You had just arrived at the airport of Tuxla Guttierez, Chiapas, Mexico half an hour ago. Now you are on a highway snaking its way upwards 2500 meters, on your way to San Cristobal de las Casas, the residence of the Zapatistas and the central meeting ground for the nearby indigenous groups like the Chamulas. On your correct you can see the globe falling away as you get closer to the clouds. It is your initial time right here. You have study the travel guides, and searched the world wide web for factors to do. Everywhere you looked you ran across the identical items, Palenque, Chamula, Lagos de Montebello. But you want some thing different. You want to see the genuine Chiapas, and check out places that are not overflowing with tour groups. As you appear out at the sky you see two green streaks. As you concentrate in on them you realize that it is really a pair of parakeets flying towards some unknown location. Exactly where did they come from_ you wonder….
Cima de Cottoras
Situated 1.five hours outdoors of Tuxla Guttierez (take the bus service that leaves from the Plaza de Marimbau), the Cima de Cotorras (Parakeets), is a 180 meter deep sink hole. Although the area surrounding region tends to be dry for the duration of the summers, at the bottom of this sink hole is a tropical jungle that remains humid all year round. But the major attraction of this place is the thousands of parakeets that contact this sinkhole house. For the adventurous, a everyday tour is supplied at 5_00 a.m. to descend halfway down the sinkhole, and watch as the thousands parakeets wake up and ascend in unison out of there jungle house. Facilities contain a hotel, camp grounds and 1 restaurant overlooking the sinkhole. Proceeds from the website go to preserve the organic habitat of the cotorras.
… The clouds part, and you uncover yourself looking at a valley surrounded by green mountain tops. In the middle of this valley you see indicators of life. San Cristóbal de las Casas. You can already make out the the Churches of San Cristóbal and Guadalupe on there respective hills, seeking more than the town. It have to have rained lately, simply because you see puddle of water all more than the road. You think to your self they almost appear like lakes…
Lagos de Colon
The Lagos de Colon are located four hours south of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Take a shuttle from San Cristóbal to Comítan and then transfer to a bus that goes to Lagos de Colon. This string of lakes are recognized for there smooth mirror-like surfaces. A common weekend web site for neighborhood Mexicans, these gorgeous lakes are best for swimming and relaxing the day away. Follow the path away from the major lake area and you will discover gorgeous waterfall, and hold going down this path and you will find a tiny set of newly discovered Mayan ruins. Facilities contain a guest house, totally free camping region, three modest family restaurants, and in the course of the day there are a few little vendors selling food like fried plantains and fresh fruits.
… The taxi driver turns from the major road onto Ave. Insurgents. You have just entered the historic downtown of San Crístóbal. Colonial style developing surround you. As you are driving you pass an incredible potpourri of humanity. Europeans, American, Asians, Mexican and quite a few indigenous groups. As you try to take it all in, your thoughts are interrupted by a grumbling sound. It is your stomach. You recognize you have not eaten because breakfast ten hours ago. Where could I get a bite to consume_ you wonder…
Just 1 hour south of San Cristóbal is the town of Comítan. Most tourist only pass through the outskirts of this town on their way to the Lagos de Montebellos or Chiflon. They are missing out. From the bus station take a quick taxi ride (or stroll for 15 minutes) to the gorgeous historic center. The central zocalo is pristine, and is littered with art and sculptures from around the globe. The plants and flowers are always in bloom and the climate is always excellent. The principal attraction of Comítan is that most regional Chapanecos (men and women from Chiapas), acknowledge that it has the ideal food in the state. Restaurants on the plaza are tasty, but tend to be little much more pricey. If you want the ideal deal simply stroll 1-2 blocks away from the Zocalo in any path and discover a neighborhood restaurant.
… You fight down the developing feeling of hunger. 1st things initial. You need to have to find a hotel. Fortunately there appears to be dozens on each block in San Cristóbal. You ask the taxi driver to drop you off in front of one particular that appears nice and appears to match your budget. You pay your fare and get your bags out of the trunk, but as you turn around to enter the hotel, you discover you have can not pass. You are surrounded by dozens of indigenous women and kids saying comprame. You don’t speak Spanish, but it is not tough to figure out that they want you to purchase one of there multicolored bracelets, belts or Sub-commandante Marcos dolls. Where did they all come from_ you ask…
San Juan del Rio_
The modest village of San Juan del Rio is not on any map. You have to take a collectivo (nearby public transport) to Cancuc, and then take a nearby taxi (probably the back of a pickup) to the entrance to this village. From this entrance you have to walk 1.5 hours to get to the village. The village has no roads, or electricity. The town of 500 folks survives by expanding coffee. It is a best location to see how life is for most Chapanecos. Have traditional food, cooked over an open fire. Commit some time relaxing in a Mayan steam space, and then go down to the local river and have a swim. Foreigners are so rare right here, that the children at the river will most likely stare and point in wonder at any outsiders who show up. You have to arrange a tour with one particular of the nearby villagers to get right here. Income from these tours go to the village fund to create a road.
… You fought your way through the crowd that surrounded you outside. You are now the proud owner of 5 colorful bracelets and a clay figure that appears to you like a turtle. You ask if there are any rooms offered. In broken English the girl at the reception says Yes, and provides you a list of the prices. The prices have been fair. As the receptionist prepares the paperwork you scan the tour pamphlets lain out on the front desks. There are hundreds, each and every selling tours to the very same locations. Then one particular catches your eye. This one is not glossy or professional like the other individuals, it is black and white with absolutely nothing far more than a pyramid on the cover. Where is Toniná_ you ask the receptionist…
Toniná is situated three hours from San Cristobal. Take a bus to Ocosingo, and then get a taxi, or collective to Toniná. Toniná is positioned in the middle of an open plain. Standing atop its highest level you can see for miles and miles in all directions. Acquiring a tour guide is hugely suggested. The guide will lead you via the pitch black maze of the Shaman of death, and show you how the ancient Mayans had developed rooms to have natural air conditioning. A small known fact is that Toniná is truly accountable for the fall of Palenque (its popular cousin to the west). The museum outside the ruins is tiny, but worth a check out. Bring a large bottle of water, given that there is quite tiny shade for the duration of your tour and you will get thirsty.
…. You are lastly here. Settled into your hotel room. Exhausted but excited. All that is left to choose is What am I going to see tomorrow_