced liquor, perfect to warm you up in the winter!

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San Cristobal de las Casas is a perfect base for adventure tourism. Perhaps the most popular site to visit is the famous Canyon del Sumidero. Take a boat ride through one of the most amazing places in the country and enjoy the incredible scenery, interesting rock formations and waterfalls. Look out for the crocodiles and spider monkeys!

Visit nearby towns such as the Magic Town of Chiapa de Corzo or the Tzotzil community in San Juan de Chamula. For the more adventurous, go for a bike ride or take a horseback riding trail through the surrounding countryside. Book a tour and enjoy the forests, ranches, farms and small communities where you will learn about the wonderful people of Chiapas.

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The Magical Mountain City of San Cristobal de las Casas

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