By: Rebekah Mullinix
San Cristobal de Las Casas located in the state of Chiapas near Guatelmala. This city is special for many reasons. One reason is the rich history: the locals have been protecting their independence and culture since the birth of this city. The climate is quite different than many other places in Mexico. It is up in the mountains with beautiful scenery. The weather is cool even in the summer. You can see the diversity in San Cristobal through the dress of the different tribes, tourists, and business people.
1. Try the Locally Made Alcohol of San Cristobal: Posch
Posch is an alcoholic drink very similar to moonshine. It is used in religious ceremonies among some of the tribes in San Cristobal de Las Casas. There are several flavors; I definitely recommend trying them all.
2. Go on the Free Walking Tour
The Free Walking Tour is a great way to get an overview of the city and find some of the secret local spots. The cost is free, but the guides do work for tips. On this tour, you will get some coffee, see the beautiful murals, and get to try some of the amazing Posch.
3. Stroll the Walking Street
The main walking street in San Cristobal de Las Casas is Real de Guadalupe. This street is the center of entertainment in the city. There are tons of restaurants, shopping, and street vendors lining these streets. The magic of San Cristobal comes alive here!
4. Bargain at the Amber Market
The amber market doesn’t just sell amber, so it has something for everyone. However, This is the best place to buy amber in the city. Amber is sold as jewelry pieces or for wholesale. If you go on a free walking tour, the guide will show you the best stalls to go to.
5. Visit the Amber museum
I recommend going to this museum before purchasing amber at the market to learn a little bit about it. This museum is a small tribute to the imporatance amber has on San Cristobal de Las Casas. There are beautiful works of art made from amber and some educational material on how amber is mined and how to tell if it’s real or artificial
6. Taste the Mouth-Watering Elote
I thought I loved corn before, but San Cristobal left me loving it even more. Elote can be on or off the cob. It is roasted over a fire and covered in mayonnaise, butter, salt, lime, and cheese. It is one of the most magnificent things I have ever tasted. I bought it every single day I was there.
7. Admire The Temple De Santo Domingo de Guzman
This is a beautiful church! It is covered in stucco which allowed the artists to carve very intricate details on the outside of the building. The city’s diversity is evident in the symbolism in the stucco featuring both Christian and Mayan symbols.
8. Shop at Mercado Viejo: The Best Market in San Cristobal
This is the best place to shop for groceries. There is amazing variety. There are wonderfully fresh meats and vegetables here that make for a delightful dinner. Delicious!
9. Take a Day Trip
There are so many amazing sites nearby such as Palenque, Agua Azul, and the Sumidero Canyon. San Cristobal is a lovely city to stay in for several days and use as a central point to visit other nearby sites.
10. View the Cathedral of San Cristobal
This church is a recognizable symbol of San Cristobal de las Casas. Visit the square where this cathedral resides and you will find lots of activity. There are several vendors and children playing in the square.