SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS

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SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS

San Cristóbal de las Casas is one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial towns. Through its peaceful cobblestone streets, flanked by houses with slanted red tiled roofs and patios full of flowers, one discovers religious monuments with influence from Mexican and Central American colonial art, giving it a peculiar frontier town character. Indigenous people come to its busy markets from the surrounding hamlets to offer textiles, ceramics, fruits and vegetables.

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Map of SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS

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Tourist Attractions in SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS

“Manuel José de Rojas” Auditorium

An 18th century temple houses the auditorium. The Faculty of Law of the Autonomous University of Chiapas currently uses it.

San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas
Municipal Palace

A beautiful neoclassical building from the 19th Century.

Zocalo or March 31 Main Square

It was a central meeting point throughout the colonial era and it was also the city’s main market. Today it is centered on a kiosk and surrounded by the most important buildings.

Andador de Guadalupe (Tourist Walkway)

You can walk along this tourist corridor and watch the traditional and unique architecture of this town. Here you will find many restaurants, bars and interesting shops.

Andador Eclesiástico (Tourist Walkway)

Wide pedestrian alley where you can find some of the main attractions in town, as well as souvenir shops, jewelry stores and restaurants.

Casa de la Sirena (House of the Mermaid)

Is an outstanding example of domestic colonial architecture still standing in the city. Diego de Mazariegos, the Spanish conqueror, probably built it during the 16th century.

Santa Lucía Temple

It was built in the19th century. The main altar is Gothic with Neoclassical and Art Nouveau elements.

Catedral de San Cristóbal (Cathedral)

It was built in 1528. Its present facade dates from the 17th century and has Baroque, Moorish and Neoclassical elements. It has a magnificent Baroque style decoration. Many are the treasures that the cathedral holds, deserving a careful visit. The pulpit is covered with gold leaf and beautiful Juan Correa paintings.

Temple and Ex-Convent of Santo Domingo

The complex was built between 1547 and 1551 and the façade is exquisitely decorated, in fact is one of the most ornate structures in Latin America. The interior has lavish altarpieces; an exquisitely fashioned pulpit carved of wood and covered in gold leaf and the Rosario Chapel.

San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas
Plazuela de Santo Domingo

In front of the beautiful temple there is a plaza with a large artisan market displaying colorful creations of local artisans as: amber jewelry, textiles, toys and more.

Arco del Carmen

This elegant arch with a tower was constructed in 1597 in the Mudejar (Moorish) style. It is considered the most striking colonial building in the city.

El Carmen Cultural Center

Located in the remains of the former La Encarnación convent. It was restored and transformed in a Convention Center, Public Library and Fine Arts Hall. The complex is a unique combination of ancient and modern buildings.

Sala de Bellas Artes “Alberto Domínguez Borraz” (Hall of Fine Arts)

It was built in 1974 with a colonial style. It is part of the Cultural Center El Carmen and the space accommodates a wide array of events, including dance, theatre, festivals, exhibitions, films and lectures.

Museo del Jade (Museum of Jade)

The museum has an interesting collection where you can see carved-jade objects of the 8 major Mesoamerican cultures: Mokaya, Olmec, Teohihuacan, Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec. There is also a life-sized replica of the burial chamber of Kinich Janab Pakal, Palenque’s most famous ruler.

Museo de las Culturas Populares (Museum of Popular Cultures of Chiapas)

The permanent exhibition hall presents the various customs and traditions of different cultures in Chiapas. It has an exhibition hall for temporary exhibitions and a gallery displaying works by local artists. The museum offers workshops and a handicraft store. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Museo de la Medicina Maya (Maya Medicine Museum)

This is a fascinating museum dedicated to the various techniques and practices of indigenous medicine, mainly from the tsotsil-tseltal in Chiapas. Along the museum you may learn about the uses of traditional medicine and its therapeutic resources. There is also an orchard with a large number of medicinal plants. Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 to 18:00 hrs, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Daniel Zebadúa Theater

A neoclassical jewel with a capacity for 600 people.

San Juan Chamula
San Juan Chamula
San Juan Chamula

Located in a beautiful valley at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level and only ten kilometers from San Cristóbal de las Casas. This town was founded in 1549, and has been characterized to preserve pre-Hispanic culture and customs. The community produces a variety of handicrafts made from sheep’s wool (considered a sacred animal) as blouses, bags, shawls and blouses (huipiles).

Among its attractions are: The Church of San Juan Bautista, composed of a single spacecraft designed to allow visibility of the main altar dedicated to St. John the Baptist patron saint of the community. And the ruin of San Sebastian, a former church built in the 16th century, located at the entrance to the community inside a graveyard.

Iglesia de la Merced y Museo del Ámbar (Church of Mercy and Museum of Amber)

The Church of Mercy was the first convent established in San Cristóbal by the Mercedarian Order. Today the convent houses the Museum of Amber, which exhibits mere than 350 exceptional pieces.

There are about 30 different colors of amber in Chiapas, and the solid red amber is very rare and unique of this region, this is highly prized for its impressive color and transparency. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. and 16:00 to 19:00 hrs.

Church of San Nicolás Tolentino

Built between 1613 and 1621. The construction exhibits the Moorish style, and it currently houses the Historical Archive.

Templo de La Caridad (Charity Temple)

Its construction dates from 1712. It has a splendid Salomonic main altarpiece.

Ocosingo

The most natural Municipality of Mexico, the gateway to the Lacandon Jungle, which also has cultural attractions, delicious food and excellent weather. It highlights the Parish of Saint Hyacinth of Poland, which was built in 1569, headquarters of the Dominican convent that ran Tseltal villages in the region.

Na-Bolom Museum (“The House of the Jaguar”)

Located in a building from the end of the 19th Century. The house is decorated with regional crafts, exhibiting Mayan ceramics and everyday objects of the Lacandones (inhabitants of the Lacandon jungle) in one of its halls.

Another hall is devoted to the archaeological zone of Moxviquil, and yet another displays traditional textiles. Prior reservation is required for lodging and meals. Opening hours: Daily: 10:00 to 19:00 hrs. You may ask for the guided tours in English.

San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas
Sergio Castro e Hijos Museum

More than 90 original outfits are displayed here. This museum has an extensive collection of objects and garments related to the textile works of the Tsotsiles, Tojolabales and Lacandones. It also has a collection of musical instruments made and currently used by natives in Chiapas’ mountains. You must schedule an appointment to visit the museum and the visit hour is only at 18:00 hrs.

Museo de Los Altos de Chiapas (Highlands of Chiapas Museum)

It is located on the ground floor of the former convent of Santo Domingo. It houses an interesting collection of art from the 17th to the 19th century. In the back of the top floor of the same building, is the Maya World Textile Center, the permanent showroom comprised around 2,400 items, ranging from textiles, clothing and crafts from various Mayan communities. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Arcotete

It is a gorgeous stone arch, sculpted by the calmed motion that Fogótico River water provided throughout time. Here you can go zip lining, rappelling, horseback riding and mountain biking. It is just 4 Km (2.5 miles) from San Cristóbal.

Grutas de Rancho Nuevo (Grottoes)

This natural attraction is located 10 kms from (6 miles) from San Cristobal de las Casas, on State Highway 190 heading towards Comitan. Vicente Kramsky discovered the hollow mountains of San Cristobal since 1947. It is a cave of one-entrance and side holes with a length of 10.2 kilometers (6 miles) and a depth of 550 meters (1,815 feet).

Spectacular limestone stalactites and stalagmites are illuminated along a 750 meters (2,475-foot) concrete walkway inside the labyrinthine caves. The best time to visit this cave in during dry season (November through April). You can rent horses for a ride around the surrounding pine forest, or hiking and camping.

Candy and Crafts Market

Here you will find a wide variety of sweets and handicrafts. Opening hours: Daily: 7:00 to 20:00 hrs.

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