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- 02 Jun 2020, 3 nights
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La Chulada hostal is the home of travellers in the magical town of San Cristóbal de las Casas.... More...
2,200m above sea level, San Cristóbal de las Casas is a colonial town in the state of Chiapas in Southern Mexico. Largely inhabited by the Tzotzil and the Tzatzal people, it makes for a unique opportunity to experience indigenous cultures. Its artisan markets and vibrant plazas are constantly bustling with locals dressed in brightly embroidered clothes. Combine that with well-preserved stucco buildings, cobblestone streets and grand Spanish-style churches, and you have a colourful town filled with photo opportunities at every turn.
Hostels in San Cristóbal de las Casas are where old-world charm and hospitality come together. Many are set in colonial buildings with interior patios, verdant gardens with on-site bars, and large communal kitchens which all add to the familial atmosphere. Wholesome cooked breakfasts are free in some San Cristóbal hostels, while private rooms and female-only dorms are also available. Choose a San Cristóbal de las Casas hostel with a cinema night, pub crawl or evening bonfire to meet like-minded travellers, or just sink into your garden hammock for a spot of peace and quiet.
There are 11 historic barrios (neighbourhoods) in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Barrio del Cerrillo is one of the most picturesque, and its tradition of ironmongery is evident in its intricately wrought balconies. The district is also home to the former convent of Iglesia de Santo Domingo, where you'll find daily markets trading in amber jewellery, textiles and leather goods. Situated right next to the Zona Centro (town centre), the neighbourhood of La Merced is renowned for its candle-making.
A cup of smooth Chiapas coffee may be required before climbing the 79 steps to Guadalupe Church, but the view from the top is one of the best in town. The area in front of the Cathedral of San Cristóbal is great for people watching, while the rotunda at the nearby Zócalo (main square) often has local musicians performing. Take a day trip to the indigenous village of Zinacantán, which is known for traditional woven textiles.
While it's easy to get around on foot, you can also travel by mini buses, known as colectivos, to explore the neighbourhoods and villages. Bikes and scooters can be hired from the town centre. The closest airport with a regular service is Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which is about an hour away by taxi. The ADO bus station is eight blocks from the main square and regularly connects with Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Palenque, as well as more distant destinations in Mexico like Mérida and Oaxaca.
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