Travelers interested in colonial architecture will not leave Chiapas disappointed. San Cristóbal de las Casas is easily one of Mexico’s finest colonial cities, boasting a beautiful cathedral, elegant Dominican priory and convent, and numerous well-preserved colonial-era structures. Nearby are the smaller, but no less significant, colonial towns of Comitán and Chiapa de Corzo.
There also are a number of indigenous villages that are not colonial in an overall sense but that contain superb colonial structures, especially churches and convents. A rental car is recommended for this route, which includes leap-frogging from town to town.
Visit outlying indigenous villages known for their colonial churches, including San Juan Chamula and Tenejapa. Time permitting, the church in Oxchuc is also superb. (Remember that taking pictures of indigenous people or inside any of the town churches is strictly forbidden.)
Drive east toward Comitán, stopping to admire colonial churches and plazas in Amatenango del Valle, Teopisca, and Soyatitán. In the evening, enjoy a meal and live music at Comitán’s lovely central plaza.
Take a tour of Cañón del Sumidero—not a colonial attraction, but a must-see nonetheless—and spend the afternoon enjoying colonial gems around Chiapa de Corzo, including La Pila, a superb 16th-century public fountain.
Get an early start on the Ruta Zoques, including stops at Chicoasén, Copainalá, and especially Tecpatán, home to one of the state’s most magnificent Dominican monasteries. Return to Tuxtla Gutiérrez and enjoy the live music at Parque Marimba before returning home.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition