Chiapas at a Glance
Chiapas is the southernmost Mexican state which borders Guatemala to the South and East, and the Pacific Ocean to the West. The region is a travellers paradise, with colourful colonial cities, ancient Mayan archaeological sites and exotic wildlife and natural wonders galore.
History and Culture
Chiapas is characterised by the many Mayan ruins which are dotted throughout the region and show evidence of human civilisation dating back to at least 1400 B.C. It was in 1522 that Hernán Cortes initially tried to overtake the area, but the native population successfully resisted the conquest until the 17th century!
The region has historically been one of the poorest in Mexico. Nowadays, tourism is one of the major industries, alongside primary industries in coffee production, crude oil and manufacturing.
Where to stay in Chiapas
San Cristobal de las Casas is the one the best places to base yourself when visiting Chiapas and it has a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Our top picks are:
When is the best time to visit Chiapas
Chiapas enjoys a tropical, humid climate year-round with an average annual temperature of 21.6C/70.8F. The hottest months are April and May which average 23C/73.5F and can hit 30C/86F; the coolest month is January which averages 19.5C/67F.
The seasons are split into the dry season and rainy season; the majority of rainfall falls between May and October whereas the rest of the year remains relatively dry.
The high season for tourism is in January, followed by December and February/March.
We recommend visiting in April for fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures and low precipitation.
Chiapas Tours: What to Do?
San Cristobal de las Casas
This small charming mountain town
makes for an ideal base to explore the region as its central locations put it within easy reaching distance of many of the most popular destinations. The town’s colonial pastel dwellings, cobble-stone streets and largely indigenous population add to its cultural charm. Spend a day exploring the streets, touring the museums, churches and markets and absorbing yourself in the authentic Mexican way of life. Make sure you visit the Templo Santo Domingo
which dates back to the 18th century and is regarded as the most beautiful building in the town, as well as the Iglesias de Guadalupe
and.de San Cristobal
. These two churches require a hike up nearby hills but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over the town and beyond.
Chiapas is home to some breathtaking waterfalls, hidden away off-the-beaten-track in deep gorges and thick rainforest. Three of the most impressive and easily accessible include:
El Chiflon – This beautiful waterfall is one of the most remote but worth the hike to see the huge falls cascading into the turquoise blue pool below. Plus, you can hike up the falls and have the option to zip line down!
– One of the most famous waterfalls in Mexico, Agua Azul gets its name from the bright blue hue of the cascading water. There is the option to swim in the pools at the bottom of the falls or hike up a small path at the side of the falls to reach the top and enjoy the falls from unique viewpoint away from the main crowds.
Misol-ha – Unlike Agua Azul, Misol-ha is one single waterfall some 35m (115ft) high and surrounded by tropical jungle. Enjoy a swim in the peaceful waters
or wander around the main path to get a unique perspective from behind the waterfall.
The Palenque ruins
, in the thick of the jungle to the North of Chiapas, is one of the regions most famous landmarks. A tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site
is a must; a local expert guide will tell you all about this ancient city and the wider Mayan sphere of influence in the region.
A boat tour through the Sumidero Canyon is a must when traveling in Chiapas. The towering canyon walls stretch over a kilometre overhead! You’ll also have the chance to spot wildlife such as crocodiles and spider monkeys.
The Keteka difference
Keteka grants access to authentic activities run by local tour operators and guides. You can book and secure your place in advance, and we will take care of everything else. We’ll let you know where to go or where you will be picked up and at what time.
How to get to Chiapas
Buses leave daily from Mexico City bound for San Cristobal de las Casas operated by Autobuses Ado. The journey takes around 15 hours so it’s best done overnight and it costs between $35 – $82 USD.
Regular flights are operated by Interjet
from Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas. The journey only takes 1 hour and 30 minutes and can cost as low as $40 USD one-way when booked in advance.