San Cristobal de las Casas is considered the cultural capital of Chiapas due to its rich, multi-cultural expressions and the large number of people of different nationalities and professions who live here. It is a designated “Magical Town” full of art, picturesque houses, narrow cobblestone streets, galleries, crafts, and attractive, natural areas.
This city is located in the center of the state, adjacent to other major cultural sites such as San Juan Chamula, Zinacatlán, Teopisca, and San Lucas, where the traditions of pre-Hispanic indigenous peoples are still preserved and developed. For example, a short drive (6.2 miles/9.9 kilometers) from the city is the small municipality of Chamula. Of particular interest here is the Church of San Juan, where a local form of Catholicism is practiced, blending Mayan customs with the traditional religion.
San Cristóbal de las Casas is important to the state, the region, and the country because it represents the city where contemporary Mexican culture and native customs co-exist harmoniously along with the new ideas brought by the thousands of foreigners who live in and visit the city.
San Cristóbal has unmatched colonial beauty reflected in the red tile roofs, cobblestone streets, and wrought iron balconies. This beautiful Spanish colonial ambience is located amongst hills that surround, protect, and position it in a region full of natural attributes recognized throughout the country. Every day brings vistiors who arrive specifically attracted by this natural splendor.
The city’s attractions include the yellow Cathedral with its very particular architectural style, the municipal crafts market, the Plaza del Mariachi, as well as several squares such as the Santa Lucia, La Caridad, and San Francisco. Also of note is the Mesoamerican Jade Museum, a small museum with replicas of ancient Olmec pieces; the museum also sells pre-Hispanic reproductions carved in jade. If amber is a passion, San Cristobal is a prime place to purchase it.
The city has a large number of cafés, restaurants, and local diners serving good coffee and delicious food. There are many hotels in San Cristobal to choose from. One that consistently gets high marks for convenience is the Hotel San Cristobal, located both near Old Town and the beach.
- Extreme Sports
- Museums and Cultural Centers
- Traditions and Festivities
- Arts and Crafts
- Village Tours
- Theme Parks
- Shows and Sporting Events