Smaller than Reserva de Huitepec  but even closer to the center is Moxviquil Reserve (Periférico Norte at Calle Yajalón, tel. 967/678-0542, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sun., US$1.50), an 85-hectare reserve located just outside San Cristóbal ’s periférico (beltway). An easy-to-follow trail starts at the park office and makes a pleasant 2.2-kilometer (1.25-mile) loop through shady pine and oak forest; budget 40–60 minutes with moderate climbing.
There’s a small cave along the way, and an unexcavated Maya ruin; call ahead for a guide to locate the latter. (Moxviquil literally means intestines in Tzotzil, but also refers to crossroads, and this area may have served just that purpose for ancient traders.)
Back at the entrance, you can’t miss the Orchid Garden (tel. 967/678-5727, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Wed.–Sun., longer hours in summer), whose intriguing custom-built greenhouse houses hundreds of orchids and other epiphytes (and was nicknamed the “whale bones” by locals—you’ll quickly see why).
It’s the centerpiece of an ambitious long-term project, with plans for a museum, several more greenhouses, outdoor event and picnic areas, even a playground and gift shop.
Reserva Moxviquil is about a mile walk from downtown San Cristóbal , passing through the busy market area, or you can take a cab for about US$2.