Practically Perfect: San Cristobal de las Casas

We are loving the colorful colonial Pueblo Mágico called San Cristobal de las Casas (which I’ll call San Cris or SCDLC for short.)

The gazebo in the center of the main plaza which they call El Zócalo. The following 2 photos all face the square.
This church is on one side of the main plaza.
Building on another side of the main plaza.

San Cris was founded by the Spaniards as Villa Real de Chiapa in 1528 and sits in a small valley at 7,200’ elevation surrounded by hills. The average daily high temperature ranges between a perfect 62-75° and there are many cute coffee shops and restaurants.

In the indigenous Tzotzil and Tzeltal languages the name of the area is Jovel, “the place in the clouds.” How appropriate!
The biggest surprise was discovering a Starbucks across from the main square in head to head competition with local coffee roasters and coffee shops. Chiapas is a coffee growing region.
There are many old churches but they are fenced off and closed due to damage from a 2017 earthquake, not due to Covid as I had presumed.
This bell tower, known as the Arco de El Carmen, was constructed in 1677.
A market is set up in front of this beautifully ornate but closed church.
The historic center is mostly Spanish colonial red-roofed architecture.
Walking requires constant vigilance. There is a lot of traffic on the streets. Sidewalks are very narrow and up to a couple of feet above street level. There are constant steps up and down plus the awkward slant wherever a driveway crosses the sidewalk.
We are staying in the central Historic Zone and are very pleased with the Estancia Hotel the newer wing inside a colonial building that also houses the Hotel Parador Margarita and is located only 2 blocks to the walking street.
There are two pedestrian walking streets. This is one of the two walking streets.
The other walking street. The street vendors are very persistent.
We visited the Amber Museum and learned how tree resin drips from a tree trapping an insect or other organic material in its stickiness before hardening. Zoom in to see insects a la Jurassic Park. Amber ranges in color from clear to black.
A Mayan god carved from a chunk of amber.
We wandered through the food market.
We are eating well. There is a large variety of food options besides Mexican. We’ve seen Thai, Korean, Italian, Subway, pizza and hamburgers. Clockwise: hamburger, Chile relleno, chilaquiles, bread soup.
We visited the church of San Cristobal at the top of this hill.
Looking down to San Cris from the San Cristóbal viewpoint.

How does one get to SCDLC? We, of course, took the less expensive way instead of a private taxi – a price difference of $11 versus $36.

  • Taxi from hotel to the Santa Fe colectivo site. A colectivo is a shared van.
  • The road to SCDLC went up, up, up and there was lots of passing!
  • Taxi to hotel.
A page from the Travel Wallet app showing our Transportation cost from Chiapa de Corzo to SCDLC.
For $40 a night ($1200 a month) I have a bed, garden, wifi, electricity and someone who makes my bed, cleans, and takes out the trash.
Practically Perfect!

We hate to leave San Cris. With over a dozen museums there is much more that we could see and do. But that’s okay, maybe someday we’ll return.

“I love you San Cris”

We’re heading down the road two hours to a town 1900’ lower in elevation. We’ll let you know what Comitán is like when we Meet You in the Morning!

3 responses to “Practically Perfect: San Cristobal de las Casas

  1. Definitely looks more rigorous than this creaky body could endure, but I loved seeing San Cristobal vicariously! Thanks as always for sharing.


    • Thanks for your comment Cathy. Without Ibuprofen it would be too hard for me. Travel is best done young but I’m going to keep plowing on and hope it helps.


  2. Pingback: Magical Izamal | Meet You In The Morning·

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