San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Back to Chiapas Side Trip
Our trek from Palenque to San Cristobal took us from a  238' elevation along winding, narrow mountainous roads to our
destination at over 7000'. We passed many villages along the way. The houses stand out from a distance with their vibrant
colors. Each village had a church which that stood out from miles away as we snaked along the roads on approach. The
landscapes were lush with green foliage and fresh clear water ran through the multiple rivers and streams.

This beautiful colonial town is the home to the ancestors of the Maya people along with the Tzotziles and Tzeltales Indians.
Several native languages are spoken here  with Spanish as the  "business" language. San Cristobal has a bohemian feel; there
are many markets, stalls, restaurants and craft shops. The city was founded by the Spanish in 1528 and acted as an outpost
which was governed by Guatemala. In 1545 the Dominican monks arrived and declared San Cristobal their main base.
Since then the city has been infiltrated by "missionaries"  of many different religions, often resulting in violent hostility. Thus,
there are many churches of various denominations as well as segregated neighborhoods in the city and the surrounding
villages.

In 1994 the Zapatistas rebels chose San Cristobal as one of it's locations to launch a revolution. The group had been formed
to protest against the rich upper class Spanish who strove to keep the indigenous Indians poor and uneducated. The
Zapatistas took over the government offices for several days before being driven out by the Mexican Army. None the less,
San Cristobal is now a prosperous city with an increasing middle class.

Accommodations abound in all price ranges. The city is well maintained, clean and absolutely beautiful! It is a safe city with
very little crime.  It is so colorful!  The food is excellent and varied, the prices are great. There is even a Burger King for
those who've been away from home too long. One of our favorites was Ristorante italiano da Angela. Check out their
website at
http://web.tiscalinet.it//ristoranteangelo or call them at (967)678-49 46. Chiapas is a major growing region.
The markets have an abundance of fresh produce and flowers, all neatly displayed.  We checked into Planet Hostel
(
reserv@planethostel.com.mx), 5 easy blocks from the town square and a $2.00 cab ride to the bus station.

We explored the city extensively and took local buses to the outlying villages. From here we will let the pictures do the
talking. Someday we will return to this area for an extended period of time and do it justice. One could easily spend 6
months or more without getting bored and/or seeing all the sites
Enjoy...we surely did!
The Doors of San Cristobal de Las Casas
Fourteen years after the 1994 Zapatista revolution,
leftist influence is still strong in the area.
The Cathederals of San Cristobal de Las Casas
The downtown Catedral San Cristobal.
Flowers at the central market.
A definite European flavor.
Central San Cristobal.
There is nothing like fresh chicken for dinner!
This guy from the local playhouse is supposed to be
representative of a Mayan official.
Activity at the central plaza.
Bridget was very popular at the square.
Occasionally you will see someone begging for help
Beautiful display of chili peppers.
Sheared sheep fur is used to make skirts
Can you imagine those neck muscles from all the weight?
Come on, try it you'll like it.
(chili flavored dried shrimp)
.
Children are transported in slings on the backs of indian women.
Unique paintings can be seen at Centro
Cultural El Carmen
Planet Hostel was our home for the 4 days. This is 1 of 2
common rooms outside our private room with bath. The
price was U.S. $11.00 per person/night. It included free
breakfast, use of the kitchen, free Internet and a very
helpful staff!
They're at Cintalapa #6
Ristorante italiano da Angelo had fantastic food that
was reasonably priced.We visited twice.  It's on Real
de Guadalupe No. 40-C
Women take their children to work with them. It's not
unusual in most parts of Mexico
A fertile growing area, there is an abundance of fresh fruits,
vegetables, beans, coffee. The markets were clean and well cared
for. It's obvious these people take pride and pleasure in their
work.
Every now and then it is nice to just sit
and people watch...