Only a handful of the thousands of travelers who pass this vibrant Tzeltal Maya village ever stop. Located right along the highway between San Cristóbal  and Palenque , Oxchuc is one of the easiest indigenous villages to reach from San Cristóbal, yet when you visit you may well be the only foreigner in town—a striking difference from well-traveled villages like San Juan Chamula  and Amatenango .
An especially good time to visit Oxchuc is Saturday—market day—when the streets and central plaza are packed with people. Keep your eye out for rats—not scurrying through the gutter, but sold at stands, either freshly killed or grilled on a stick. Oxchuc is known for its sopa de rata (rat soup), a traditional Tzeltal dish made from rats that feed on medicinal plants, and thought to be curative.
Set slightly back from Oxchuc’s central square, Iglesia Santo Tomás has a rich mustard exterior and a gaping interior—in fact, its nave is one of most voluminous in the state. White-washed walls rise to wooden cross beams incised with ornate floral patterns, while long wide colorful bolts of fabric hang nearly to the floor, a feature of many indigenous Chiapanecan churches. A striking double arch frames the church’s fine retablo altar.
Santo Tomás is also notable for two modest domed structures adjoined to the outside courtyard walls. Known as posas, from the Spanish word posar (to pose or sit), these miniature chapels served as worship and baptismal stations before the church itself was constructed. Although posas were common in early missions, Oxchuc’s are the only ones in Chiapas  remaining in their original form, with faded Dominican paintings still visible inside.
Just off the highway about 15 kilometers past Oxchuc, the Río Jataté tumbles down a long rocky slope to form El Corralito waterfall (7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$0.50 pp or US$3 per car). Until recently, most people caught only a glimpse of the falls as they whizzed past in the car or bus. Now, there are picnic areas at top and bottom, a parking area, bathrooms, even a restaurant (though it’s frequently closed). A paved trail climbs about 200 meters alongside the falls, and at the top the river widens into several appealing swimming holes. All in all, it’s a pleasant stop on the way between San Cristóbal  and Palenque , or as an add-on to a visit to Oxchuc.
To get to El Corralito, catch any Ocosingo-bound combi from San Cristóbal (US$3, 1.5 hrs) or Oxchuc (US$0.50, 20 mins).