Cultural Capital of Chiapas: San Cristóbal de las Casas

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Cultural Capital of Chiapas: San Cristóbal de las Casas

The Parachico Dancers Welcome You to San Cristobal de las Casas

In the central highlands of Chiapas, you can find the charming San Cristobal de las Casas (San Cristobal). Drenched with Spanish colonial style, San Cristobal’s red-roofed buildings, cobblestone streets, and iron balconies are what makes this place unique.

My first impression was ‘is this Mexico?’ I’ve been to a few states and many cities, but this was quite different than the ‘typical’ Mexico I knew. The city has been influenced during the Spanish colonial period. Indeed, it reminded me of my time in Figures in Costa Brava. The best way to enjoy the city is by foot or bike.

Chiapas’s political capital has been moved from San Cristobal to Tuxtla, but San Cristobal is still considered to be the cultural capital of the state. Surrounded by unique indigenous and textile culture, it’s been designated as one of the most pleasant cities to visit in Mexico. It also has attracted a large community of expats from all around the world.

Not only in the city center, there are also several attractions around the city. Mayan villages such as Chamula and Zinacantan are good examples of the life of indigenous tribes. But remember to keep a distance and respect their privacy.

Because of its location, San Cristobal has a moderate highland climate. Even in summer, it’s cool at night and hot during the day. It’s also important to be prepared with an umbrella, or with a ‘When in Rome’ spirit poncho.

I should’ve stayed longer, but I had to say goodbye too quickly to move on to my next adventure. San Cristobal is definitely one of those places I want to go back. Here are some photos from San Cristobal and around from my four days there. Such a charming place, isn’t it?

The Parachico dancer costume

The Parachico dancers and Catedral de San Cristóbal de las Casas, mexico

The Parachico or Parachicos dancers in Chiapas

Iron balcony

San Cristobal de las Casas


Street cart in San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas

Touring San Cristobal by trolley

Children of Zinacantan

A girl in Zinacantan

Zinacantán is famous for growing flowers

In house shrine (flowers symbolize the movement of Sun)

Cemetery of San Juan de Chamula

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .


  1. Amanda says:

    I taught at an international school in Chiapas and would spend at least one weekend a month in San Cristobal. If there were an international school there I would apply in a heartbeat! Thank you so much for highlighting one of my favorite places in Mexico!

  2. Ronny says:

    I’ve been to Guanajuato so far in Mexico and places like Oaxaca and San Cristobal are next on my culturally hunting list … thanks for the motivation!

  3. Tim L. says:

    Wonderful photos Juno and it was great hanging with you in such an interesting place!

  4. Greg Vaughn says:

    I visited San Cristobal many years ago – this post makes me really want to go back!

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