San Cristobal de las casas – Chiapas

Leaving the Oaxaca’s coast, I took a night bus during 14 hours to reach San Cristobal de las casas, it was not the most comfortable bus (OCC) but at least the early lights revealed a completely new landscape.

San Cristobal de las casas is a very nice colonial jewel town in the Chiapas, it’s one of the most visited place in Mexico. The big temperature difference was felt by night when it dropped at 6 degrees Celsius. And when there is no heater… you’re happy to have brought your warm clothes and got some blankets at your hostel.

Here are a few shots of the town, which is at 1940 meters of altitude. The cathedral, which at my surprise has a BOSE sound system, so knowing that the Chiapas is the poorest state of Mexico and as someone is asking you some money in order to help the poor children, you wonder how they managed to afford a so expensive purchase. Might be the Vatican… God only knows.

The main square is surrounded by a very nice a well kept colonial architecture.

And in the main touristy street you may think everything looks genuine…

… when you realize that this is a Burger king.

Surprisingly this place attracts lots and lots of hippies from all around the world.

Anyways, back to some more genuine and authentic stuff, every night you will find some ambiance in a few bars such as this one where we had a live group playing guitar, really good!

It was also interesting to have a walk at the market and try to make a few shots without being “too much of a tourist”.

And of course some pirated music.

One of the attraction of the place is to go discover the typical villages of the surroundings, so I did the horse riding until the village of San Juan de Chamula, which was unfortunately pretty disappointing by the poor state of the horses, but the landscape full of pine trees was indeed nice to see. On the other hand, the village itself appeared to be very empty in terms of interest, only the church had something special, as the locals do have their own religion – Evangelism associated to the Zapatist movement.

What is striking is the way that people prey within the church (forbidden to take any pictures inside as it would rob the spirit of the saints), while encending some candles on the floor and preying on their knees. (there are absolutely no seats in the church).

Another interesting natural spot is named the Canyon del Sumidero :

On this video you will see the highest point of the canyon which reaches 1000 meters above the water. It was, back when the spanish colonised the area the place where hundreds of Mayas commited suicide by jumping from the cliff.

 

As it is quite tropical at 500 meters high, crocodiles can be found on the bank of the water.

One of the rare formation is this calcaire “tree”. Built up with water throughout the decades.