Jan 19, 2007, 8:35 AM
Post #1 of 15
The misconceptions about the Chiapas Highlands among extranjeros and Mexicans in West Central Mexico are pretty astounding and I guess it makes sense that this remote part of the country is a mystery. I´ve had several people express amazement that we would move to a place with such a hot and miserable climate. When I explain that San Cristobal is at 7,200 feet and, thus, rather cool to cold, you would think I was talking about the other side of the moon.
But, then, we are also learning. My wife is down there now in what is their dry season and has been calling me telling me of the crystal clear mountain air and daily temperatures in the 60sF. Sometimes there is morning overcast or fog but mid-days are often brilliant and pleasant for walking around this walker´s town. Within a short drive to the country are wonderful alpine forests open to the puiblic as parks which are dog friendly.
The winter weather is something of a surprise to us since, when we were there in May, there were regular and spectacular storms that seemed to hit the city every afternoon. Pretty exciting and a lesson in why many sidewalks in the city have such steep and dangerous gutters. Any of you contemplating buying or renting property in that city should think of the lay of the land and possible flooding before you make a final decision.
Think of Chiapas as several distinct places. The Soconusco coffee growing region is characterized by an extremely hot and humid coast called the "tierra caliente" rising suddenly inland in the Sierra de Soconusco (where the coffee "fincas" are located) and, farther north the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The important regional city of Tapachula sits in the tierra caliente as does the city of Tonalá which is the gateway to the best Chiapas beaches at and near Puerto Arista and Boca del Cielo (Where Y Tu Mama, Tambien was filmed )
Inland, Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital and largest city with about 600,000 people, sits at about 1,400 feet in a region known as the Depresión Central de Chiapas which is a huge agricultural area. Tuxtla is a much underrated city in my opinion and has a sort of modern but decadent look to it. There is excellent shopping there and some really good restaurants. If you like heat and humidity you can buy a house here quite cheaply. The beautiful Rio Grijalva with its Sumidero Canyon runs between Tuxtla and the historic and very attractive town of Chiapa de Corzo. San Cristobal is about a 45 minute drive up the new and spectacular autopista from Chiapa de Corzo.
The Mesa de Ocozcuatla is a mountainous region found between Tuxtla and Veracruz State which yoiu can observe from your airplane or driving along the new autopista between Tuxtal and Minatitlan, Veracruz. These are some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen, especially during the rainy season when it is unbelievably green.
Finally, there is the border region with Guatemala between Comitan de Dominguez and Palenque which includes the Lacandon Jungle, the multi-colored Lagos de Montebello and countless other attractions such as Bonampak, Laguna Miramar and on and on.
You can have just about any climate you want in Chiapas and if you get tired of the climate where you are, you are an hour or less from another climate that is very different.
(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 19, 2007, 11:46 AM)