San Cristobal de Las Casas Travel Guide

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the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas

the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Rob van Walbeek, the Netherlands

Despite the fact that San Cristóbal is located in a valley, it is still 2100 metres (6900 feet) above sea level. It was the capital of Chiapas until 1892.

The estimated population is 280,000 people. San Cristóbal is often compared to Antigua (Guatemala). It is also situated in an indigenous region that was obviously less exposed to western cultures. But, in fact, it's more sophisticated and aware of the need for preservation of its history and culture.

On some roads, military checkpoints are set up to prevent illegal immigration from Guatemala (or more southern regions) and to intercept drug traffic but chances are you will never be stopped or detained and you probably won't see anyone else hassled either. Chiapas was known as an unsafe area but the revolutionary violence is only a memory now.

In 1994 the Zapatista Army of National Liberation used San Cristobal as one of the four cities where it began its revolution. The revolutionaries have been driven far from the city and the police presence there assures a safe retreat for tourists. Now, twelve years later, the only traces of the Zapatistas are graffiti , dolls, posters, and t-shirts.

San Cristobal is probably the safest and cleanest city in Mexico with incredible shopping and a wide assortment of nightlife and eating establishments. A real gem  with fantastic weather, cool and mild, and friendly locals.

 

Contributors

June 20, 2006 change by dubstar

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