Glad We Came to Comitán

We were so in love with San Cristobal de las Casas that we began to doubt anything could be better just two hours down the highway and we considered cutting Comitán from the itinerary.

Comitán is a colonial town, calmer, smaller, more authentic and the people were so friendly. It was lower in elevation but was still refreshingly comfortable.

Parque Central Benito Juárez is very attractive and clean.
It has such unusually pruned trees.

Comitán de Domínguez is the official name, but everyone calls it Comitán. It (as well as San Cris) is one of Mexico’s 132 Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Villages) which is a site of symbolism, legend, gastronomy and/or history which shows national identity and provides opportunity to discover Mexico’s enchantment.

Comitán was founded on June 20, 1556 by Dominican friars traveling north from Guatemala and started Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán (and monastery) which faces the main plaza.
Typical of colonial cities, the main plaza is flanked by both the main church and the Municipal Palace (government building).

In fact, I learned that the entire state of Chiapas was part of Guatemala. First, they won their independence and then they voted to belong to the United Mexican States.

The section (pictured here) shows the different indigenous groups (each represented by their typical dress) holding up their finger after having voted to be a part of Mexico.
I went into the Municipal Palace to view a mural called “Genesis and History of the Corn People. The guard on duty gave me an explanation. This section shows the Maya planting corn, the arrival of the Spaniards and the senator Belisario Domínguez (shown naked) who was born in Comitán and for whom the town is named, who gave a memorable speech during the Mexican Revolution against the dictator for which he was murdered, as well as Benito Juárez (seated) the first Mexican president of indigenous heritage.
The main plaza is lined with restaurants with both outdoor and indoor dining.
Santo Domingo at night. The square is lively in the evening with street vendors selling tacos, tostados, empanadas, and tamales, cotton candy, ice cream and such.
The town is situated on top of a hill.
Templo del Calvario.

Walking the streets of Comitán is to walk through centuries of history. There are many colonial churches.

Templo of San José.
Colonial houses are built around a central garden with flowers, trees and fountains.
Many restored colonial buildings house museums, restaurants and hotels.
The Rosario Castellanos Cultural Center is in the prior monastery of Santo Domingo with a view of the bell tower.
There were many vendors in the Main Plaza – very popular with the locals. I tried some street food, a plate of 4 potato empanadas for 12 Mexican pesos (.58 cents).
This city has many art installations. This one shows a marimba and other musicians. Marimba music is typical of the state of Chiapas and live marimba music is played in the park Thursday and Sunday evenings.

I am so glad we did not cut out Comitán because we were really surprised by what we found there and enjoyed our visit.

We stayed at El Corazón del Café Boutique Hotel just 3 years old and conveniently located. It was a real gem. The Cost of Travel: Chiapas will be posted soon.

Sitting in the park and enjoying the piped marimba music was so peaceful. The absence of pushy vendors like we encountered in San Cristobal de las Casas was a plus.

Many of the tourists are Mexican nationals. Not many foreign visitors stay here, although many tourists take day excursions from San Cristóbal de las Casas to see Comitán’s beautiful surrounding sites: Lagos de Montebello National Park and El Chiflón Cascadas.

I’ll Meet You in the Morning and show you the awesome beauty of the Chiflón Waterfalls.

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