San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

San Cristobal Cross[layerslider id=”4578″]

Welcome to San Cristobal de las Casas, the cultural capital of Chiapas and one of the best preserved colonial towns in Mexico, with a relaxed bohemian feel. Home to traditionally dressed indigenous people and modern day Mexicans this city is rich in Mexican heritage.


Country: Mexico
State: Chiapas
Founded: 1528
Population (2010): 185,917
Airport: Corazón de María Airport

San Cristobal de las Casas has so much to stimulate the senses. Walking along its cobble stoned streets and wondering into the shops, bars and markets is a great way to spend a few days. Relaxed and safe, this city is full of delightful barrios (neighbourhoods) ripe for exploration. This is a city of many beautiful churches but make sure to check out the wonderful Cathedral with its incredibly detailed baroque facade painted in yellow and orange colours that glow when the sun sets behind the surrounding hills. In front of the main door of the Cathedral, there is a beautiful plaza with a large decorated cross symbolizing the Mayan belief that the male and female are sacred and represent arbol de ceiba, the tree of life. Locals gather in this plaza and in the evening there are some food stalls and a pleasant atmosphere. San Cristobal has rich cultural traditions and is home to the Tzotzil and Tzeltal indigenous groups, famous for their textiles, amber products and ceramics, which make for perfect souvenirs to take home. You will see many of the locals wearing traditional dress as you walk around. For more insight into the indigenous people, head to San Juan Chamula, a small town near San Cristobal, that is home to the Tzotzil community. Go on a Sunday to see the traditional handicraft market, check out the local dress of the men and women and visit the quaint church in the central plaza aswell. The Museo de Medicina Maya in San Cristobal is a great way to learn about the medicine of the indigenous Mayan people that is still practised today in San Juan Chamula. In San Cristobal, more traditional souvenirs can be found at the outdoor market at the Santo Tomas church, great for souvenirs, local goods and delicious tacos, good even on a rainy day as many of the stalls are covered. And yes, due to its slightly higher altitude (2200m), it can rain here and can get chilly at night. Climb the zig zag steps of the Cerro de Guadalupe hill to the east of town to reach the pretty Guadalupe Church and get a great view of the city below. Visit the Orquideas Moxviquil to see an lovely array of orchids and other botanical plant life. Head out of town to explore the wonderful surrounding hills and country side by grabbing a taxi to Huitepec Ecological Reserve or booking a tour to see the incredible Sumidero Canyon.

  • Colonial Architecture
  • Mayan Ruins
  • Indigenous People
  • Local Cuisine
  • Eco Parks
  • Spanish Schools
  • Night Life
  • ATV Adventures
  • Coffee Tours

The national recognition of the city’s important to Mexican cultural heritage is evident as San Cristobal de las Casas was recognized as a national historic city in 1974, given Pueblo Mágico status in 2003 and designated the ‘most magical of the Pueblos Mágicos’ in 2010.