Aug 4, 2010, 12:01 PM
Post #4 of 11
Christmas and New Years are the busiest times of the year in San Cristobal so reserve early if you want a nice place. Make sure they have a fireplace, it will be cold especially at night and early in the morning. It can be cold and brisk with a beautiful blue sky or cold and misty, foggy which is pretty unpleasant. Mid-day temperatures can be fresh and invigorating unless it´s cloudy but the winter is the dry season so you may have crystal clear days with temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.
Re: [Vanessa] How to make the most of a trip to Chiapas
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The town is hopping with lots of music and festivities in December around Christmas, Estudiantinos walk the street and participate in processions. It is a fun time of the year to be there.
From San Cristobal you can explore Indian villages around. We do not find the villages very interesting but the countryside around them is stunning.
A nice trip to take if you have a car is to go to the waterfall called El Chifflon and then go to the Montebello lakes via Comitan, The Parador Santa Maria and Chinkultic then on to Las Nubes and further to La Guacayamas ; Benito Las Americas, Bonampak or Frontera Corrazol and Yaxchilan staying at or one of the Lancandon camps, take excursions in the jungle, return via Palenque and Toniná (at Ocosingo). This is a long trip but well worth it. Agua Azul is an incredible place where nature is stunning but with lots of tacky crap from the ejidos around.
There are accomodation at International Lake, El Chifflon, Las Nubes, Las Guacamayas and around Frontera Corrazol as well as Benito Las Americas. There is gas at Benito and at Frontera Corrazol so fill up every time you see a gas station.
The whole place is safe as long as you do not go by yourself in isolated areas and get out on the roads after 5pm. There are periodical flare ups between the ejidos and the Zapatistas at Agua Azul and all over the jungle but you should not be in danger as long as you mind your own business.
You can check with the office of tourism before you take a trip and ask them if everything is quiet. Problems usually start around election time or you will find a spot or two where the locals have some disagreements. The roads are sometimes blocked for one reason or another but it is all for show. The local tv station sends a reporter, the locals voice their demands and it is usually over. Sometimes you will be asked for a few pesos to help an ejido but nothing really serious (for you as a tourist). If San Cristobal is cold, the jungle, low lands and of course Tuxtla and the coast are hot as hell.
The better beaches are in Oaxaca, Huatulco, Puerto Escondido etc.. they will be busy at that time of the year. The ´Pacific beach nearest Tuxtla Gutierrez is Puerto Arista which is a two hours drive from Tuxtla. The Chiapas beaches are rustic, too rustic for many tourist´s taste and they are also packed for Christmas New Year.
There are some interesting mangrove to visit if you do not mind mosquitoes. We like the Chiapas coast because it is not developped but many people avoid it for the same reason.
There are no big cities in Chiapas except Tuxtla Gutierrez which is a boom town with around 1,000,000 population. Tapachula is the second largest city in the state with around 300,000 people and it is considered the regional capital of teh Soconusco coastal plain. Comitan is a nice little town . Ocosingo is another town of some importance. Not pretty but famous for the Zapatista rebellion, it is close to the ruins of Toniná and there are hotels where you can spend the night if you decide to explore the ruins and the area.
Palenque is 4 to 5 hours of curvy road from San Cristobal and Ocosingo is about 2 hours from San Cristobal.
In Palenque there are plenty of accommodations from luxury to simple cabins in the jungle near the ruins. The town itself is pretty ugly amd extremely hot and humid.
Vichil (Not Hound Dog)
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Aug 5, 2010, 9:20 PM)