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Chiapas - San Cristóbal Day Trips

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Chiapas - San Cristóbal Day Trips Empty Chiapas - San Cristóbal Day Trips

Post by hound dog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:49 am

This post is a follow-up and tied to the thread started April 16th by oncesubtle entitled "San Cristóbal de Las Casas - Chipas (sic)" which won´t show up on a search under the subject "Chiapas" because of the inadvertent misspelling of the state´s name. Not an issue but Dawg has posted some information on what I consider some of the best motor tours out of San Cristóbal in that thresd. The main drive I describe in that thread which takes one on a circle tour of the Chiapas Highlands to the low lying Palenque ruins and back to San Cristóbal via the Lacandon Forest, Bonampak, Yaxchilán and the Montebello Lakes, is a drive that will take three to five days but is more than worth the effort.

In this post, I´ll be discussing a day trip out of San Cristóbal which will take the reader about five to maybe six hours to accomplish in total from the city and back. This drive will take the reader through some of the most spectacular high-mountain countryside anywhere and, once one has left the immediate environs of San Cristóbal and the touristy precints of central Chamula, one will be completely immersed in indigenous Maya territory and will rarely if ever encounter another tourist whether Mexican or foreign. This drive will take the traveler mostly through Zapatista territory and some locations made famous during the 1990s for events arising froim the Zapatista uprising of those years including the tiny village of Acteal, infamous for a massacre of locals in 1997. However, there is no reason to be concerned for one´s safety as long as one is respectful of local laws and customs so Dawg highly recommends that those of you planning to visit Chiapas not miss this drive for its astonishing beauty, true back-country indigenous communities and historic interest.

You will want to take the federal highway that leads to Chamula to where the highway ends with either a right turn into Chamula´s administrative center where that community´s famous church is located, or a left turn toward the communities of Chenalhó and Pantalhó where the paved federal highway ends. After driving for another 15 minutes or so, you will see a dogleg off to your left which will take you to the Zapatista stronghold towns of Larrainzar and Aldama. The side trip to these town on the way to Chenalhó is well worth the trouble - especially if you continue on to the end of the paved road doglegging off of your main route to Pantalhó to the spectacular small village of Aldama set on a high mountain ridge so dramatic you will be amazed a town was developed there. In Larrainzar, I recommend you ask locals gathered in the main plaza if you can visit the interior of their very interesting church where, if you are lucky as we have been a couple of times, some very colorful services may be taking place. You wil be treated courteously if you are courteous yourself but do not attempt to take any pictures in the church or - for that matter - anywhere along this journey without specific local permission. Aldama is a much smaller and more isolated community so I recommend you drive through this beautiful place but not linger for any extended period as foreign visitors are rare there and local people a bit suspicious of strangers - even other indigenous folks with no know business there.

More later on what you will encounter on this beautiful day trip when I have a little more time.
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Chiapas - San Cristóbal Day Trips Empty Re: Chiapas - San Cristóbal Day Trips

Post by raqueteer on Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:27 pm

A most excellent trip indeed. We did the 5 day tour which you describe here a few years back. It was truly spectacular. As was the tour around San Cristóbal de las casas. The church is quite amazing.
We finished our trip in Tuxtla Gutierrez after seeing the Sumidero Canyon, also a must see.

Our tour guide was the very colorful and entertaining Patricio Murphy. We had a wonderful experience with him, and would highly recommend him to anyone visiting Chiapas on their own.

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