Things to do in
San Cristóbal de las Casas

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Our most recommended things to do in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

1. Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

Marvel at the majestic walls of the Sumidero Canyon on this 5-hour excursion that feels like a journey back in time. Tours depart from the Algrano Cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas. After a transfer to the jetty, take a boat to the canyon. Be on the lookout for crocodiles, monkeys and a wide variety of birds. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the colonial city of Chiapa de Corzo. Take some time to browse the numerous shops that offer local craft items. Continue to San Cristobal de las Casas, where the tour ends.

From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

2. From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

Following pick-up from your hotel in San Cristóbal de las Casas, head towards the ancient Maya city of Palenque and stop at the amazing waterfalls of Agua Azul along the way. Gaze in awe at the cascades, formed by the currents of the Otulún, Shumuljá and Tulijá rivers and shallow canyons banked by vertical cliffs. Get the chance to cool down with a swim, time permitting, and marvel at the different areas and landscapes of the natural wonder. Continue to the waterfalls of Misol-Ha, where the water can rise to heights of up to 30 meters in the natural rainforest surroundings. Then, discover the ruins of the Maya civilization at the archaeological site of Palenque. Admire the impressive buildings and structures of the former city state, including the Temple of the Foliated Cross and Temple of the Sun in the stunning Temple of the Cross group of step pyramids. Return to San Cristóbal at the end of the day for drop off at a central location.

Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

3. Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

Embark on amazing experience to Sumidero National Park. Explore Sumidero Canyon and the town of Chiapa de Corzo on this 9-hour tour from San Cristobal. Begin with a 45-minute drive through the mountains, along a scenic highway toward Tuxtla Gutierrez. Admire the beautiful panoramic views as you pass through the clouds to reach the canyon. The tour continues with a boat trip, as you marvel at the immense Sumidero Canyon from another perspective. After taking in this stunning natural scenery, you’ll visit the magical town of Chiapa de Corzo, known for its magnificent 16th-century Mudéjar Fountain, with its colorful xicalpestles (lacquered and painted gourds). It’s also home to Parachico revelers, the main attraction at the Fiesta of San Sebastián. After the visit you’ll continue on the drive, enjoying breathtaking views of the Sumidero Canyon from several lookout points, including the Ceiba, the Coyota, the Roblar, the Tepehuaje and the Chiapa. These locations allow you to admire the grandeur of the canyon as well as the local flora and fauna.

San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

4. San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

Start this full-day adventure into the wilderness of Chiapas with a morning pick-up from your hotel in San Cristobal. Drive to the impressive El Chiflon Waterfalls near the colonial city of Comitan, and hike an approximate 1-mile (1.5 kilometers) to the top of the multi-staged cascades, surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Known for creating the impression of a pair of “angel’s wings” that appear to emerge from the mountain, the falls also offer striking turquoise waters that you can take a dip in at the end of your walk. Continue to Montebello Lakes, a collection of 52 crystal clear lakes surrounded by pine forest. Here, you can dive into the refreshing blue waters, and even cross in a cayuco (a small, rustic wooden raft) to see beautiful orchids. In total, you will visit about 5 to 7 of the main lakes to experience the contrasting colors, which can vary from dark green, to bright emerald, turquoise, and even purple or red, depending on the mineral content. You will then be transferred back to San Cristobal for a drop off at your hotel, or the Zocalo (Plaza 31 de Marzo) if you prefer.

Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

5. Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

Learn more about the everyday lives and ancient beliefs of the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people on an amazing day trip from San Cristóbal de las Casas. Travel in air-conditioned comfort to the town of San Juan Chamula to get a better understanding of the mix of contemporary culture and ancient traditions that gives the town its unique aspect. Continue to Zinacantán, where the majority of the population are Tzotzil Maya indigenous people. Visit the church and the home of a family co-operative, where you will be welcomed with a regional drink and can watch the women at work on pre-Columbian waist looms. Get invited into their kitchen to taste their traditional handmade tortillas before the return journey to San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

6. Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

This 12-hour tour takes you from San Cristobal de las Casas in the morning to Lagos de Montebello. Head first to the Chiflón waterfall, a natural freefall of water surrounded by reeds and palm groves. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Montebello Lakes in a nature reserve that is Mexico's most beautiful lake district. The reserve comprises acres of pines, oaks and rainforest where, weather permitting, there will be the opportunity to enjoy views of the many lakes and the varying colors of the waters. After visiting this picturesque natural environment, the tour returns to San Cristobal de Las Casas, arriving in the early evening.

Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

7. Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

Enjoy the stunning Chiapas state and explore its many treasures on this exciting day tour. Travel from San Cristobal to the beautiful Agua Azul Cascades, one of Mexico's most stunning natural attractions. Marvel at the clear blues of the water and relax to a breakfast of tasty regional dishes. After breakfast, opt for a invigorating dip in the large ponds formed by the waterfalls. From Agua Azul, make your way to the impressive Misol-Ha Cascade, which drops from a staggering 25 meters. Relax before this beautiful natural wonder and let the majestic sounds of cascading water wash over you. After Misol-Ha, head over to the fascinating Palenque Archeological Site, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its immense historic and cultural richness. Spend a few hours here exploring the remains of one of the capital cities of the Mayan empire. The tour will end in Palenque at 17:00, and you will have time to enjoy a dinner before the journey back to San Cristobal at 21:30.

Agua Azul & Palenque Ruins: Full-Day Tour from San Cristobal

8. Agua Azul & Palenque Ruins: Full-Day Tour from San Cristobal

Your full-day tour leaves San Cristobal de las Casas for the 90-minute transfer to Agua Azul. When you reach this series of glittering cascades you’ll have free time to immerse yourself in the pools, and later you’ll see Misol Ha, the highest waterfall in Mexico. In the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountains you’ll marvel at Agua Azul, a series of cascades and shallow pools of limestone-rich water. You can follow the movement of the water down a series of natural dams to the point where it ends the clear, waist-deep Shumulhá River. During April and May, the dry months, the water is a shimmering blue due the high amount of limestone present. In the rainy season the color is diluted because of the increased volume of water. These beautiful cascades continue on for miles across lush valleys and canyons. The Mayan archaeological site at Palenque is your next stop on the tour. Palenque was a Mayan city-state that flourished during the 7th century. The ruins that have been unearthed date as far back as 226 B.C, with the most recent dating to the fall of Palenque, which occurred around 1123 A.D. Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than some of the major Mayan sites, but it contains some of the finest Mayan architecture, sculpture, and bas-relief carvings found to date.

Las Nubes Waterfalls & Comitan Magical Town

9. Las Nubes Waterfalls & Comitan Magical Town

Explore the nature and beauty of LAS NUBES Waterfalls formed by the Santo Domingo River and visit Comitan Magical Town. Discover the natural beauty of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the state of Chiapas. Arrive and start to know this beautiful place, seeing the suspension bridge, the water falls and then we have a walking tour through the nature to the side of the river going up to the hill for  interesting panoramic views of the  Santo Domingo River (2hrs). Look out upon this mystical setting from a vantage point that is almost 500 feet high. You’ll even have the chance to walk along a majestic suspension bridge and enjoy the refreshing mist from the waterfalls. After the visit we will have time to eat food (lunch)  and then continue with the  visit of  Comitan Magical Town (1.3 hrs). After the visit,the tour will will continue back to San Cristobal, where you will be dropped off at your hotel. 

San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour

10. San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour

Learn about the indigenous communities of the state of Chiapas on a 5-hour cultural tour of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. A local guide will explain the history of the region, famous for its blend of Mayan beliefs and Catholicism. Go to the Church of San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) to admire the beautiful façade and peek inside at the arrangement of altars, where the Catholic saints are dressed according to indigenous customs. Learn about the native people and their traditions, and how ancient Mayan beliefs intertwine with modern day Catholic practices. Continue to Zinacantan, near San Cristobal de las Casas, and visit the Church of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence). Watch the laborious handicrafts of the weaver women, who, with a loom at their waists, produce magnificent textile pieces, including tablecloths, bedspreads, cushion covers and traditional huipiles (ponchos).

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What people are saying about San Cristóbal de las Casas

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 132 reviews

Leaving San Cristobal around 9am with the Spanish-speaking group, we changed minibuses when we arrived in Tuxtla Gutierrez to join the English-speaking guide Eduardo, who was very friendly. The cruise in the canyon is absolutely beautiful. We saw crocodiles, herons and pelicans, but on the other hand the spider monkeys remained hidden. We continued with the visit of Chiapa del Corso where we had lunch. Some beautiful squares with large kapok trees. Finally the visit ended with the viewpoints (miradors) on the canyon which give beautiful photos. Return to San Cristobal around 6 p.m.

The pick up was an hour late without any communication, which was frustrating as we could have grabbed a coffee or something instead of just waiting in the dark. The driving was a little crazy, but that seemed to be the case in the whole region. The trip itself was really great. They provided an English translator that gave us information on the boat as well as a personal walking tour in Chiapa de Corzo. Canyon was beautiful. Look out points were cool. Had an amazing buffet lunch at a local spot in Chiapa de Corzo. The logistics just could have been improved.

The round trip is long, but worth it. The transportation is a van and it takes 5 hours to go, and 5 hours to return, but if you do not have the option of staying in Palenque, and you have to go and return to San Cristobal, it is a great option. You have to consider bringing water, and money for lunch.

Such an incredible experience - Misol Ha and of course Palenque were the highlights. Very friendly driver who got us everywhere right on time and was able to help us with guides or anything else we needed at each stop. Highly recommend!

We had an amazing day visiting the canyon and Chiapa de Corzo. Our guide Eduardo was brilliant and so kind to translate the tour into English for us. A really memorable and special day, would definitely recommend!