Two weeks in Southern Mexico
Collected by Catherine Craddock-Carrillo, AFAR Local Expert
Two Southern Mexico states of Oaxaca and Chiapas make up a lush and beautiful part of the country, rich in history, culture and wildlife. We recommend spending two weeks to take advantage of all Southern Mexico has to offer. Home to the palatial Maya ruins at Palenque and Yaxchilán, the waterfalls at Misol-Ha, highland forests and humid lowland jungles of Chiapas, the surfer-hippie vibe at Oaxaca's Playa Zipolite, the lovely colonial towns of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oaxaca City, and more.
Yaxchilan, 29950 Ocosingo, Chis., Mexico
An hour boat ride along Usumacinta River on the Guatemala border can take you to Yaxchilan, Palenque’s less visited cousin in the tropics of Chiapas, Mexico. Twelve-thousand-year old architecture brings many questions to mind. But at this moment,...
Calle Dr. José Felipe Flores 36, Barrio de Guadalupe, 29230 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
Casa Felipe Flores provides an extremely pleasant and comfortable base for exploring San Cristobal, a beautiful colonial city in Chiapas which is the gateway to the spectacular Mayan ruins of Palenque, Tonina, Bonampak and Yaxchilan, as well as...
Misol-ha, Nichtyeja A.C., 29960 Palenque, Chis., Mexico
Mexico is full of little nooks and crannies to explore, that will remind you why you brave the long flights, dusty roads, gurgling stomachs, cold showers and sweltering heat as a traveler. Misol-Ha is one of those nooks... Just 20km from...
Tonina, Chis., Mexico
The ancient Maya city of Tonina has its ceremonial core built onto a hillside, creating the appearacnce of one massive pyramid. Tonina reached its zenith during the Classic Period (250-900 AD) and was an adversary of Palenque. The hillside temple...
Chamula, Chis., Mexico
Outside of San Cristobal de las Casas is a small village called Chamula. Here, we tasted the freshest tortillas I've ever experienced and got to sample a local liquor called Poush. It's a distilled sugarcane liquor with a powerful jolt! The red...
Xochimilco, 86369 Comalcalco, Tab., Mexico
Comalcalco, the mighty Gulf Coast Maya city-state located in Tabasco, Mexico, used its proximity to the sea to become a major player in preColombian trade. The unique feature of Comalcalco's architecture is the use of crushed shell for plaster and...
Carretera a Palenque- Zona Archaeologica Km. 8, 29960 Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico
Palenque is a place I will always equate with adventure, exploration and the romance of travel. Her elegance in the midst of lush jungle is unparalleled among the ancient Maya ruins throughout Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for me... So grand the...
Monte Albán, Oax., Mexico
The Zapotec ruled above the Valley of Oaxaca from their hilltop capital, named Monte Alban. Any visit to Oaxaca should include a tour of these impressive ruins. The native people living in Oaxaca today can trace their heritage directly back to the...
Juárez, 71980 Puerto Escondido, Oax., Mexico
Puerto Escodido, Oaxaca is primarily known for its double overhead barrels and surf scene. However there are some nice secluded coves protected from the massive surf, where one can enjoy calm, warm Pacific waters and eat fresh mariscos on the...
Macedonio Alcalá s/n, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The Santo Domingo Church is absolutely the most beautiful church I've seen yet in Mexico. The walls and ceiling are covered with paintings and murals, much like the Sistine Chapel. Next door is an ex-convento, a monastery, that is now the Regional...
Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico
Mexico is home to so many diverse wonders - canyons, deserts, rainforest, cities and, of course, beaches. One of the country's most fabulous beaches is tiny Zipolite on the Oaxacan coast. But it's not your typical head- pounding, hard-drinking,...
Agua Azul, Chis., Mexico
Deep in the jungles of Chiapas turquoise rivers emerge from deep springs. Agua Azul is a series of cascades and pools found just off the road between Ocosingo and Palenque. Closer to Palenque, and equally accessible, is Misol Ha, a dramatic...
Carr. Internacional, Area sin Asignacion de Nombre de Colonia, 68070 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Held every year during the last two weeks of July, the Guelaguetza festival highlights Oaxaca's diversity. Representatives of the different ethnic groups of Oaxaca state perform their traditional folk dances and throw items to the crowd that are...
Bahías 207, T, 70989 Crucecita, Oax., Mexico
The Bays of Huatulco are paradise. Made up of 37 beaches spread across nine Oaxacan bays, Huatulco has the beauty and luxury accommodations of its Yucateca sister Cancún, with an intimacy and seclusion that the world famous mega-resort just can't...