Difference between revisions of "Chiapas"
Revision as of 12:46, 4 September 2013
Chiapas is a pretty compact state that packs plenty in for the interested traveler, from pristine lakes, rivers and national parks, to fascinating and friendly Mexican pueblos.
It is a mountainous area, so you might want to bring warm clothes and a sleeping bag, as budget hotels can be a bit on the stingy side with blankets. Getting around the state is fast and hassle-free, as places of interest are all conveniently close to each other, so long bus rides are not necessary.
The major destinations are San Crisotbal and Palenque, but if you can allow yourself more time to get off the beaten track, you will be rewarded with some magical experiences. At times, Chiapas feels like a Mexican wonderland, and sparing the major attractions, you'll likely have it all to yourself.
The recent history of Chiapas is strongly connected with the Zapatista Movement EZLN ciudad de ocosingo
Most people will speak Spanish, but this is less common among the indigenous peoples, where Tsotsil and Tseltal are the most common languages. Very few who can speak English, almost always very badly.
Chiapas is about as far south as you can get in Mexico. It borders Guatemala on the southeast, the Pacific on the southwest, and the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Yucatan from west to northeast. It has a small international airport in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and is also connected by highways (some are toll roads, or cuota) with the surrounding states and Guatemala.
The easiest way to get around within cities is probably by private car, taxi, or colectivo. Colectivos are small vans or buses that are very cheap and follow specific routes. The main destinations on the route of each colectivo are listed on the right side of its windshield, though it is sometimes hard to tell if it is really going your way. Asking the driver usually works, but don't expect him or her to speak English.
Outside of cities, the best way to get around is by private car, bus (slow, with frequent stops), colectivo (a little more expensive than in the city), taxis, or pickups (camionetas). Taxis outside of cities charge very high rates if it is not their regular route, so make sure the driver knows you do not want a "viaje especial" (special trip). Sharing taxis is very common, and almost universal outside cities. The pickups that are for public transportation are usually identifiable. Try to get a seat in the cab, unless you enjoy being pressed against a large group of sweaty locals in the hot sun. Pickups are also fairly slow and make frequent stops, but they are faster than the bus.
You may also volunteer as part of one of two yearly excursions into the Lacondon jungle with Pastors for Peace. Humanitarian Aid is raised on two tours of US cities which convene in San Antonio, Texas before crossing the border into Reynosa, MX and driving the Eastern Seaboard of Mexico and into the Cloud Forest of Chiapas before settling into the beautiful city of San Cristobal De Las Casas, MX. Visit: IFCOnews.org for more information.
Like any other city and remote location in the world has its problem, but be aware of your personal belongings all the time, and do not walk with jewelry and expensive objects in sight. Chiapas is usually in secure state, where the warmth of people will make you feel at home.