'''San Cristóbal de las Casas''' is in the southern [[Mexico|Mexican]] region of [[Chiapas]].
[[Image:San_Cristobal_de_las_Casas.jpg|thumb|Church in San Cristóbal de las Casas]]
The '''express bus''' system for getting around Mexico is advanced. The buses are generally comfortable and clean and there are multiple lines to choose from in a user-friendly way with professional and helpful ticket clerks at most main stations. The roads to San Cristóbal are winding and can be dizzying so some choose the option to take a bus and let a professional driver do the work. You can see the beautiful greenery of Chiapas all around you on the trip through the big bus windows, or pull the curtain to nap.
* Constant cultural activities around the Centro
* '''Mayan villages in the surrounding mountains'''. The easiest way to visit the villages is in a day tour from San Cristóbal. Plus, a good guide will help to give you a deeper understanding of modern Maya life. San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan are the most well-known (and visited) Maya villages, but there are others, such as Tenejapa and San Andres Larrainzar, that are equally as fascinating, and they receive very little tourism. The best day to visit the Maya communities are during their weekly markets and festivals.
'''Cielo y Tierra Tours''' offer excellent half-day tours to Chamula and Zinacantan, as well as some of the more remote Maya villages. Visit their website for further information. [http://www. cieloytierratours.com ]
* '''Kinoki''', Av. 1.de Marzo 22, Tel. 6780495, Movies everyday at 4PM, 6PM and 8PM. You can as well rent a room with a projector and sound system and choose a movie from a huge list and watch it with your friends. (ca. 25 Pesos - 2.5 US)
<do name="Different City Tours" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="044-967-1053425" url="http://kjells.wiki-site.com/index.php/City_Tours" hours="2-5 hours" price="about 100 Pesos" lat="" long="">Discover the city and the surroundings with a guide, learning about the ethnological and ecological history of Chiapas and San Cristóbal and its social movements. </do> *<do name="Agenda San Cristobal" alt="30" address="In the web" directions="" phone="967 129 26 84" url="www. agendasancristobal. com" hours="all day" price="free" lat="" long="">Website where you can check concerts, theater plays, underground cinema, museums and all cultural plans.</do>
After the Zapatist movement came out of the jungle in 1994 a great load of NGOs came over to San Cristóbal. Nowadays you can find lots of interesting projects in any field really. The list of NGOs working in San Cristóbal and its surroundings is quite long.
*'''Nataté'''[http://www.natate.org/] works on sustainable projects in San Cristóbal and within the state of Chiapas. Nataté works in different fields
, Education, Water and Waste Management(dry toilets, water filtering), Reforestation, Construction ... Short and long term projects are available.
*'''FrayBa''' [http://www.frayba.org.mx/index.php] sends ''Human Rights''' Observers in Zapatista communities.
People should be aware of cultural issues in this region. While San Cristóbal has done a great job of cleaning up, there is real destitute poverty just around the corner if you scratch the surface. The native people suffer a lot so please respect them and treat them with kindness when you come into contact.
== Learn ==
* <listing name="San Cristóbal Language School" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.sancristoballanguageschool.org/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">SCLS is part of one of the premier Spanish language networks in Mexico (the Teach Me Mexico Network). It is in a historic casona in the heart of downtown San Cristóbal. It is the only school in town in which all Spanish teachers have college degrees. $10.99 USD / hour..And Spanish Lessons Online By Skype $ 9.99 USD www.spanishwithskype.com</listing>
* <listing name="Casa De La Vista" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.casadelavista.org/" hours="" price="">Offers Spanish & Cultural Awareness instruction. The teachers encourage and motivate students, providing instruction for beginning and advanced Spanish language speakers while providing a strong cultural background.</listing>
* <listing name="Spanish Immersion School La Casa en el Árbol" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.lacasaenelarbol.org" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">An enthusiastic and socially committed language school. La Casa en el Árbol offers intense Spanish Immersion Programs as well as volunteering programs.</listing>
* <listing name="Tierras Mayas Spanish Language School" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.tierrasmayas.org/" hours="" price="">At Tierras Mayas, in addition to learning Spanish in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, you will also find opportunities to come in contact with and immerse yourself in the various cultures of Mexico.
We offer one on one, intensive and group classes. Also have weekly outings where students can visit other sites of cultural significance in and around San Cristóbal . We take pride in not only teaching you Spanish, but also in bringing you into the experience of the Mexican way of life.</listing>
* <listing name="Instituto Jovel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://institutojovel.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">One of the oldest and most respected schools for learning Spanish as a second language. It is the only Spanish school established in its own and beautiful building. Instituto Jovel is the only school for credits to college and university students.</listing>
* <listing name="Sol Maya Language School" alt="" address="Hermanos Dominguez 25-A" directions="at the stairs to the hill of San Cristóbal" phone="" url="http://www.solmaya.org" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Sol Maya Language School has changed is name in Tierras Mayas Language School</listing>
* To get your quality leather products (bags, purses, rucksacks, belts) custom made, go to '''Talabartería Ballinas''' where Vicente Hernández will exercise his excellent handicraft skills for you. Av. Presidente Portes Gil # 8A, Col. Revolución Mexicana (from the centre take Flavio Paniagua East and turn left (North) along Huixtla and it's several blocks on, on the left-hand side). Tel (67) 8 95 42.
* East of the Parque Central, following ''Real de Guadalupe'', is a complex called ''Tierra Adentro'' [http://www.tierradentro.org.mx] which sells Handicrafts, T/shirts, Posters etc. in a cooperative which helps the autonomous communities of the Zapatista movement.
On and around the main square there are many sit-down restaurants. You can find cheaper food at the local street vendors and at the markets.
*<eat name="BioBio" alt="" address="Real de Mexicanos 10" directions="close to Santo domingo" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Tasty organic products and food.
Tipical Mexican cuisine as well as international food. Nice garden and patio. Free wifi.</eat>
*<eat name="Cocoliche" alt="" address="Cristóbal Colón 3" directions="close to Real de Guadalupe" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Mexican, Asian, pasta, vegetarian, smoothies, juices, sandwiches, burritos, all very good. Free wifi. They frequently have free bands that play here in the evenings</eat>
*<eat name="Natura" alt="" address="Real de Guadalupe 26" directions="corner of Belisario Domínguez" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Coffee, bagels etc, in a nice small corner bar.</eat>
*<eat name="Naturalissimo" alt="" address="20 de Noviembre 4" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Vegetarian restaurant, one of many.</eat>
* '''El Gato Gordo''' - Real de Guadalupe 20. Good restaurant with live music. It has a cheap vegetarian menu for 35 pesos (soup, rice, cheese croquets). Pasta is also +- 35 pesos.
* '''El Caldero''' - Enjoy some hearty traditional Mexican soups. Prices are 49 pesos for any of the soups and the menu also includes salads and few other snacks. Located on Insurgentes about two locals next to Toluc.
* '''El Tacoleto''' - Some friendly and attentive wait staff, serving mexican
taco´s and quesadillas. Lacking any Chicken tacos but other than that everything is great. Very clean places and quick service. right across the street from Latino´s night club on Francisco Madero.
* '''El Mesón del Taco''' - Av. Crecencio Rosas Tacos al pastor, quesadillas and other Mexican food. 40-50 pesos.
*'''La Casa del Pan''' - Two Locations both with restaurant and bakery. The original La Casa del Pan is in the Barrio del Cerillo, known for the fountain in front providing a perfect outdoor sitting area. The second location is on Real de Guadalupe # 55 in a building offering a cinema, bar, language school, yoga and few more activities. La Casa del Pan is know for its quality baked goods as well as the organic products used in the restaurant and sold in the store. A nice selection for vegetarian and more health conscious visitors.
Go to the main public market and eat tamales for breakfast. Another local specialty is "sopa de pan" which you will probably not find in any restaurant catering to tourists. You will find it in the comedors int he market. That is the best food in town.
On Saturdays many houses sell tamales out their front door. Look for the red lights. On any given evening there are places where people make antojitos on the street in front of their houses. This is real local food.
At certain times of the year different
exotic insects are consumed in different ways. Pay attention in the market and you might have the chance to try something really exotic.
A lunch time bargain is in the different cantinas. These are family places and I am not telling where any of them are, you will have to figure that out on your own... order a beer and you will get a little plate of food to go with it.. house choice. Its cheap and excellent, though, you might get drunk in the process.
Most all restaurants serve filtered water. The local drink here is "posh" or ''pox''. It is a hard liquor made from cane and has been used traditionally for healing and partying. It is frequently served in ''ponche'' -- a pineapple or fruit hot punch with a special bread broken into it.
*''' La Paloma restaurant''' on the walking street. Has nightly music and is a nice place for the older set especially.
*'''Cafe Toyol Witz''' (Calle Comitan 10-B, Barrio del Cerrillo) for a Fair Trade, shade grown cup of coffee that is beat by no other check out this local cafe that doubles as the first floor of the owner's home. Slightly off the beaten path to the city center, you'll find the cafe keeper to be more than willing to help answer any questions you may have about the coffee or neighborhood.
Also nightly there are many bars with music on the same street; '''La Revolución''' (or El Revo), '''El Circo''' etc. On Insurgentes, not far from the wonderful restaurant, '''Madre Tierra''', there is a jazz club
, '''Dada''' that presents very good music. Most of the music is performed by local musicians in the clubs and restaurants. On the corner of the zócalo in the '''Santa Clara Hotel/bar''' there is music in the evenings.
*<drink name="iskra cerveceria artesanal" alt="" address="real de guadalupe 53" directions="" phone="9676780822" url="http://www.iskracafe.blogspot.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">micro brewery and live music every night,happy hour from 5PM to 8PM</drink>
*<drink name="Kakao natural" alt="" address="Pedro Moreno 2A" directions="next to the Templo de San Francisco" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Great chocolate to drink, eat or take out. Free wifi.</drink>
*<drink name="Cafe La Selva" alt="" address="Cuauhtemoc, Zona Centro" directions="two blocks west from central, then down one block" phone="" url="" hours="" price="16-78" lat="" long="">Nice ambience--tables and seats are comfortable, good background music (soft), free wifi, and excellent coffee with nice touches (green rimmed ceramic mugs). There's also an open patio outside if the main section feels too dark on some days. It's not as busy at it could be, perhaps, but that's a good thing if you seek quiet.</drink>
San Cristóbal is considered by some to be the backpackers hub in Chiapas. Some accommodation should be found for around M$50/US$5. There are signs on buildings advertising rooms for that amount, though they may have common bathrooms. Very nice hotels such as Hotel Real del Valle on Guadalupe just off the main square may be had for M$200/US$20
*'''Posada del Abuelito''' Calle Tapachula 18 (01967) 678 1741 One of the pioneering posada/hostals of San Cristóbal back in the early 1980´s offering rates starting at 100 pesos in dorms and 200 pesos for a double room including a light breakfast set in the beautiful Barrio del Cerillo in a magnificent colonial house. email [email protected]
*'''Posada mi casa''' Calle Ejercito Nacional 14. Barrio el Cerillo. Tel (+52)(967) 673 03 77.
*"'Hostel Qhia'", Calle Tonala 5, dorms in high season 100 Pesos. Has nice sun terrace, good views over the hills surrounding San Cristobal, free breakfast and wifi, organises tours, very close to the main market, very clean. Try to book in advance in high season as it gets very busy.
*'''El Hosalito''', María Adelina Flores # 24, Barrio de Guadalupe, Email [email protected], Tel: (+52 967) 631-7405, wifi, private and shared rooms, fully equipped kitchen, friendly staff, close to the zocalo, shops and markets
*<sleep name="Posada 5" alt="" address="" directions="after getting off the bus just ask how to get to Barrio del Cerrillo, once there anyone will know where Posada 5 is" phone="" url="" checkin="anytime" checkout="11AM" price="starting at 80 pesos for a dorm" lat="" long="">Good atmopshere, free (slow) internet, communal kitchen, dorm rooms are shared by many (10 plus) people. Coffee included. Nice staff.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Casa Kasa" alt="" address="Cerrada Brasil No.6B" directions="" phone="(+52 967) 674-5080
" email="" fax="" url="http://www.geocities.jp/sancristobal_casakasa/" checkin="anytime" checkout="anytime" price="Dorms 50 pesos Single 100pesos Double 120pesos">Japanese house. Central area with two couches and kitchen. Kitchen somewhat disorderly and unclean, dormitory beds very low caliber. Recommended for speakers of Japanese.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel El Molino" alt="" address="Ejército nacional 30" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Single room 120 pesos, double 200.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Le Gite del Sol" alt="" address="Francisco I.Madero#82" phone="(01(967) 631 60 12" url="http://www.legitedelsol.com"
</sleep> This bed and breakfast is close to the pedestrian boulevard of Real de Guadalupe. Rooms and facilities are very clean, hot water takes a few minutes for showers. The staff are very nice. The staff clean the floors frequently throughout the day so may not be good for those with chemical sensitivities. 220 pesos for a private room with double bed, shared bath. Private rooms up to 4, and private baths available.
*<sleep name="Rossco" alt="" address="Real de Mexicanos 16" directions="" phone="(+52 967) 674-0525" url="http://www.backpackershostel.com.mx" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""></sleep>
*'''Hotel D'Monica''',--Avenue Insurgentes 33; about 2 blocks up from the bus station towards the town centre. Pleasant rooms, a beautiful garden--about $35-40 per night--not cheap, but not over the top, either!
*'''Belen Posada''' - Plaza de los Mexicanos. Wonderfully charming, this mid-sized inn has very reasonably-priced rooms starting at M$275 for their basic double up to M$450 for larger rooms. The spacious, carpeted rooms all have WiFi, TV's, sturdy furniture, and private bathrooms decorated with colonial-style tile and <i>hot</i> water. The prices for the cheaper rooms makes it hard to call this 'mid-range', but the amenities make it hard to call 'budget'!
*'''Holiday Inn''', Calle 1 De Marzo 15, Zona Centro, +52-967-6780045, [http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hotel/tgzsc?rpb=hotel&crUrl=/h/d/hi/1/en/mapsearchresults]. Just a couple of blocks from the center of town. About $100 U.S. per night.
* Posada Corto Maltese - spacious and clean with full kitchen, clothes washing and real hot water. Courtyard, hammocks, use of spacious backyard, close to centro and markets, but still quiet. Big rooms and run by lovely family. Dorm or private. Really good value. M$250/night for private, totally worth the money.
tour to two of the '''local indigenous villages''', [[San Juan Chamula]] and Zinacantan is found at 9:30AM at the plaza in front of the cathedral, next to the Zocalo. Alex and Raul are always there and everyone who appears is accommodated. They speak many languages and this visit really needs a guide, so you understand the very strange things you will observe. They supply transportation and entrance fees. The tour returns around 2:30PM (lunch time in Mexico). In the spring of 2007, this tour cost 180 pesos ($16 US). Note: Alex and Raul went their separate ways at the end of 2007 and Raul now works with an English-speaking guide called Caesar. Alex has set up a tour company called '''Cielo y Tierra Tours''' that offers private tours to Chamula and Zinacantan as well as several of the other more remote Maya villages, including Tenejapa, San Andres Larrainzar and San Pedro Chenalho. There's information about all their tours on their website.[http://www.cieloytierratours. com]
*'''El Arcotete''' - The Arcotete is one of San Cristóbal´s best kept secrets. Similar to Rancho Nuevo but much nicer and closer to San Cristóbal, located about 5-10km from the City in the direction of Tenejapa (signs are well placed to find El Arcotete). 10 pesos per vehicle. Recently remodeled into a park offering nice walking grounds surrounded by Pine trees, picnic areas, and nice look out vantage points. A great day trip to spend a couple of hours or the whole day enjoying a picnic or a pickup soccer game. It costs 5 pesos to enter the part of (Las Grutas) The Caves. El Arcotete will provide a wonderful experience enjoying Natures work at best. Check it out for yourself.
*'''El Chiflón''' - El Chiflón is a series of waterfalls and pools reminiscent of Agua Azul or Semuc Shampey a few hours from San Cristóbal. To get there, take a bus or van to Comitán (1.5 hours,
40 pesos), and another van heading to Socol or Tuxtla and ask to be let off at the entrance to El Chiflón (40 minutes, 25 pesos) - it's just 1km from the road to the entrance. 30 pesos to get in, it includes a small museum explaining the formation of the river, a space to see iguanas, campsite, and some amazing vivid blue pools to bathe in. The trail itself is fairly short, a little less than 1.5km, but at the end you have an amazing view of a huge waterfall, Velo de la Novia, which definitely makes it worth your while. There are some small ziplines across the river as well, but the place has a much less touristy feel than Agua Azul, mostly it's frequented by Mexican families. Tours of el Chiflón cost 350 pesos (July 2013) and include the Lagos de Montebello.
*[[Laguna Miramar]] - Visit one of the most beautiful lakes in the Lacantun Jungle in the south of Chiapas. Visiting Laguna Miramar requires planning and organization. It is inside Zapatista territory. Do not attempt to go there without a guide. Do bring everything you will need, there is nothing to buy there.
*[[El Chorreadero]] - Nice waterfalls with small natural pools where people can take a swim. You can check out the cave where the waterfall is born and then follow your way down. In the very last pool people can practice naturism. To get there take a van from San Cris to Tuxtla Gutierrez and ask to be left in [[Chiapa de Corzo]]. Under the bridge look for collectives or taxis direction Bochil and that will leave you close to the waterfall entrance.
*[[Oventic]] - From San Cris market you can take a van that leads to Oventic. The combi (~1 hour,
25 pesos [ december 2013] or shared taxi for 29 pesos) only leaves when it's full, and not a lot of people are going in that direction, so expect a bit of a wait. It's a bumpy and winding road up the mountains. This is a caracol or independent zapatista community. Bring your passport or official documents. People at the entrance will ask you questions to evaluate if you would be allowed inside the place. Very nice murals. Close to the town of san Andres which is also worth a visit.
*[[Lagos de Montebello]] - A series of picturesque lakes near the Guatemalan border (20 pesos). The lakes are rather far apart (~5 km between each one), making it difficult to walk them if you're alone with no car. A tour that includes el Chiflón costs 350 pesos (July 2013) from San Cristóbal. If you want to do it alone with no car, you can take a combi from Comitán (1 hour, 40 pesos) that leaves from the same place as the combis from/to San Cristóbal and el Chiflón, and then try to hitch rides from other tourists in the parking lots or walk back to the highway after visiting each lake and wait for the combi to pass again to take you to the next entrance for 10 pesos.