It gets a bit warm here in the Riviera Maya during the summer, so Linda and I usually plan at least one getaway to a place with a cooler climate. Last year, we visited Puebla and loved it.
This year, we decided to see some place new and decided to check out San Cristobal de las Casas in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It’s a city of almost 200,000 residents is located 2,200 m (7,200 ft) above sea level, and during the month of August, the average high is 22.5°C (72°F) and the low is 10.5°C (50.9°F).
Just in case some of our readers are as geographically challenged as I am, I took the liberty of including a map. Feel free to keep zooming out until something looks familiar.
Safety and Security
Whenever we travel to an unfamiliar part of Mexico, I always do some research first to see if there are any safety concerns. I check the crime statistics for the last six months on Semáforo Delectivo, and then review the safety/police section of the local newspapers online.
San Cristobal checked out fine and actually has a low crime rate compared to many other cities its size.
The Heart of the City
The city center is where we spent most of our time. San Cristobal was founded in 1528 and the Spanish colonial architecture has been well maintained throughout the city center.
We enjoyed strolling along the cobblestone streets and occasionally stopping to visit one of the numerous shops, restaurants and bars.
Transportation and Hotel
We flew on Viva Aerobus from Cancun to the Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport. From there, we took a private transport to San Cristobal, just over an hour away.
We stayed at a boutique hotel built in the Spanish colonial style called Grand Guadalupe by Immense. It was about a 10 minute walk to the main plaza. The hotel was very nice and the staff was great.
The only thing we didn’t like is that we had to leave the windows open most of the time to keep the room cool because it didn’t have air conditioning or even a fan. The temperature was fine, but with the windows open, there was a lot of noise. There was road traffic, loud music, car horns, voices and fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks going off all hours of the day and night.
We didn’t get much sleep at all the first night, but by the second night, we were so exhausted from walking all day that we slept just fine.
Round Trip Airfare: $335 USD (for both)
Hotel: $384 USD for five nights / included breakfast
Wining and Dining
We ate at a wide variety of restaurants ranging from local cuisine to Argentinian steak houses. The prices for food and alcohol were typically 15%-20% lower than where we live in the Riviera Maya.
Our Only Tour
We took a tour to visit two nearby indigenous towns, San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán, where the residents are Tzotziles. It was very interesting and we highly recommend it.
Tour Price – $45 USD (for both)
One word of advice though — always ask before taking any pictures. Some areas are completely off limits, like inside the temple, and our guide said that violators can be arrested and fined up to $5000 pesos.
We were granted permission to take these pics:
Let’s Wrap This Up
We had a great time in San Cristobal, but after almost a week there, we were ready to get back to the beaches of the Riviera Maya. What can I say? There’s just no place like home.