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What to do in Chiapas

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Even if the only thing to do in Chiapas were to visit the palatial Maya ruins of Palenque, it would be worth the trip to Mexico’s southernmost state. But Chiapas is home to many more wonders—natural, cultural, and gastronomic. From waterfalls and crystal blue lakes to colonial churches and mountain highland villages, the beautiful state of Chiapas is a perfect out-of-the ordinary destination for every kind of traveler.
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Palenque was a classic Maya city-state located in Chiapas, Mexico, and has gained notoriety among Maya archaeologists for its extravagant architecture and refined art and writings. The temples perched upon a hill adjacent to the main plaza of...
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Cementerio, San Sebastián, Chamula, Chis., Mexico
Imagine your favorite church. Now remove the furniture, and put in a carpet of fragrant soft pine needles. Then light it up with tens of thousands of candles and enormous bouquets of local flowers. Breathtaking. In this indigenous village outside...
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Chiapas, Mexico
Active travelers who like a shot of adrenaline with their culture head to Mexico’s southern-most state. Latin America travel specialist Adventure Life Journeys recently introduced a nine-day Chiapas Adventure package that takes participants into...
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Latin America
The water in Mexico isn’t only by the beach. This is Misol-Ha. Located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, the waters of Misol-Ha cascade 35 meters down into a 13.7 meter deep pool of water. The entire area is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation....
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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...
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San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
On the border of the state of Chiapas (Mexico) and Guatemala, there is a national park, Lagunas de Montebello. It contains numerous lakes and cenotes, mostly spring fed from waters deep in the mineral depths of the earth. Each body of water is...
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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...
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Bonampak, Chis., Mexico
The classic Mayan site of Bonampak, located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, holds one of the most unlikely and important discoveries in the history of Mayan archaeological investigation. The story of the wall murals is a story of an...
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Av. Domínguez Ruiz 300, San Jacinto, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis., Mexico
Chiapa de Corzo’s Fiesta de Los Parachicos is held every January, and is part of a month-long celebration known as Fiesta Grande. The Parachicos celebration has been named by UNESCO as an item of intangible cultural heritage and is often described...
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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...
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Latin America
Tonina is my favorite of the Mayan ruins. It is in a temperate zone, not wet and steamy like Palenque. It's the highest pyramid in all Mexico, but that is a result of topography. The people of that area used an existing mountain, one that...
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Periférico Norte 4, Ojo de Agua, 29220 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
One of the highlights of any trip to San Cristobal de las Casas is a visit to the Orquideas Moxviquil. Cisco Dietz, the owner, is a most knowledgeable person and is in love with rare plants. He designed and built the green house (pictured) for the...
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Favio Abelardo Paniagua 54, Barrio de Guadalupe, 29230 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
Taller Lenateros is a small workshop employing about twenty people full time. They make paper with new and recycled fibers, flowers and natural dyes, and even use recycled broken CDs embedded in paper for shiny book covers. They print blank books,...
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Calle Mexicanidad de Chiapas s/n, Barrio San Miguel, San Jacinto, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis., Mexico
The town of Chiapa de Corzo is famous for the Parachicos Festival, the embarcation point for the magnificent Sumidero Canyon boat tours, and for the lacquer work of various artists. Facing the plaza is a school that teaches traditional art; making...
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2a. Calle Sur Pte. 20, Comitán de Domínguez Centro, 30000 Comitán de Domínguez, Chis., Mexico
Comitán de Dominguez, in southern Chiapas, is a colonial city without the colonial pretense. It has been given the title of Pueblo Magico, along with other more famous cities like San Cristobal de las Casas, and San Miguel de Allende. It is...
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Chiapas, Mexico
Catch a boat tour from Chiapa de Corzo to see the Canyon del Sumidero. It is a spectacular ride through narrow canyons with cliff walls that rise as high as 1000 meters straight up. Along the edges you'll see crocodiles, buzzards and occasionally...
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Cementerio, San Sebastián, Chamula, Chis., Mexico
A boy and his father shopping for onions at the market in San Juan Chamula during Santa Semana (Holy Week). He was trying hard to impress the cute vendor. Chamula is a must-see village, home to Tsotsil speaking descendants of the ancient Mayans of...
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Av Insurgentes 24, Sta Lucia, 29250 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
NW of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, there is a small Zapatista town, an autonomous village with no support from the Federal Government. They don't want any either. The Zapatista movement is one of autonomy and democracy on a grass...
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San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
Love this shot - telephone booth, indigenous couple from the nearby village of Chamula, bright building with a great doorway, and fun car on the road. The colors, warmth, and general feel of this photo capture a unique side of Mexico.
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40, Monterrey, Plan de Ayala Ampliación Sur, 29020 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
There are fewer thing in life better than a hot, fresh tortilla! While visiting the village of Zinacantan, just outside of San Cristobal, we got to enjoy a family lunch with these women who are the leaders in local Zinacantan fashion. Check out...
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Latin America
Throughout Mayan country, there are interesting cemeteries. Mulitiple Mayan crosses on a grave indicate the number of years a person has been gone, and the colors indicate age. Babies get white crosses, young people blue, and older people green....
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Latin America
During the rituals of Santa Semana (Holy Week), smoke from thousands of burning candles and incense pours from the door and roof cracks of the church in San Juan Chamula. Inside the church there are wall-to-wall people, some drinking coke with pox...
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Tumbalá, Chis., Mexico
Agua Azul means ‘blue water’ and that is no mistaken designation for the river that flows near Palenque, through Chiapas. The water has high minerals and in the municipality of Tumbala the travertine rocks form cascades that forms a true paradise...
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Israel 39, Nueva Maravilla, 29247 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
San Juan Chamula is a little Tzotzil Mayan village not far from San Cristobal de las Casas in the Chiapas region of Mexico. I happened to venture there very early one morning after an all night bus ride from the Oxacan coast. Upon arrival, I was...
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Once Cuartos, 29243 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
High in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico's central highlands San Cristobal de las Casas is a true gem. In this cosmopolitan city of 120,000 or so people you will of course hear Spanish but, there it is mixed with French, Italian, German and many...
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Chamula, Chis., Mexico
Jump in a taxi/combi from San Cristobal de las Casas and tell the driver, 'por favor, gustaria ir a Chamula'.... He will whisk you away about 25 minutes into the mountains above San Cristobal to a small village-esque place with a mix of Mexican...
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Vicente Guerrero 33, Barrio del Cerrillo, 29220 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
Na Balom is the name of the large home once owned by archeologist Franz Blom in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, MX. The name is a play on words, the owner's name Blom with the Mayan word for Jaguar. Na Balom means the Jaguar House. Gertrudis...
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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...