Located in the Central Highlands region of the Mexican state of Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas is a welcome break from the usual beaches and artsy old cities.

Home to indigenous peoples, Chipian coffee, and year-round cool weather, San Cristobal is a fun place to explore.

From its colorful churches and houses to the stunning natural beauty in surrounding villages, one will never run out of places to see and thing to do in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Read on to find out what are the things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico.

11 Top Things To Do In San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

1. Explore the town of San Cristobal De Las Casas

San Cristóbal de Las Casas

From day to night, the streets of San Cristobal bursts with life and its fascinating culture.

There are many pedestrian-friendly streets and neighborhoods lined with colorful historic buildings, churches, and houses.

From the main pedestrian thoroughfare Real de Guadalupe to the Zocalo, the central plaza, San Cristobal bursts with life and warmth.

Remember to stop every now and then to visit artisan shops, or have some hot Chipian coffee by day and the local liquor pox in the evening.

2. Visit the Churches of San Cristobal

santo domingo casas
Templo Santo Domingo

San Cristobal de las Casas is home to many colorful churches, and they are among the must-see places in town.

It is best to set aside a few hours and go church-hopping, starting with the yellow cathedral that overlooks the main plaza in the town center.

Afterward, check out the Templo Santo Domingo with its pink facade.

For best views over San Cristobal, there’s the Iglesia de San Cristobal and Iglesia de Guadalupe. Which are both located in the hills.

3. See the House of the Jaguar Museum

Casa Na Bolom

The House of the Jaguar (Casa Na Bolom in the local Tzotzil language) Museum is the brainchild of explorers Frans and Trudy Blom.

They dedicated their lives to protecting the culture and heritage of the surrounding Mayan regions.

Inside the museum, visitors will find archaeological pieces, clothing, crafts, and tools related to the Lacandon Jungle and Indigenous peoples.

These are collected by Frans and Trudy over a period of fifty years and one of the best things to see in  San Cristobal de las Casas.

4. Visit Chamula on Horseback

Chamula

An area mostly inhabited by the indigenous Tzotzil, Chamula is easily accessible from San Cristobal by bike, car, or horse.

The latter is often recommended for a more authentic feel of Chamula. This village is quite an intriguing place to see near San Cristobal de las Casas.

Here, visitors get to witness some fascinating rituals in the village church. Chamula’s Iglesia de San Juan is an attraction in itself, which looks just like most Latin American churches on the outside.

Step inside, and you’ll see no light, except for hundreds of candles and the light coming from the open windows. The church is regarded as a fine example of how the animistic and Christian faiths have mixed in Mexico.

5. Boat trip to Cañon Del Sumidero

Canon del Sumidero

The 35-million-year-old Canyon de Sumidero or Sumideo Canyon is a must-visit while in San Cristobal.

The otherworldly beauty of this ancient wonder is one experience visitors to San Cristobal shouldn’t miss.

Apart from a cruise through the waters surrounded by canyon walls, it also has a rich wildlife. Visitors can spot birds, monkeys, and crocodiles as they navigate their way through.

The San Cristobal tour to the Sumidero Canyon also takes visitors to see the Christmas Tree Falls. This is an area where the rock face covered with algae looks like a giant Christmas tree from afar.

6. View the city from the Guadalupe Church

The Guadalupe Church is one San Cristobal de las Casas attraction that you can see from anywhere in town. Perched on top of a hill, it takes 80 steps up to see the church up close and go inside.

Check out the eccentric decorations, from Jesus Christ and the Saints’ thick colorful brows to the Virgin Mary surrounded by neon lights.

From the church, visitors can also enjoy sweeping views over San Cristobal de las Casas

7. See the Natural Archway at Arcotete Park

 

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Only 20 minutes away by car the town center of San Cristóbal de las Casas is the Arcotete Park and its incredible cave system.

Here, a freshwater river of about five meters wide runs right through the middle of the archway. The archway is just a five-minute walk from the park’s entrance, through a scenic trail.

Surrounded by pine trees, the area is among the prettiest places to see in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

8. Have some Chocolate at the Kakaw Museum and Cafe

Mexico is one of the largest cacao producers in the world, and San Cristobal de las Casas is right smack in the cacao region of Chiapas.

While in town, go visit the Kakaw Museum and Cafe. The museum showcases the importance of cacao and cacao farming in the region, and how it was once used as currency.

After your museum visit, relax and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate for a taste of one of the region’s top products.

9. Visit a coffee farm in San Cristobal de las Casas

 

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Try the best quality coffee in Mexico by stopping by a coffee farm. Aside from cacao, Mexico also takes pride in producing 60% of the world’s organic coffee.

The highland region of Chiapas exports the most coffee in Mexico, and visiting the farms is one of the best things to do when in San Cristobal.

There are coffee farm cooperatives in the area and you can support local farmers by buying free trade coffee.

10. Enjoy the food in town

 

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San Cristobal de las Casas has many great cafes, eateries in retreatants so visitors will never run out of options.

Some of the most recommended are Maya Pakal and their delicious value meals and the tacos al pastor at La Lupe.

San Cristobal’s year-round cold weather makes it even nicer to enjoy some hot caldos (soups)  served in El Caldero, such as caldo tlalpeño and pozole.

For some good fish tacos, the hole-in-the-wall El Bony is a popular choice.

11. Stroll through the artisan markets

 

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One of the best things about San Cristobal de las Casas is its artisan market.

Located right in the heart of town, this is where artists, craftsmen, and indigenous textile makers showcase and sell their creations.

This vibrant market is easily one of the best places to visit in San Cristobal de las Casas if you want to bring home some unique local souvenirs.

Browse the stalls filled with handcrafted bags, blankets, clothes, decor, jewelry, and trinkets. Amber, a gem that is highly valued by the Ancient Tzotzil people, is also available here and quite cheap.

 

About Author

Hola! Que tal? I'm Christine, a Filipina but in love with Mexico. I used to live in Central America and Mexico is my favorite. Love tacos, tequila, and margarita.

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