I love travelling around Mexico. I love this country´s beautiful colonial towns and cities. Today I will tell you about San Cristobal de las Casas.
This colonial town was founded by the Spanish in 1528. It was the centre of commercial trade for the indigenous people working the surrounding lands. The town was named after Bartolomé de las Casas, a Dominican monk who arrived in Chiapas in 1545 and was appointed bishop. Bartolomé de las Casas was the most prominent Spanish defender of indigenous people in colonial times and it is thanks to him that historical records where collected from those times.
A Town of Cultural diversity
The town is home to a diversity of Mayan cultures, who speak different Mayan languages, especially the Tzotzil and Tzeltal people. Two major communities can be visited from San Cristobal that are just a car ride away: Zinacantan and Chamula. Both villages can be visited on the same day trip. In Zinacantan, you will enjoy the colourful weaving by the friendly people, while Chamula is world known by its church. Now that’s something different! This is no traditional church; the locals perform pagan rituals inside the building making this a complete syncretism experience. You need to see it to believe it, as no photos are allowed inside the premises. Outside, a colourful street market leads up to the church full of flowers, crafts, fruits and vegetables and clothes.
Wander around San Cris -as locals call it
While in San Cristobal, wander around the colonial cobblestone streets towards the sun-coloured cathedral or climb the stairs towards the Temple of San Cristobal to check out the views all the way to the mountains. San Cristobal offers many shops and restaurants where travellers can stop to watch the people by the main plaza.
Interested in textiles? San Cristobal thas one of the most beautiful textiles museums in Mexico, inside the Ex-Convent of Santo Domingo, the museum showcases over 500 examples of handwoven textiles from Mexico and Central America.
The town is also the centre of trading for the autonomous communities of the highlands of Chiapas. The Zapatista communities trade and sell their coffee, chocolate, arts and crafts, wood, and textiles in this town. These communities have gathered interest from many international journalists and activists, giving this town a bohemian and intellectual identity.
Enhance your experience with a sip of Pox
Lastly, a trip to this town won’t be complete until you try a sip of Pox, this is the traditional spirit that was used for ceremonial purposes among the Mayans of Mexico and Central America. It is made of corn, sugar cane and wheat, and in San Cristobal, they serve it with orange zest and dark chocolate truffle. As I said, in San Cristobal clients have to experience it to believe it!
Call us in to get the most out of your trip to Mexico and its beautiful colonial towns, we have so much more to offer!