Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas (+ Nearby)

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If you are wondering what to do in San Cristobal de las Casas, here you will discover the sites that give this place its magic. To do so, we will go deep into the mountains of Chiapas, home of the beautiful and fascinating San Cristobal de las Casas. One of Mexico’s magical towns and the perfect place to base yourself and get to know the emblematic sites of Chiapas. San Cristobal de las Casas is a colonial town characterized by its cobblestone streets and majestic landscapes. This town fuses traditions with its architecture, which makes it one of the favorite destinations for travelers.

Are you ready for the entire San Cristobal experience? First, find out here the most authentic way to do it with Rutopia. Then, read on and discover the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas and its surroundings.

Location

First of all, you should know that San Cristobal is located 2200 m above sea level. In this place, when the sun is not shining, it can get quite cold in a short time. Even in summer, the nights are usually cold, so bring warm clothes and warm weather clothes.

Explore San Cristobal de las Casas

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Where to eat?

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San Cristobal de las Casas has varied and rich gastronomy, which stands out for its flavors, tradition, and innovation. Tasting the food of this place is a cultural journey from traditional dishes to those with Spanish influences and Italian, French, German, and more recently Asian. In that sense, there is a wide gastronomic offer from many parts of the world. In addition, there are many restaurants and bars throughout San Cristobal de las Casas. Among the things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas is a tour of its restaurants and flavors. Here are some recommendations.

The Flavors of San Cristobal

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  • El Espiral is a perfect place to disconnect for a while, drink coffee and eat delicious dishes. It is a cafeteria that takes care of natural resources such as water, has eco-techniques and urban agriculture.
  • La Posheria, an apothecary that sells ceremonial pox, is the drink that warms and caresses the heart.
  • Tierra y Cielo, Chef Martha Zepeda’s restaurant, defined as haute regional and signature cuisine from Chiapas. The restaurant aims to promote regional products.
  • Funky Burritos, there are delicious burritos with more than twenty different fillings and five sauces. In addition, at night, the restaurant turns into a bar, where you can taste traditional mezcals.
  • La Viña de Bacco has a great selection of wines, and they usually give you tapas with every drink.
  • At Maya Pakal, you can get the best balance between price and taste with a delicious menu of the day.
  • El Caldero, when it’s cold, there is no better way to warm up than with a broth from this restaurant.
  • El Fogón Jovel is a restaurant with more than 30 years that seeks to rescue the traditional recipes of Chiapas.
  • Cafe Bar 500 noches has an extensive craft beer menu that only includes Mexican beers.  

To make a gastronomic route in San Cristobal de las Casas you can design your tour with Rutopia. Do you want to discover authentic Mexican gastronomy? Let us know your ideas, and we will create a unique trip for you and your family.

The best day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas

Explore the surrounding area on horseback

San Juan Chamula

Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas-San Juan Church

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Just ten kilometers from San Cristobal de las Casas is the indigenous town of San Juan Chamula. In it, there is an extraordinary church: the Church of San Juan. Words cannot do justice to the mystical atmosphere that permeates the interior of this place. However, words are all I have because you are not allowed to take photos inside the church. Inside the church, there is an intense smell of pine and incense. You will see hundreds of candles lighting the floor, and you can hear the low murmur of shamans during their ceremonies. You may be able to see some of the sacrifices on the altar, which often include chickens.

Excursions near San Cristóbal de las Casas

Chiflon Waterfall

Chiflon Waterfall

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Chiapas has a large number of waterfalls, and one of the most beautiful is El Chiflón. During the journey of more than 1200 m, you will observe the waterfalls that seem to have no end. It finally ends at a viewpoint directly at the Velo de Novia waterfall. To return, I recommend you to take the zip line.

Arcotete

Arcotete

El Arcotete – TripAdvisor

El Arcotete, located only 15 minutes away, is a perfect eco-park for hiking. Arcotete is easy to reach from the town, making it an excellent option in San Cristobal de las Casas if you have little time. Here you can walk through the forest, observe wildlife and enjoy the beauty of nature. You will also be able to walk across hanging bridges and under impressive natural rock formations. There is also a series of zip lines if you are up for an adrenaline-filled adventure. 

Chiapa de Corzo

Chiapa de Corzo

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Less than an hour’s drive from San Cristobal, you will find Chiapa de Corzo, a Pueblo Magico. The plaza is the central point of the small colonial town. Here you can see the clock tower, the big tree, La Pochota, and the fountain of La Pila.

Sumidero Canyon

Sumidero Canyon

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Only about 50 km from San Cristobal de las Casas, you will find a natural beauty: the Sumidero Canyon. In the boats, you will observe the canyon walls, birds, monkeys, and even crocodiles. As you go deeper into the canyon, you will notice that the walls rise almost a kilometer above you. This beautiful day trip is another of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas. Don’t forget to visit the lookout points from which you can see the canyon from another perspective.

Palenque

Palenque

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Surrounded by tropical jungle, Palenque was built around 300 AD and is one of the most beautiful Mayan sites. Visit the fascinating archaeological ruins site in the northern part of the state; although this trip takes 5 hours or more, it is an unforgettable experience. While in Palenque, don’t miss the water of Misol-Há and Agua Azul.

Montebello Lakes

Montebello Lakes

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In the extreme south of Chiapas, there is a series of beautiful lakes just before the border with Guatemala. The Lagunas de Montebello National Park, which has protected more than 7,000 ha of nature since 1959. What makes it so unique? Its different shades of green and blue sparkle in the sunlight.

Rancho Nuevo Caves

Rancho Nuevo Caves

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Las Grutas de Rancho Nuevo is an ecotourism center. In this place, there are cabins, horseback riding, a zip line, a very long slide, but the biggest attraction are the caves. They were formed over the years by water runoff and mineral content. You can spend the whole day here, doing various activities. Undoubtedly this place is ideal among the things to do in San Cristobal for those traveling with children.

My advice: For these day trips, book with Rutopia. Only then can you decide how long and, above all, which sites to visit.

Unique experiences

Immersing yourself in the Tzotzil and Tzeltal cultures cannot be experienced anywhere else in Mexico. The following unique experiences are our top recommendation among all the cultural things in San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico. Here we share with you amazing and immersive experiences to do in San Cristobal.

San Andrés Larráinzar

San Andrés Larráinzar

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Visit San Andrés Larráinzar, a municipality located in the highlands region of Chiapas. This community is considered the heart of the Zapatista movement. If you are looking for a unique experience through local activities and interactions in San Andrés Larráinzar, you can find it. Rutopia offers you an immersive experience, with textile and food workshops and visiting historical points of the place. You can customize your tour here.

Tziscao

Tziscao

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Did you know that Mexico produces 60% of all organic coffee in the world? Of Mexico’s coffee-producing states, Chiapas is the one that exports the most, and its coffee is delicious. Coffee growing is an important activity for communities such as Tziscao. This area, due to its climatic conditions and altitude, cultivates one of the best coffees. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in San Cristobal is to try a delicious coffee. With Rutopia, you will be able to enter a mountain coffee plantation.

Las Guacamayas Ecolodge

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The ecolodge called Las Guacamayas is a beautiful place to get to know the Lacandon jungle. Its owners are indigenous ejidatarios and have conservation projects for the scarlet macaw. The tours along the Lacantun River are beautiful. Hiking and kayaking are some of the activities offered here. You can learn more about this site and what it has to offer here.

Tzimol/Tsomanotik

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Tsomanotik is an organization located in Tzimol. At the Tsomanotik Agroecological Center, you will learn about permaculture and eco-techniques surrounded by trees and pure good vibes. Want to learn more about sustainable techniques and to improve the environment? Would you please write to us and learn about the activities and visits?

Zinacatan

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One of the best things to do in San Cristobal is to explore its culture through traditional practices. In Zinacatan, you will see the cultivation of flowers and traditional embroidery. You can also participate in a weaving workshop and make delicious tortillas. You can also buy the weavings made by these people directly from their hands to yours. 

Gateway to La Montaña

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Deep in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas is El Triunfo, here you can be in direct contact with the forest and be surrounded by endemic animal species of the region, such as the puma, quetzal, and tapir. Furthermore, you can live an experienced hand in hand with Rutopia and the Tzeltal ethnic community, where you can meet the communities dedicated to cultivating one of the most valued organic coffees in the world. Finally, at the end of the tour, you will be able to taste a cup of coffee grown in this land.

Na Bolom

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The Na Bolom House is a museum that preserves the place’s history, heritage, and culture. The Blom family founded the museum. In addition to its exhibits, the museum has a hotel and a restaurant. The income from the museum goes to projects in the indigenous communities of Chiapas. Touring Na Bolom is one of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas if you want to learn about the region’s history.

In conclusion, there are many things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas. Shop in the markets, walk to the city’s viewpoints, immerse yourself in culture and nature. Then, it’s time to pack your bags to go to San Cristobal de las Casas. Are you looking forward to traveling to San Cristobal de las Casas and want to live a unique experience? Check out Rutopia’s trips and routes!

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The Mexican Eco company Rutopia is excellent. As a solo female traveller, I was very pleased with the custom itinerary planned for me by Sibila. All of my requests were fulfilled, from urban tours and decent, clean hotels in CDMX to horseback riding, hikes and cooking lessons in beautiful Guanajuato. All drivers and guides were professional , knowledgable and arrived on time. I was very reassured by Melina from Rutopia, a warm and and very diligent person who checked in with me every step of the way both before my trip and during my days in Colonial Mexico. I heartily recommend this company as a reliable source for trip planning in Mexico.
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I traveled to Chiapas for an ecotourism experience with Rutopia and I liked it very much, the team responds very quickly to all questions and accompany the traveler throughout the experience, I missed my flight and they were very flexible to accommodate the entire itinerary, My destination was the lakes of Tziscao, where I was received by Neri with his family in very nice cabins next to a lake with incredible views and a magnificent tranquility, with them you make experiences of beekeeping and coffee and tours to nearby lakes, Montebello is a must! 100% recommended.
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Marzo, 2020
Circuit in Yucatan
Discovering wonderful and surprising sites, Mayan communities with an unforgettable welcome, breathtaking landscapes, a very pleasant climate in the middle of March...and smiling people! A big thank you to Rutopia and his team for the elaboration of this ideal circuit, alternating nature, city life, simplicity and comfort. Thanks to Mélina for the follow-up during our trip. We don't speak Spanish well enough, and we appreciated having a French-speaking contact person who could be reached if necessary. We still have a lot to discover and hope to come back very soon, and with Rutopia without hesitation!
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Marzo, 2020
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For those who don't like to manage logistics like hotels, rental cars, activities. And above all, to have someone who speaks fluent French that we can reach at any time for the unexpected... You are in the right place! Thank you to Chloe for the preparation of our trip, to Melina our Ariadne's thread and Teresa for her welcome and help at the arrival and departure. A big thank you to Enrique and Blanca from Nuevo-Durango for their welcome, their smiles, their family, a lot of emotions at the time to leave you. Thanks to Mémo for your teaching of Mexican customs (Sian Ka'an) The Yucatan is a magnificent region. And the population is very pleasant. Only downside Holbox... Too much dust, too much smell of fuel oil, too much tourist. I will keep in memory these wonderful moments!
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