The first days in the real mountains. We have left the rolling hills behind us and climbed to 2100meters above sea level. And that is noticeable. Lightheaded and a bit jet-lagged we ride on to San Cristobal de Las Casas. Hoping that we adjust quickly to this altitude.
We know that this is only the beginning of the mountains and we will climb much and much higher, up to 4000 meters above sea level. But for now, here we have to deal with the first altitude problems we experience, and with the shortness of breath that comes with it, San Cristobal is a real challenge. The city is built on the hills and has many steep roads and stairs.
The ride from Villahermosa to San Cristobal de las Casas was amazing. The views were stunning and I really enjoyed the trip, although there were some nasty curbs and steep climbs.
And I really enjoyed San Cristobal. We stayed in the courtyard hotel in the city center, and the history started right at the hotel’s doorstep.
The many tourists that visit the cultural capital of Chiapas every year, did not change the atmosphere and the city has kept its natural feel and look. The historic city center is fun to explore, the small streets, the little shops, the huge evening market with piles and piles of locally produced handwoven and embroidered clothes, the restaurants with typical Mexican dishes but also a good variety of international cuisine.
But also outside the tourist area, where the locals live and buy things. I felt a little hesitant to enter the dark obscure looking public market, but once inside I was intrigued by the way they make tacos by the dozen, all the colorful chilies, and the friendly people.
We visited a local botanical garden, a private initiative filled with orchids and colorful flowers.
We ate in the mall and the public market, but mostly on the colorful squares and in the little streets where we found the most amazing-looking burritos, European bread with chees and meat fillings, and even Indian food.
We climbed the mountains to overlook the city from the little chapels and we took a day trip in the surroundings visiting caves and waterfalls.
I have made a collection of all the photos I took while being in San Cristobal for a week. If you click on an image it will enlarge for a better view. I think these photos give a good impression of the city and the surroundings.
Fun things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas
take a city tour with one of the little trains that take you through the narrow streets and over the river
visit the botanical garden Moxviquil
climb the stairs to one of the two chapels (or do both!)
visit the local public market in the city center
visit the night market on the big square in the historic city center and buy your Mexican clothing for so much less than in other tourist areas
take a trip in the surroundings and visit one of the many recreational areas and parks with hiking routes
visit the city’s museums and open buildings, like the amber museum in the old monastery and if you are a resident of Mexico some entrances are free.
visit the Sweet and candy market
drink locally produced coffee and hot chocolate in one of the many small coffee shops
TIP: Start at the beginning of my journey through Mexico, I rode from Cancun to La Paz in Baja California sure, 9000km through the heart of Mexico. Motorcycle road trip Mexico part 1