Heading to the cultural capital of Chiapas? Here’s my curated list of things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas and a comprehensive travel guide.
The crown jewel of Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas is a pueblo mágico (magical town) bursting with colors and Indigenous culture. Perched at an elevation of over 7,200 feet (2,200 meters), San Cris – as it’s affectionately known – is lined with cobblestoned streets and terracotta-roofed colonial houses, surrounded by misty mountains and hilltop churches. Indigenous Tzoztil ladies saunter along the sidewalks in their embroidered huilpil, hawking beautiful artisan and textiles.
Under the colorful surface of this pueblos mágico lies a dark history. An armed insurgency by the Zapatistas ( a socialist militant group) in the ’90s that went on until recently, made the Mexican army a fixture in the region. It crippled the development of the state, making it one of the poorest in the country. However, thanks to the increased police presence, San Cristobal has become of the safest cities in Mexico.
For those curious about Chiapas culture, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas based on my recent solo trip there. I hope it helps you to take a deep dive beneath the surface of charming San Cris.
Table of Contents
- Things to Do in San Cristóbal de las Casas
- 1. Start at Plaza de la Paz
- 2. Admire the Cathedral
- The 2017 Earthquake that Shook San Cris
- 3. Take a Free Walking Tour
- 4. Stroll Along the Pedestrianized Streets
- 5. Climb up to the Iglesia Guadalupe
- 6. Admire the Arco del Carmen
- 7. Browse the Mercado de Artesania
- Food/Water Precautions in San Cris
- 8. See the Iglesia de Santo Domingo
- 9. Visit the Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya
- 10. Get Lost in the Mercado Municipal
- The Coca-Cola Controversy in Chiapas
- 11. Visit the Casa Na Bolom
- 12. Marvel at the Jade Museum
- 13. Wander around the Museo del Ámbar
- 14. Hike up to San Cristobalito
- 15. Take a Trolley Tour
- 16. Admire Street Art and Zapatista Murals
- 17. Visit the Art Gallery at Plaza Libertad
- 18. Get Cultured at La Cosecha Librería
- 19. Try Pox at La Espirituosa
- 20. Drink Coffee at Cafeología
- 21. Have a Chocolate Tasting at Cacao Nativa
- 22. Hang Out at Esquina San Agustín
- 23. See Traditional Dances at Las Pichanchas
- 24. Hit the Rooftop Bars at Sunset
- Things to Do around San Cristobal de las Casas
- San Cristobal de las Casas Travel Guide
Things to Do in San Cristóbal de las Casas
1. Start at Plaza de la Paz
Like most of the magic towns in Mexico, San Cristóbal de las Casas has a main square, which acts as the heart of the city center. But what sets San Cris apart is that it has two main squares: the Zocalo, known as the Vicente Espinoza park, is a leafy green space with a series of fountains and pagodas; right next to it stands Plaza de la Paz, a wide open space known more for anti-government protests and the nightly open air market.
2. Admire the Cathedral
Overlooking the Plaza de la Paz is the Cathedral, a baroque-style colonial building built in 1528. The Cathedral has a striking yellow-and-ochre façade featuring Baroque, Mudejar and Neoclassical elements.
This 16th century building has become one of the most important symbols of San Cristóbal, both for its architecture and reputation as the Cathedral of Peace. Sadly, it’s been closed for visits since the earthquake of September 7, 2017. Every evening, there’s an open air market right in front of the Cathedral.
The 2017 Earthquake that Shook San Cris
On Sept 7, 2017, the southern Pacific coast of Mexico was hit by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake. Many historical monuments in San Cristobal de las Casas were affected by the earthquake, and most of them are still being restored today.
During my visit in June 2022, many of the major sights like the Catedral and Iglesia de Santo Domingo were still closed for restoration. The government has promised to restore all of the historical buildings that were affected by the earthquake.
3. Take a Free Walking Tour
I love doing free walking tours in new cities I visit (especially when I’m traveling solo) as it’s a great way to get my bearings and meet fellow travelers. The free walking tour is one of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas.
My guide shared with us plenty of interesting insights, including snippets about Chiapas’ anti-government Zapatista movement and Coca-Cola hogging Chiapas’ clean water supply (more on that later). These are things you won’t learn from wandering the streets on your own.
TIP: The free walking tours run daily at 10am and 5pm, and the meeting point is right at the cross on Plaza de la Paz. Although they are ‘free’ walking tours, a tip is expected. The standard is around 100 MXN (US$5) per person.
4. Stroll Along the Pedestrianized Streets
San Cris’ historical center is compact and walkable, thanks to the large leafy parks and pedestrianized streets that are interconnected to one another. Calle Real de Guadalupe is the main artery of the city that’s gloriously car-free and lined with eclectic bars, chocolate cafes, travel agencies, and indie boutiques. If you keep walking to the end, you’ll reach the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Church) built on top of the hill and accessed via a series of steps.
Another pedestrianized street is the Andador del Carmen (Calle Miguel Hidalgo), with colorful papel picado (cut-out flags) hanging overhead and modern bars/restaurants flanking the street. This street gets even more lively at night and it’s where you’ll find many of the best bars in town.
5. Climb up to the Iglesia Guadalupe
Perched at the top of a hill, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Church) offers commanding views over the city of San Cristobal. The church was built in 1712 on the site of a former Aztec temple, and it’s one of the oldest churches in Chiapas. The rococo altar is covered in gold leaf, and there’s a small museum inside with religious artifacts from the colonial era.
TIP: The church is only open from 9am – 1pm and 4 – 6pm, so plan your visit accordingly. It’s a popular spot for sunset and by night, though I don’t recommend coming here alone after dark.
6. Admire the Arco del Carmen
The car-free Andador del Carmen street leads to the Arco del Carmen, an archway that dates back to the 18th century to mark the entrance to the village. It’s located on the main square in front of the Santo Domingo Church and is a popular meeting place for locals.
The archway is decorated with colorful papel picado year-round, but it’s especially pretty during Day of the Dead and Christmas. It’s also a popular spot for live music and performances, so keep an eye out for any events happening here during your visit.
7. Browse the Mercado de Artesania
The markets in San Cristóbal are famous for a reason: the textiles and handicrafts you’ll find here are some of the best in the country. Plus, they are better quality and cheaper than anywhere else in Mexico.
The largest market in San Cristobal de las Casas is located right by the Santo Domingo Church, and it’s my favorite market in town. I bought a leather handbag with huipil embroidering for just 400 MXN ($20). The same one would have cost around 600 MXN ($30) in Merida and up to 1000 MXN ($50) in Cancun.
Food/Water Precautions in San Cris
On my way to San Cris, I was warned by many travelers to be careful with what I drink and eat as "8 out of 10 travelers get sick from the food here". It's true that the water supply in Chiapas isn't the best. Coca-Cola has been hogging the clean water supply of Chiapas and drying up their wells (more on that in the next box).
The tap water here is undrinkable, make sure you don't use it to wash your fruit or vegetables. I used it to brush my teeth and had no problems. Also, sanitize your hands more than normal and avoid street food to stay healthy.
8. See the Iglesia de Santo Domingo
The Santo Domingo Church is clearly visible behind the tightly-packed stalls of the artisan market, which is worth a closer look. The enormous church, which was originally a Dominican monastery built in the late 16th century and named for the Spanish monk who established the Dominican order, may be viewed from outside.
Sadly the church has been closed for restoration works since 2017. But inside the church, there are exhibits on pre-Spanish history including various archeological artifacts. The courtyard of the monastery is a beautiful botanic garden featuring several species of native plants.
9. Visit the Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya
Housed in a two-story building attached to the Iglesia de Santo Domingo, the Centro de Textiles showcases over 500 examples of handwoven textiles from throughout Mexico and Central America. There are two permanent exhibition areas exhibiting and videos explaining how textiles and clothing are produced, with English translations. Admission to the museum costs 60 MXN (US$3).
10. Get Lost in the Mercado Municipal
Around the corner of the artisan market is the Municipal Market, a smorgasbord of taco stands, butcher shops, and grocery stalls. Once inside, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the jumble of smells and sounds. The market is indeed a labyrinth and getting lost is just part of the experience.
Wandering around the Municipal Market was one of my favorite things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas and I highly recommend foodies to check out the street stalls here. It’s a great spot to try the quintessential Chiapas specialty, Cochito al Horno (pork meat roasted with ancho peppers and spices).
TIP: Always ask the local people before taking a photo of them or their products. They don’t always like having their picture taken.
The Coca-Cola Controversy in Chiapas
Chiapas is the world's top consumers of Coca-Cola: Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands drink almost 2.2 liters of Coca-Cola on average a day!The effect on public health has been devastating. Diabetes is now the second-leading cause of death in the state after heart disease, claiming more than 3,000 lives every year.
So why are locals hooked on Coca-Cola? Firstly, potable water is scarce in San Cristobal; some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week. Coca-Cola, in turn, is easy to find everywhere and is cheaper than a mineral water.
Conspiracy theorists claim that Coca-Cola sent Protestants here in the '90s to influence indigenous groups into using the drink in their rituals. In fact, I've personally seen the shamans in San Juan Chamula offering Coca-Cola to the gods as part of their ritual.
11. Visit the Casa Na Bolom
If you can only visit one museum in San Cristóbal de las Casas – make it Casa Na Bolom or Casa de Jaguar. The museum is essentially the old home of Frans and Trudy Blom, two fascinating explorers who dedicated their lives to preserving the surrounding Mayan cultures’ culture and history.
The pair spent more than 50 years in Chiapas, collecting tools and other items connected with the Lacandon Jungle and indigenous cultures. Of the various rooms, the one showcasing the Lacandon culture is the most interesting. Entry is 40 MXN (US$2.10) and the museum is a 10-minute walk from the historical centre.
12. Marvel at the Jade Museum
Chiapas is famous for its jade – a semi-precious stone used by the ancient Maya in everything from tools to jewelry. The small Jade Museum is located right by the Plaza de la Paz, with just a few pieces of jade on display and info on the history and mythology of jade.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. It was free admission when I visited but the museum is moving to a different location and that might change.
13. Wander around the Museo del Ámbar
Amber is another semi-precious stone that has been used throughout history in Chiapas to make amulets, jewelry, and art works. This award-winning museum was opened in 2000 and contains more than 300 pieces of fossilized resin.
The museum itself is small, but it’s got a beautiful setting backdropped by the San Cristobalito hill. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm, and 4 – 7pm, with an admission fee of 40 MXN (US$2).
14. Hike up to San Cristobalito
On the top of the hill behind the Museo del Ámbar is the Templo de San Cristobal, also known as El Cerrito. Built in the late 18th century, the temple is located at the top of the San Cristóbal Martyr hill, patron of the city, and reached via a series of steps.
Every July 25, the hill lights up with fireworks, and locals gather here with music, food, and drinks to venerate the image of this saint. Be sure to visit the tiny chapel that is outside the Church. From here, you have sweeping views over San Cristóbal de las Casas and the surrounding mountains.
15. Take a Trolley Tour
An alternative way to explore the city is on the city’s trolley tour. The open-air trolley passes by all the major sights in San Cristobal, and it’s a fun way to see the city especially if you’re traveling with kids.
The trolley tour starts from the base of the Guadalupe Church and tickets can be purchased on board for 60 MXN (US$3) per person. The tour lasts for about 45 minutes.
16. Admire Street Art and Zapatista Murals
Amidst the historical center of San Cristobal de las Casas, you’ll find lots of edgy graffiti and psychedelic street art adorning numerous buildings. Street art here often makes political statements, with some of the most famous murals being those that support the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a left-wing rebel group based in Chiapas. You’ll find Zapatista murals all over town but some of the best are on Calle Tonalá and Calle Juarez.
17. Visit the Art Gallery at Plaza Libertad
One of my favorite spaces in San Cristobal de las Casas is Plaza Libertad, a fairly new art gallery housed in a gorgeous colonial building featuring tasteful furnishings and interior design.
The art gallery displays a collection of vibrant, contemporary artwork from all over Mexico, as well as alebrije (mythological animals) sculptures. The gallery runs ceramics workshops and painting classes from time to time. There’s also a beautiful pizzeria with excellent mezcal cocktails on the menu.
18. Get Cultured at La Cosecha Librería
La Cosecha is a cozy bookstore and welcoming space for free culture and meeting, located in the Barrio de Cerrillo, a hilly neighborhood in downtown San Cris. The indie bookstore specializes in Zapatistic history, feminist movements, and the struggles of the indigenous in defending Chiapas. The bookstore also runs readings and workshops. I loved browsing here and then having a cuppa in the Kukulpan cafe across the road.
19. Try Pox at La Espirituosa
A traditional drink you need to try in Chiapas is Pox (pronounced ‘posh’), a fermented, alcoholic beverage made with corn, sugar cane and wheat. It’s similar to Chiapas moonshine but with a higher alcohol concentration and distinct flavor.
The word pox actually means “medicine, cane liquor, cure” in in Tzotzil, the indigenous Mayan language spoken largely in San Cristóbal de las Casas. During religious ceremonies and festivals, the indigenous people tend to use the drink i their rituals.
Many bars provide pox tastings; the one I tried was at El Espirituosa in Jardin Cerrillo. They do a bit of explanation on how best to drink it and let you try the different flavors including hibiscus, cacao and classic pox.
20. Drink Coffee at Cafeología
Did you know that Chiapas is one of the leading exporters of coffee in the world? Chiapas is responsible for 60 percent of Mexico’s total coffee output. While in San Cristóbal, you’ll definitely want to try some local brews (even if you don’t drink coffee, like me). There are plenty of cozy coffee shops and cute cafes to check out here, but Cafeología is numero uno in my list of best cafes in San Cristobal de las Casas.
The coffee is brewed in house and produced by local farmers and prepared by baristas. Plus, the coffee house is super modern and sleek. If you want to dig deeper, try one of the ‘coffee experience’ courses (M$350 to M750 per person).
21. Have a Chocolate Tasting at Cacao Nativa
Chiapas ranks second among the Mexican states in the production of cacao, the product used to make chocolate. The ancient Mayans regarded cacao as a divine gift and utilized the plant and its seeds in a variety of practices, including medicine. I think the hot chocolate in San Cristóbal is the best I’ve ever had and I literally drank hot chocolate every single day when I was there.
Cacao Nativo is a cacao producer with a few outlets in San Cristóbal. They use organic, fair trade cacao and produce all kinds of cacao products, from artisanal chocolate bars to rich and tasty drinking chocolate. If you are interested in learning more, sign up for their bean to bar cacao workshops where you’ll learn more about their ethical sourcing and flavor profiles.
22. Hang Out at Esquina San Agustín
I was honestly surprised to find such a cool, tastefully designed, modern food hall right in the heart of old town San Cristobal. Housed in a refurbished two-storey colonial building, Esquina San Agustín is chock-a-block with international flavors, from Peruvian to Italian. Many of them are considered the best restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas, including 500 Noches and Pizzería El Punto.
I satisfied my craving for Pad Thai at BANGCOOK and it turned out to be the best Pad Thai I’ve had in Mexico to date. The place was pretty bougie but the food wasn’t too expensive, at 160 MXN (US$8) for most main courses.
23. See Traditional Dances at Las Pichanchas
To dive deeper into Chiapas culture, you’ll need to check out Las Pichanchas, one of the best restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas. Established over 40 years ago, this proudly Chiapaneco restaurant boasts a menu with regional dishes like cuchinito al horno and a variety of Chiapas cheese and ham.
This large, colorful venue in San Cris may look like a tourist trap, but it’s got a convivial atmosphere and you’ll hardly see any foreigners. When I visited, the host asked every single table where we were from, and I was the only non-Mexican! Book a table for 8pm and you can enjoy dinner while watching a series of folklore dance from different parts of Chiapas, including the famous Parachicos dance (one of the most distinctive Mexican traditions).
24. Hit the Rooftop Bars at Sunset
Come sunset, head up to the rooftop bars of San Cristobal de las Casas to see panoramic views with a sundowner in hand. La Maldita is well known as the best rooftop bar in San Cris, thanks to its perfect location. It’s a bit tricky to find, as the entrance is hard to spot.
But once you find it, head to the rooftop and feast on the gorgeous view of the city’s thoroughfare and the surrounding mountains. I came here at around 630pm and got to catch sunset while drinking a michelada (beer with an assortment of tomato juice, spices, and sauces).
Things to Do around San Cristobal de las Casas
Thanks to its location, San Cristóbal de las Casas makes an excellent launchpad to the nearby national parks and indigenous villages. Some of Mexico’s coolest waterfalls and canyons are within a 2-hour drive from the city. I stayed in the city for a whole week and managed to pack in quite a few day trips from here. For more details, check out my post on the best day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas.
25. Hike in Arcotete Ecotourism Park
Just 20 minutes north of the Guadalupe Church is Parque Ecoturístico El Arcotete, a nature reserve featuring an incredible cave system with a large limestone archway and a freshwater river that runs right through the middle. The whole area is surrounded by pine trees and lush greenery crisscrossed with hiking trails and picnic spots.
There is an entrance fee of 10 MXN (US$0.5) to enter the park and an additional 15 MXN (US$0.75) if you want to enter inside the caves. There’s also a series of zip line inside the park, which costs 100 MXN per person (US$5). On top of that, boat rides (lancha) along the Fogotico River are also available for just 20 MXN ($1). To get here, catch a colectivo with the sign ‘Arcotete’ from the Mercado Municipal; it costs only 10 MXN ($0.5).
26. Learn about Indigenous Culture in San Juan Chamula
Just a 30-minute drive from San Cristobal de las Casas lies the famous Tzoztil indigenous village, San Juan Chamula. This village has become renown for its prominent Tzoztil tradition, syncretist practice, and animal sacrifice rituals.
Visiting the church in San Juan Chamula was the highlight for me. Instead of rows of benches and a giant altar, you’ll find pine needles covering the floor, candles lit all over the place, and locals are sat deep in prayers or sobbing with grief. Shaman healers walk the aisles collecting offerings in the form of Coca-Cola and pox (a Chiapas alcoholic drink). Other times, it’s a live chicken that gets killed in the church.
You can get there on your own by taxi or colectivo, but booking a guided tour will give you more insights to the indigenous culture and rituals. I booked this day tour online and was pretty satisfied with my guide.
TIP: Photography is strictly prohibited inside the church. This also refers to photographing locals, who are understandably cautious of strangers. Their strong adherence to Mayan tradition has led them to believe that each shot taken from them is stealing a part of their soul.
27. Explore Cañón del Sumidero
In my opinion, the most impressive landscapes of Chiapas lies in Cañón del Sumidero National Park, an hour’s drive from San Cristobal de las Casas. Formed by the Grijalva River, the canyon is absolutely massive, measuring over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) deep in some parts. You can see the sheer scale of it from the numerous viewpoints on the top of the canyon.
But what really makes this place special is the boat ride through it. You’ll get to see how incredibly vast and deep the canyon is as you cruise past walls of lush greenery, towering cliffs, and even the occasional crocodile basking in the sun. Besides crocodiles, the national park is home to other endangered species such as spider monkeys and ocelots.
The boat ride costs 400 MXN per person (US$20) and takes about 2 hours to get to Chiapas de Corzo. The easiest way to get here is on a day tour; I booked this day trip and really enjoyed it.
28. Swim in El Chiflón Waterfalls
Arguably the most impressive waterfalls in Chiapas, El Chiflón is a series of five tiered whitewater falls and turquoise mineral pools, about 2 hours from San Cristobal de las Casas. You’ll find one of the highest waterfalls in Mexico here, known as Cascada Velo de Novial, standing at an impressive 230 feet (70m) tall.
The entry fee to the El Chiflon waterfalls is 50 MXN (US$2.50) per person and you pay for the tickets the entrance of the Ecotourism Center. Once you’re at the park, there’s a short hike of about 15 minutes to get to the first waterfall. From there, it’s another 45-minute hike to get to Cascada Velo de Novia, the tallest of the waterfalls. Take the slippery steps up to El Mirador (viewpoint) with caution and prepare to get wet from the thundering falls.
Be sure to bring a swimming suit and towel if you want to swim in the pools. You can’t just plunge in any pool though; there are designated swimming areas as some parts can be quite dangerous due to the strong currents. I booked this day tour to visit both El Chiflon and Lagos de Montebello, which was an incredibly long day trip, but an easy way to see them without worrying about logistics.
TIP: The best time to visit is during the dry season (January to April) when the waterfalls are gloriously turquoise and spearmint color. When I visited in May, the rainy season was at its peak, it was too chilly to swim, and the water was a dull murky color.
29. Explore the Lagos de Montebello
Most people visit El Chiflon along with Lagos de Montebello, a gorgeous medley of lakes and pine forests close to the Guatemala border. The reserve contains 59 multicolored lakes, a vast expanse of forest, Mayan ruins and a multitude of wildlife.
UNESCO designated the 6,000 hectare area a Biosphere Reserve in 2009. Lake Tziscao is the largest of the lakes in Lagunas de Montebello National Park, and the closest to the border with Guatemala. There are cabins for overnight stays and opportunities to kayak and swim in the lakes. Book a tour to Lagos de Montebello here.
30. Explore the Palenque Ruins
At 200km from San Cris, the ancient city of Palenque is widely regarded as one of the most impressive ancient Maya sites in Mexico. Yet, it receives a fraction of visitors compared to famous sites like Chichen Itza and Tulum ruins. An easy way to get there is to book a day tour from San Cristobal de las Casas that will also bring you to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico. These day tours include transportation, admission, and a guide in Palenque.
Palenque was an important Mayan city during the Classical period from 500 AD until it was abandoned at 900 AD. Palenque’s mightiest ruler, King Pakal, who reigned for 80 years, chose this spot to build his palaces and ceremonial complexes. Today, only 10% of the area has been excavated, but you can already get a sense of the grandeur of this ancient city.
San Cristobal de las Casas Travel Guide
How to Get to San Cristobal de las Casas
The nearest airport to San Cristóbal de las Casas is Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (TGZ), which is 1.5 hours away by car. It’s a relatively small airport and only serves Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Cancun. The only international destination it serves is Guatemala City.
Flights from Cancun to Tutxla Gutierrez are really cheap; I paid US$50 each way even when I booked it the week before flying. Flights from Guatemala City cost only $70 each way.
San Cristóbal is popular with backpackers who travel overland here from Guatemala. There are many tour agencies that offer transport service from Panajachel, Quezaltenango, and Antigua in Guatemala direct to San Cristóbal. The journey usually takes 10-16 hours including the time take to pass immigration.
From other parts of Mexico, you can catch the ADO bus (Mexico’s biggest bus company) that have comfortable, air-conditioned buses that run on time. There are regular night buses from Palenque to San Cristobal; the Palenque ruins are some of the most impressive in Mexico so be sure to check them out! Book your bus tickets online!
The most popular routes are below:
- Palenque — San Cristóbal: 9 hours; 420 MXN (US$21)
- Campeche — San Cristóbal: 11 hours; 962 MXN (US$49)
- Oaxaca — San Cristóbal: 12 hours; 932 MXN (US$47)
How to Get Around San Cristobal
San Cristóbal is a rather compact city. If you stay in the old town, most of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas are within walking distance, and you won’t need a vehicle. To get to the outskirts of the city, you can easily jump on a colectivo (for 10 MXN or US$0.5) or hail a taxi anywhere in the old town. I walked everywhere and mainly booked day tours to explore outside the city.
Best Time to Visit San Cristobal de las Casas
Thanks to its location in the central highlands of Mexico, San Cristóbal is blessed with pleasant spring-like climate all year round. In general, anytime of the year is great to visit as San Miguel’s climate doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, with average high temperatures hovering between 73°F (23°C) and 88°F (31°C) no matter the season.
But we would recommend visiting between San Cristóbal November and April, when there’s less rainfall than the summer months. We visited in March and the weather was glorious. It was always sunny, but the high altitude meant a very dry climate.
Where to Stay in San Cristobal de las Casas
Accommodation prices in San Cristóbal de las Casas are really affordable and even upscale boutique hotels here are cheaper than you’d imagine. We recommend staying in the historic center (near Plaza de la Paz) so you can easily walk everywhere.
Mid Range: Hotel Casa Mexicana
I stayed here for a week and really loved the excellent location, amazing prices, and comfortable rooms. Housed in a colonial building with a lush patio/garden, the hotel is a great option for those who want comfort without spending too much (pictured). All of the top things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas are located near here. Check rates here.
Luxury: Casa Lum Boutique Hotel
Located along the pedestrianized Calle Real de Guadalupe, this sweet 8-room boutique is intimate and stylish. Built with reclaimed wood and tiles, the hotel features upcycled furniture and textiles from local indigenous artisans. And the onsite restaurant uses vegetables and herbs grown in their backyard garden. Check rates here.
Ultra Luxury: Hotel Bo
The most expensive hotel in San Cristobal is the Venetian-style Hotel Bo, an upscale boutique hotel with designs inspired by indigenous music with a sort of rustic minimalism. The main appeal of this hotel is Restaurant Lum, serving gourmet Mexican fare with wild flavor combination. Check rates here.
Where to Eat in San Cristóbal de las Casas
Because of the rich indigenous culture in San Cris, you’ll find a medley of traditional restaurants amidst the cobblestone avenues and bazaars. And thanks to the cacao and coffee plantations in the highlands surrounding the city, San Cristóbal de las Casas is also home to some of the best cafes in the country, serving up fair-trade, home-brewed coffee.
Here’s a summary, but check out my recommendations of the best restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas here.
- Restaurante Taniperla
- Belil Sabores de Chiapas
- Restaurante Las Pichanchas
- El Tacoleto
- Sarajevo Cafe Jardin
- Café La Selva
Is it Worth Visiting San Cristobal de las Casas?
And there you have it! I hope this list of things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas will help you get to know the city inside out. A trip to San Cris is an intriguing journey into its past, and an exciting adventure to the pristine nature surrounding it. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about Chiapas travel.
For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- Best Restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas
- Palenque Ruins: My Guide to Chiapas’ Pyramids
- 10 Best Waterfalls in Mexico
- 10-Day Yucatan Road Trip Itinerary
- 35 Fun Things to Do in the Yucatan Peninsula
- 20 Safest Cities in Mexico
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!
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