What to Do in San Cristobal de las Casas

The top 10 amazing Gems in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Welcome to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the fourth-largest municipality in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. It is steeped in indigenous heritage and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. You can easily explore this city on foot and visit San Cristóbal attractions within a day. So let’s go ahead and explore the top 10 things to do in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. 

1. Delve into Indigenous Traditions at the Santo Domingo Church

It was built by the Dominican Friars in 1546. The facade was restored in 2006, and it is one of the best representations of the colonial Baroque style in all of Latin America. Santo Domingo Church is a cultural icon that showcases the fusion of indigenous and Spanish influences. You can even go and explore the adjoining museum, which provides a fascinating insight into the region’s indigenous cultures, customs, and traditions.

2. Explore the Colors of the Textile Market

Embark on a sensory adventure at the bustling Textile Market, where a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns awaits. Lose yourself amidst stalls filled with vibrant handwoven textiles and intricately embroidered garments. These textiles are made using traditional techniques passed down through generations of Maya weavers. Engage with local artisans, learn about their techniques, and take home a piece of Chiapas’ vibrant textile heritage. 

3. Wander through the Eclectic Neighborhood of Guadalupe

This Guadalupe neighborhood dates to the middle of the 19th century. Meander through the charming streets of the Guadalupe neighborhood, known for its Bohemian vibe and artistic flair. This neighborhood gets its name because of the sanctuary of The Virgen de Guadalupe, Señora del Tepeyac, and The Virgen de México. The festivities here are very colorful from December 1 till December 12. So if you’re there between this time, make sure to participate and enjoy the traditions of this neighborhood in San Cristobal. 

4. Immerse Yourself in Nature at El Arcotete

El Arcotete is a park located about 5.5 km outside of San Cristóbal. It is a natural wonder where you can hike through lush forests, explore hidden caves, and marvel at the majestic rock formations. You can even go for a boat ride or race between the trees, zip-lining. Just relax, and take a moment to soak in the serenity of this natural sanctuary. You’ll be surrounded by the symphony of chirping birds and rustling leaves. I can still hear those sounds. 

5. Uncover Ancient Ruins at Palenque

Up for a day trip? Go visit the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Palenque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site shrouded in mystery and history. It is one of the most amazing Classic period sites of the Maya area. The architecture and sculptural remains here have been well-conserved. These illustrate the Mayan methodology and are a testament to the creative genius of this civilization. So explore these intricately carved Mayan temples and palaces that rise majestically amidst the dense jungle. Let your imagination run wild as you envision the grandeur of this once-thriving Mayan city.

6. Taste the Flavors of Chiapas at Mercado de Santo Domingo

Indulge your taste buds in the flavors of Chiapas at the Mercado de Santo Domingo. Once here, you have to sample mouthwatering tamales, savor the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and delight in the unique flavors of traditional Chiapas cuisine. It is a bustling market that offers a culinary adventure you won’t forget anytime soon.

7. Connect with Nature at Sumidero Canyon

There are two ways you can go visit the dramatic Sumidero Canyon. Take a boat tour or walk along the viewpoints. However, my preferred way was taking a boat trip along the Rio Grijalva. It is almost a 2-hour ride where you can see the abundant wildlife, including crocodiles, monkeys, and colorful bird species that call this natural wonder their home. 

8. Dive into the Chiapas Coffee Culture

Embark on a coffee-tasting journey through the coffee plantations that surround San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Chiapas coffee is light and delicate. Mexico is the 9th largest producer of coffee, and Chiapas contributes to 40% of that production. You must engage with local farmers, learn about the coffee-making process, and savor the rich flavors of Chiapas’ renowned coffee beans. This immersive experience will deepen your appreciation for the art of coffee and its cultural significance in the region.

9. Discover the Magic of Indigenous Villages

Embark on a cultural excursion to 2 indigenous villages that dot the outskirts of San Cristóbal. You will learn about the traditions, rituals, and crafts of communities such as San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán. Witness vibrant ceremonies, visit local artisans, and markets, and gain a deeper understanding of the indigenous way of life. You can also catch a homemade meal with a local family. Honestly, this is the best way to explore the local culture. You can book a tour, get a professional guide, and get pick-and-drop service too. 

10. Experience the Mystery of El Chiflon Waterfalls

Venture to the magical El Chiflon Waterfalls, located amidst lush tropical forests. Imagine 5 giant waterfalls, refreshing mist on your face, and cascading turquoise waters. It is just a heavenly site. The main waterfall is 400 ft tall. So go ahead and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools, or hike to the top for a panoramic view that will leave you breathless. This natural wonder is a hidden gem that must be experienced firsthand.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas invites you to immerse yourself in a world of culture, nature, and adventure. From exploring indigenous traditions to indulging in culinary delights and discovering hidden natural wonders, this vibrant town offers a plethora of unique experiences. Get ready for wonderful surprises in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. 

Letisha Jaramillo
Letisha Jaramillo

Hey there, I'm Letisha Jaramillo, a Mexican blogger who loves to share my experiences and insights about lifestyle, travel, and resources. Through my blog, Road To The Unknown, I offer helpful tips and advice to inspire fellow travelers and adventure-seekers. Join me on this exciting journey and let's discover the unknown together!

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